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Indigenous people have lived in coastal Southern California for over 10,000 years, and several successive cultures have inhabited the present-day area of Long Beach.By the 16th-century arrival of Spanish explorers, the dominant group were the Tongva people.

Along with other Tongva villages, they were forced to relocate in the mid-19th century due to missionization, political change, and a drastic drop in population from exposure to European diseases.

In 1784 the Spanish Empire's King Carlos III granted Rancho Los Nietos to Spanish soldier Manuel Nieto.

They had at least three major settlements within the present-day city.

Tevaaxa'anga was an inland settlement near the Los Angeles River, while Ahwaanga and Povuu'nga were coastal villages.

Images from top, left to right: Long Beach skyline from Bluff Park, retired RMS Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific Blue Cavern exhibit, TTI Terminal at Port of Long Beach, Villa Riviera, Metro Blue Line, Long Beach Lighthouse It is the 36th most populous city in the United States and the 7th most populous in California.

Long Beach is the second largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and the third largest in Southern California behind Los Angeles and San Diego.

The city was the site of "The Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942" during World War II, when observers for the Army Air Corps reported shells being fired from the sea.

Anti-aircraft batteries fired into the night sky, although no planes were ever sighted.

The M6.4 1933 Long Beach earthquake caused significant damage to the city and surrounding areas, killing a total of 120 people.

Most of the damage occurred in unreinforced masonry buildings, especially schools.

The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest container port in the United States and is among the world's largest shipping ports.