"Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown."

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.": “The story of California in the 20th century is really the story of water. The state exists as it is today because of the efforts of a few powerful men to move water from where it was plentiful to where it was not. One of the most powerful and influential was William Mulholland, the head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from 1886 to 1928. The Los Angeles areas is essentially a desert, and Mulholland’s most important achievement while in office was the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a 250-mile-long pipeline from the Owens River to the San Fernando Valley. On November 5, 1913, with the words ‘There it is. Take it,’ Mulholland opened a valve at a San Fernando reservoir, the water began to flow, and modern Los Angeles was born. The building of the pipeline and the maneuvering Mulholland and his cronies performed to bring it about have become known as the Rape of the Owens Valley, and Chinatown tells its story. If you’ve noticed a similarity between the names ‘Hollis Mulwray’ and ‘William Mulholland,’ you can assume it’s not a coincidence.”


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