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City of Angels

July 11, 1999

Raymond Chandler may have popularized "City of Angels" but he was not the first to use that nickname for Los Angeles (letter, July 3). Consider this: "It cannot be denied but that the City of Angels is now enjoying a season of business prosperity almost without parallel in her history." While that might read like a puff piece in today's Business section, it's from the Dec. 4, 1891, 10th anniversary issue of The Times, quoting a line that had appeared a decade earlier in the paper. The phrase's origin is lost, but it was used frequently by correspondents in the letters column during the 1880s.

RALPH E. SHAFFER, History Department, Cal Poly Pomona

Shaffer's anthology of letters to The Times, 1881-1889, can be found at http://www.csupomona.edu/~reshaffer.

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