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San Pedro History
 
Portuguese explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, while sailing under the flag of Spain, was the first European to set eyes upon the barren hills and plains of what was to be Rancho San Pedro. On October 8, 1542 he sailed into San Pedro Bay. There, he noticed several wild fires burning in the surrounding hills producing dark plumes of smoke. He named the area "Bahia de los Fumos" which was Spanish for "Bay of Smokes". This bay with a shallow estuary held this title for over fifty years, until changed by another Spanish sea faring explorer. On November 26, 1602, Sebastian Viscaino sailed into the same bay and renamed it Ensenada de San Andres (Bay of Saint Andrew), mistakenly thinking he arrived on the feast day of Saint Andrew. In actuality he entered the bay on the feast day of Saint Peter, Bishop of Alexandria. In 1734, Cabrera Bueno, a famed navigator and cosmologist discovered Vizcaino's error and renamed the bay San Pedro, in honor of the martyred saint. Today, the port community of San Pedro still retains the name.


In the early part of this century, the San Pedro Port bustled with longshore gangs unloading millions of board feet of lumber for local construction projects. Thousands of commercial fishermen and workers in a dozen canneries were involved in catching and processing tuna. More than 20,000 ship builders were working in four yards on various cargo and tanker vessels. Busy and colorful commercial areas sprang up adjacent to the Port to accommodate these workers as well as the ship crews that would be in port of up to 10 days at a time.


The Korean Bell of Friendship is a massive bronze bell housed in a stone pavilion in Angel's Gate Park, in the San Pedro district of Los Angeles, California. Located at the corner of Gaffey and 37th Streets, the section of the park is alternatively called the "Korean-American Peace Park," and occupies part of the former Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur. The bell was donated by the Republic of Korea to the people of Los Angeles, California to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States, to honor American veterans of the Korean War, and to symbolize friendship between the two nations. . It was dedicated on October 3, 1976 and declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 187 in 1978.

The Vincent Thomas Bridge is a 1,500-foot long suspension bridge crossing the Los Angeles Harbor linking San Pedro, California with Terminal Island. When the bridge opened in 1963, the toll was 25 cents in each direction. In 1983, the toll increased to 50 cents for westbound traffic but became free for eastbound traffic. In 2000, toll was removed. Prior to the bridge's construction, the Terminal Island Ferry transported cars and trucks to Terminal Island.  The bridge is named after California Assemblyman Vincent Thomas of San Pedro.

 

 

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