A Letter From The Publisher, Jul. 15, 1957

One January day (clear in Manhattan, foggy in Los Angeles) a group of TIME editors, writers and reporters made the first plans for the cover story that appears in this issue. The reporting assignment was handed to Frank McCulloch, who was about to take over as chief of TIME's Los Angeles bureau. It was a Los Angeles-sized assignment: report, in words and pictures, the phenomenal industrial and human growth that in less than a century had turned a patch of sand in Southern California into the greatest megalopolis in the U.S.

For the picture side of the story, McCulloch called in Los...

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