Anaheim is situated in Orange County, about 25 miles from Los Angeles. It was a little known place until Disneyland opened in 1955, leading to a boom in population.
The first settlers were 50 families of German immigrants in 1857. Anaheim was incorporated in 1870, with the name being derived from the nearby Santa Ana River and the German term "heim," meaning "home." Anaheim became the center of California's wine industry, but a blight in the 1880's wiped out the vineyards. The cultivation of oranges replaced grapes as the backbone of Anaheim's agriculture.
In 1924, the Ku Klux Klan got four of its members elected to Anaheim's five-member board of trustees, giving them control of city government. When the Klan's plan was exposed, their representatives were successfully recalled in a special election the following year.
Disneyland opened in 1955 and almost immediately changed the face of Anaheim. In 1950, the city's population was under 15,000. In 2000, it had passed 328,000. Anaheim Stadium was built in 1966 for major league baseball. The Anaheim Convention Center opened opposite Disneyland in 1967 and Arrowhead Pond Ice Arena was built across the street from the baseball stadium to accommodate Anaheim's National Hockey League team.
Anaheim is the home of North Orange County Community College. Local history is on display at the Anaheim Museum, housed in the city's original Carnegie Library. The Hobby City Doll & Toy Museum is privately owned and has some excellent Shirley Temple dolls.
Anaheim Memorial Medical Center has served the residents of Anaheim since 1958. Anaheim's other hospital is Anaheim General Hospital.