1781 – Los Angeles, CA, was founded by Spanish settlers. The original name was “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula,” which translates as “The Town of the Queen of Angels.”


The Founding of Los Angeles, 1781, mural by Millard Sheets.The founding of Los Angeles,1781 mural by Milliard Sheets.Univ Of Southern California Libraries And California Historical Societies 
TIMES STAFF WRITER

The name of the game is historical accuracy. Everyone agrees on that.

What historians cannot agree on is the name given to Los Angeles when its Spanish founders formed it Sept. 4, 1781.

The early settlers meant to name the town after angels; that much is known. But for more than 75 years, local historians have been quarreling over its actual moniker.

Some contend it was El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles.

Others assert it was El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reyna de los Angeles.

Or perhaps it was El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de la Porciuncula. Or El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reyna de los Angeles del Rio Porciuncula. Or maybe El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles Sobre el Rio de Porciuncula. Or Pueblo del Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reyna de los Angeles de Porciuncula.

How about plain old Ciudad de los Angeles?

History books, scholarly papers, encyclopedia entries and bronze plaques scattered around the downtown Olvera Street plaza to commemorate the city’s birthplace use differing versions of the name.

And now the Historical Society of Southern California has produced a book in hopes of settling the dispute once and for all.

Fat chance. Or as the founding fathers might have put it: Ni cuando!

Instead, publication of “The Founding Documents of Los Angeles, A Bilingual Edition,” has only intensified the debate among historians about the city’s true first name — even pitting its editor against a longtime friend who thinks his thesis is wrong.

The book is a farewell project of longtime Los Angeles historian Doyce B. Nunis Jr. He retired this month after 43 years as editor of the historical society’s respected journal, the Southern California Quarterly.

for the complete article … latimes.com/archieves