Some of the events that have shaped Los Angeles: 1941: The Arroyo Seco Parkway, later the Pasadena Freeway, is completed, the first stage in a freeway master plan that made post-war suburban sprawl possible in the Los Angeles area.

Feb. 19, 1942: Amid war hysteria, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order No. 9066, authorizing the internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans--75,000 of them U.S. citizens--along the West Coast.

May 27, 1943: War contractors are forbidden to discriminate on the basis of race, speeding the migration of blacks to Los Angeles.


June, 1943: Police round up gang members and weapons after sailors from the Chavez Ravine Naval Base attack Mexican-American teen-agers. The incident launches the racial conflict that becomes known as the Pachuco or “Zoot Suit Riots,” for the teen-agers’ preferred attire.

Jan. 11, 1944: The Joint Committee for Interracial Progress (now the county Commission on Human Relations) is established by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, only the second such panel in the United States.

April 11, 1947: Former UCLA star Jackie Robinson of Pasadena joins the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball’s color line.

Aug. 2, 1950: William H. Parker is appointed Los Angeles police chief. His modern tactics include replacing foot patrols with officers in radio-equipped cars.

Dec. 24, 1951: Los Angeles police arrest and beat seven Mexican youths on “Bloody Christmas,” leading to the indictment of eight officers and charges by Edward R. Roybal, the city’s first Latino councilman, of systematic police brutality.

May 17, 1954: The U.S. Supreme Court voids state laws allowing segregated schools. Ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education, the court found “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

July 22, 1954: Under pressure from black citizens, the Los Angeles Fire Department is ordered integrated. Resistance within the department delays integration for more than a year.


Oct. 7, 1957: The Los Angeles City Council approves a land swap, trading Chavez Ravine--hard-scrabble home of 1,000 Mexican-American families--to Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley for Wrigley Field in South Central. Families are later forced from their homes in an eviction battle, above.

April 2, 1959: The 136-acre Bunker Hill urban renewal project is launched, the start of a process that replaced the homes of Mexican and European immigrants with high-rise office towers.

October, 1959: Community activists beat back an effort to tear down Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers.

1962: Los Angeles Police Chief William H. Parker orders all LAPD units integrated.

Jan. 28, 1963: Gilbert Lindsay is appointed to the Los Angeles City Council, the first black ever to serve as councilman. Tom Bradley wins election to the council three months later.

Aug. 1, 1963: The ACLU, the NAACP and black and Latino parents file a lawsuit demanding the desegregation of Los Angeles city schools.

Nov. 22, 1963: President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.

Feb. 21, 1965: Black nationalist leader Malcolm X is assassinated in New York.

Aug. 11-17, 1965: The Watts riots, sparked by a routine traffic stop, sear South-Central Los Angeles.


Feb. 27, 1966: The federal government announces a $7.6-million reconstruction project for Watts, where riot damage was estimated at $40 million.

March 15, 1966: Rioting again breaks out in Watts; two men die.

April 4, 1968: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

June 5, 1968: Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles.

Aug. 29-30, 1971: An East Los Angeles parade to protest the Vietnam War turns into rioting that later spreads to Wilmington and South Los Angeles. Newsman Ruben Salazar, a leading spokesman for Chicano rights, is killed by a sheriff’s deputy’s errant tear-gas canister.

Dec. 28, 1971: The city of Irvine is incorporated. It will grow over two decades to become North America’s largest master-planned community, a city of 110,000 with little crime, no poverty and excellent schools barely 30 miles from Los Angeles.

June 29, 1972: The U.S. Supreme Court declares the death penalty unconstitutional.

May 24, 1973: Reversing the results of an election four years earlier, Los Angeles City Councilman Tom Bradley defeats Mayor Sam Yorty, 56% to 34%, to become the city’s first black mayor.

May 17, 1974: Members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, kidnapers of newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, are surrounded at a South-Central Los Angeles hide-out. Five occupants die in gunfire and flames touched off by police tear-gas canisters.

April 30, 1975: As the South Vietnamese government collapses, American troops evacuate Saigon. More than 140,000 refugees flee the country over the following two months; about 60,000 eventually settle in the Los Angeles area.


Sept. 2, 1977: Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. says it will close its passenger tire plant in South-Central Los Angeles by month’s end, eliminating about 550 jobs.

June 6, 1978: By a 65%-35% margin, California voters approve Proposition 13, the landmark state constitutional amendment that cut property taxes by two-thirds and made it harder to raise local taxes.

Jan. 3, 1979: Eulia Love, 39, is shot and killed by two Los Angeles police officers called to her South-Central Los Angeles home in response to a dispute about an unpaid gas bill.

Oct. 15, 1979: Reformist junior officers launch a coup in El Salvador. More than a decade of civil war follows, launching an exodus of an estimated 300,000 refugees to Los Angeles.

Jan. 31, 1980: A federal report says the inflation rate in Los Angeles during the previous 12 months was 16.5%--the highest among the nation’s big cities--as escalating housing and energy costs cut into families’ purchasing power.

March 19, 1980: Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. announces plans to close its tire factory in South Gate, a 52-year-old plant that lent its name to one of the county’s major east-west thoroughfares.


May 16, 1980: Magic Johnson, a 20-year-old rookie, leads the Lakers to the National Basketball Assn. championship with a 123-107 victory over Philadelphia.

Jan. 20, 1981: Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan is inaugurated President following his landslide victory over President Jimmy Carter in November.

March 16, 1981: The Los Angeles Board of Education votes to end its three-year program of mandatory busing as quickly as possible.

April 9, 1981: Fernando Valenzuela opens the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home season, shutting out Houston 2-0 and escalating “Fernandomania,” the phenomenon that helped draw thousands of Latinos to Dodger Stadium.

Sept. 21, 1982: Bethlehem Steel Corp. says it will shut its 52-year-old South-Central Los Angeles mill by the end of the year, eliminating 1,100 jobs.

June, 1983: A poll by the Urban Institute finds that about 70% of Southern Californians believe the influx of illegal immigrants has an unfavorable effect on the state. In Los Angeles County, almost 60% of blacks say illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from legal residents; only a minority of whites agrees.


July 28, 1984: Under the leadership of Peter V. Ueberroth, the Summer Olympics open with pomp and spectacle at the Coliseum.

Feb. 6, 1985: Police Chief Daryl F. Gates rides aboard the LAPD battering ram as it knocks a hole in the wall of a suspected Pacoima rock house. They find less than one-tenth of a gram of cocaine, and the district attorney’s office refuses to file charges.

June 4, 1985: Michael Woo becomes the first Asian-American to be elected to the City Council.

Oct. 17, 1986: Congress approves the Immigration Reform and Control Act, creating an amnesty program for illegal immigrants and barring employment of illegals who do not qualify.

Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1987: Michael Milken, directing Drexel Burnham Lambert’s “junk-bond” operations from an X-shaped desk in Beverly Hills, earns $550 million in salary and bonuses.

Sept. 15-16, 1987: Pope John Paul II visits Los Angeles, celebrating multiethnic Masses at the Coliseum and Dodger Stadium.


Aug. 1, 1988: Eighty Los Angeles police officers raid two neighboring apartment buildings on Dalton Street in South Los Angeles, destroying walls, stairways, furniture and clothing on orders to render the buildings “uninhabitable.” None of the residents was charged with a crime, and the city ended up paying more than $3.8 million in damages.

Jan. 14, 1989: In a videotaped “sting,” an NBC camera crew watches as Hawthorne Police Sgt. Don Jackson, a black man dressed in mechanic’s coveralls, is roughly arrested by Long Beach police.

Jan. 23, 1990: A traffic stop by sheriff’s deputies leads to a melee with Nation of Islam members and the shooting death of Oliver R. Beasley, inspiring protests.

April, 1990: The population of eastern Ventura County tops 250,000, up from 14,000 in 1960. About 81% of the region’s population is white, and many of its residents commute to jobs in L.A.

January-February, 1991: Nine Southland residents, none from Los Angeles, are killed in the Persian Gulf War.

Feb. 19., 1991: City Councilwoman Gloria Molina, a laborer’s daughter, is elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the first Latino and the first woman elected to the five-member board.


March 3, 1991: An amateur cameraman captures the police beating of Rodney G. King in Lakeview Terrace.

March 15, 1991: Four Los Angeles police officers--Sgt. Stacey C. Koon and Officers Laurence M. Powell, Timothy E. Wind and Theodore J. Briseno--are arraigned on felony charges stemming from the King beating.

March 16, 1991: A store security camera records the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins, a black girl, by Korean-American grocer Soon Ja Du in a South Los Angeles grocery.

July 19, 1991: Faced with a sluggish economy, General Motors announces plans to close its Van Nuys assembly plant the following summer, the last auto plant in Southern California.

Aug. 3, 1991: A sheriff’s deputy fatally shoots 19-year-old Latino Arturo (Smokey) Jimenez in the Ramona Gardens housing project in East Los Angeles, touching off a four-hour, rock- and bottle-throwing melee with 300 residents of the project.

Sept. 10, 1991: Sheriff Sherman Block, left, appoints a panel of community leaders to recommend reforms, but critics allege the proposal is meant to head off an independent investigation.


Oct. 13, 1991: The Los Angeles Theater Center--an innovative downtown company that often featured the work of minority playwrights and actors--holds its final performances after years of financial troubles.

Nov. 6, 1991: The Los Angeles City Council approves spending $7.1 million to settle a dozen claims of police brutality and excessive force, boosting total payments for the year to a record of more than $13 million.

Nov. 15, 1991: Compton Superior Court Judge Joyce A. Karlin sentences Soon Ja Du to five years probation for the killing of Latasha Harlins.

Nov. 26, 1991: Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg orders the trial of four officers charged in the beating of Rodney King moved to Ventura County.

Nov. 29, 1991: LAPD officers fatally shoot a 28-year-old black man, Henry Peco, who allegedly ambushed them while they investigated a power outage, prompting a standoff with more than 100 residents of the Imperial Courts housing project in Watts.

Dec. 20, 1991: The Los Angeles County grand jury declines to bring charges against five sheriff’s deputies in four controversial, fatal shootings that occurred in August and September.


Dec. 28, 1991: Gilbert W. Lindsay, Los Angeles’ first black councilman, dies at 90 after reigning as self-described “emperor” of the 9th District for 27 years.

April 2, 1992: A Lucky supermarket opens in the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza, giving South Los Angeles its first new, major grocery store since the 1965 Watts riots. It would escape damage in the ’92 rioting.

Wednesday afternoon, April 29: Four Los Angeles police officers win acquittals in their trial for the beating of Rodney G. King. Defendants Laurence M. Powell, center, and Timothy E. Wind hug each other while defendant Stacey C. Koon stands to rear.

Associated Press

Wednesday afternoon: “I was stunned. I was shocked. I was outraged. I was speechless when I heard that verdict. Today this jury told the world that what we saw with our own eyes was not a crime.”--Mayor Tom Bradley following the verdict.

Wednesday afternoon: “Whatever the emotions are, whether angry or happy, they ought to be channeled correctly in a positive way, not into a destructive or violent fashion.”--Police Chief Daryl F. Gates following the verdict.

Wednesday afternoon: “I think what we’re looking at here is one of the biggest setbacks to the cause of justice since the Scottsboro boys were judicially lynched.”-- Joe Duff, president of the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP following the verdict, referring to the civil rights case of the 1930s.


Wednesday night: Responding to the verdict, rioting mobs take to the streets, setting fires, beating motorists and looting stores.

Thursday, April 30: A curfew is imposed as thousands of looters pillage and burn throughout the Los Angeles area.

Thursday: National Guard troops move into the streets, launching an effort to retake the city from rioting throngs who attack motorists and set hundreds of fires.

Thursday night: As Korean-American merchants desperately defend their stores against looters and arsonists, one man is shot to death by rioters and three others are wounded.

Friday morning, May 1: President Bush orders 4,500 troops and 1,000 riot-trained federal officers to the city while National Guardsmen and police begin to gain control of embattled neighborhoods.

Friday afternoon: “People, I just want to say . . . can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”-- Rodney G. King appealing for peace.


Saturday, May 2: Cleanup crews take to the streets and volunteers truck food and clothing into some of the hardest hit neighborhoods. “The only evidence that we are battle-scarred are buildings that are standing like wounded soldiers,” says the Rev. Cecil L. Murray of First AME Church.

Saturday: As the city moves toward recovery, 30,000 people march through Koreatown in support of beleaguered merchants, calling for peace between Korean-Americans and blacks.

Sunday, May 3: Mayor Tom Bradley announces a lifting of the citywide curfew Monday night as 8,500 Marines, Army and National Guard troops help maintain a fragile calm.

Monday, May 4: With troops guarding their street corners, Los Angeles residents return to work and school.

Monday: President Bush says the government will make available $600 million in loans and grants to help repair the damage. Bush’s likely Democratic opponent, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, tours riot areas and meets with community leaders.

May 5: Leaning on a car hood at Santa Monica airport, Gov. Pete Wilson signs a bill giving Los Angeles courts more time to process thousands of riot-related criminal cases.