Happy Birthday, Queen of the Angels!

Today we celebrate the anniversary of Los Angeles’ founding on September 4, 1781 of El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, or “The Town of the Queen of the Angels.” To commemorate the birthday of our great city, we’re sharing a few “birthday” photos from the Los Angeles Public Library’s Photo Collection.

Cleverly painted “I love LA” face at Olvera Street on the occasion of Los Angeles’ 214th birthday. Photo by Gary Leonard, 1995.

“Mounted riders tomorrow will recreate the journey taken by the settlers who founded Los Angeles 200 years ago, on Sept. 4, 1781. City Hall will be the site of the city’s birthday festivities.” Photo by Paul Chinn, 1981.

Spanish dancer Rosa Maria performs at the 193rd birthday party of the city of Los Angeles. Providing music is the Mexican Tipica Orchestra under the direction of Jose Gutierrez. Photo by Joe Messinger, 1974.

Thousands march and thousands watch as city celebrates birthday. In foreground as the huge parade moves along Broadway is 72nd Army Band from Ft. MacArthur. Photo taken 1967.

Unveiling a plaque at the statue of Felipe de Neve, a city founder, are, from left, Eduardo Toda; Consuelo de Bonzo; Frank King; Dr. Reynaldo Carreon Jr; Ernest Debs and Arnold Martinez. Plaque reads in part: At Mission San Gabriel, on Sept. 26, 1781, the governor of the Californias, Don Felipe de Neve, wrote and signed the order by which the Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porcincula was founded Sept. 4, 1781. Photo taken 1963.

Rehearsing a dance number is Betty Ramirez who will take part in the “San Gabriel Mission Day” program of the Los Angeles centennial week celebration. Photo taken 1946.

Retracing the path that the founding fathers took to start a city that has grown beyond their most grandiose dreams, riders and carriages are shown on the modern highway leading from San Gabriel to the Plaza for Los Angeles’ 160th birthday fiesta. Photo taken 1941.

For more great historic photos, browse the Los Angeles Public Library’s Photo Collection.

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