The first official Independence Day celebration in Los Angeles, under the U.S. government, took place July 4, 1847. Los Angeles had not yet incorporated into an official U.S. city (that would happen in 1850), and the U.S. was still at war with Mexico (peace would come in 1848).
On July 4, 1847, 700 troops participated in the flag-raising ceremony, in which the Declaration of Independence was read in both English and Spanish. According to the Los Angeles Times (July 1958), the Fort Moore Pioneer Monument was dedicated July 3, 1958 to honor Los Angeles’ first Independence Day and, “is the only public art in Los Angeles portraying an historic event that occurred at the actual site of the work.”
Older Angelenos may remember the monument’s 80-foot-wide waterfall, which was turned off in a 1977 drought. In 2011, Blogdowntown reported on plans to restore the waterfall, though, even if plans move forward, work would not begin for several years. [Photo taken by the author].