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Greater Southern California

Pasadena History

Historical Overview

The history of Pasadena, California is one that paints a picture not just of our beloved city, but also of greater Southern California as a whole.


Pasadena was founded in 1874 by a group of pioneers who were attracted to the area's natural beauty, and potential for growth. The city's early development was marked by the establishment of schools, churches, and businesses, as well as the construction of homes and infrastructure.

Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Pasadena also has a rich cultural history that includes significant contributions to the arts. In the early 20th century, the city was home to the influential Arts and Crafts Movement, which emphasized traditional craftsmanship and design in art and architecture. Today, locals and visitors alike can find examples of this movement all over the region. Additionally, the Pasadena Playhouse (founded in 1917) serves as the official State Theatre of California, and played an important role in shaping American stagecraft.


Pasadena played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, with local leaders and activists working tirelessly to promote equality and justice. The movement led to significant changes in the city, including the desegregation of schools and public spaces.


Today, Pasadena is a thriving city with a rich history and diverse community. The city continues to be a hub of innovation and creativity, with world-class institutions like Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory driving scientific progress. 


Pasadena's economy experienced a significant boost in the late 19th and early 20th centuries due to the rise of the orange grove industry. Throughout this period, the city's agricultural output grew substantially, leading to increased prosperity and growth.


As the city grew, traditions and cultural events began to emerge. The Tournament of Roses Parade is one of Pasadena's most beloved celebrations, attracting visitors from around the world each year. The parade began in 1890 as a way to showcase the city's beautiful weather and natural beauty, and has since grown into a massive celebration of art, culture, and community.

Check out The Tournament of Roses Parade
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