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Glendale

Glendale is one of the two large cities in the United States that shares its name with a larger American city, in this case, Glendale, Arizona. Oddly enough, Glendale’s main claim to fame is the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.  Forest Lawn was created in 1917 by Dr. Hubert Eaton.  Dr. Eaton was convinced that most current cemeteries were “unsightly, depressing stone yards.”   He pledged to create one that would reflect his optimistic beliefs and captivate visitors.  This cemetery contains the remains of many noted celebrities and local residents like: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Jimmy Stewart, Jean Harlow, Humphrey Bogart, Mary Pickford, Errol Flynn and Spencer Tracy.

Glendale is also home to one of the largest communities of Armenians in the United States, with one in four people in Glendale being Armenian.

Glendale Demographics

  • Population 191,719.
  • Population Breakdown:
    • White Persons 71.1%
    • African American Persons 1.3%
    • Native American Persons 0.3%
    • Asian Persons 16.4%
    • Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian Persons 0.1%
    • Hispanic or Latino Persons 17.4%

Glendale History

The original inhabitants of Glendale were the Tongva people.  Spanish missionaries later renamed them the Gabrieleños after the nearby Mission San Gabriel Arcangel.  In 1798, Jose Maria Verdugo, received the Rancho San Rafael as a land grant from Governor Diego de Borica.  Verdugo had been grazing livestock and farming that land since 1784 and the grant formalized his possession and use of that land. Unlike later land grants from the Mexican government the Spanish grants were similar to grazing permits, with the title remaining with the Spanish crown.

In 1860, Teodoro Verdugo the grandson of Jose built the Verdugo Adobe.  The Verdugo Adobe still stands and is the oldest building in Glendale. The property is also famous as the location of the Oak of Peace where early Californio leaders including Pio Pico met and decided to surrender to Lieutenant Colonel John C. Fremont in 1847.  The ranch was sold off by Verdugo’s descendants in parcels, some of which make up present-day Atwater Village, Eagle Rock and the Highland Park neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

In 1884 residents decided to form a town and chose the name “Glendale.” Glendale was officially incorporated in 1906. Around that time, Leslie Coombs Brand began construction on the first of many projects throughout the area.  Brand also partnered with Henry E. Huntington to bring the Pacific Electric Railway, or the “Red Cars,” to the area. Transportation brings growth and Glendale was no exception.  The city’s population of 13,756 in 1920 grew by more than four times that amount by 1930. The city continues to grow today with emphasis on safe, environmentally friendly growth.

Interesting Facts about Glendale

  • The American Green Cross, an early conservation and tree preservation society, was formed in 1926 in Glendale
  • In 1964, Glendale was selected by George Lincoln Rockwell to be the West Coast headquarters of the American Nazi Party
  • In 1977 and 1978 ten murdered women were found in and around Glendale in what became known as the now infamous case of the Hillside Strangler

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