Growth on the flatlands along the western extents of Imperial Highway in the 1920s was once measured in beans, barley, and jackrabbits. After 2000, the site that became Los Angeles International Airport would be measured by the more than 60 million passengers and nearly two million tons of cargo passing through it each year. One of the world’s busiest airports grew out of Mines Field and expanded quickly in the 1930s with the exploits of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes and Will Rogers, Curtiss and Martin, and Boeing and Lockheed. After World War II, this large portion of coastal Los Angeles between El Segundo and Marina del Rey became the main airport for Greater Los Angeles. With the advent of the jet age in the town of the jet set, LAX became a nexus of international travel and a symbol of sophistication as the “Gateway to the World,” a cutting-edge center for the overlapping spheres of aviation, business, politics, and entertainment.
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