Downey is a city that is located in the southern region of the US state of California. It is approximately thirteen miles away from Los Angeles and is a part of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. English is the official spoken and written language of Downey, although a large percentage of the population speaks Spanish as a first language.
When the US acquired California in the mid 19th century they found that the area around Downey had already been settled by the Spanish many years before. The Mission San Gabriel Arcangel was one of the first buildings constructed by the Spanish in 1771 and it still stands in Los Angeles today as a nationally recognized historical landmark. The city was renamed Downey in honor of John Gately Downey who was the governor of California during the US Civil War. Originally an agricultural town that produced oranges, the city adopted an industrial economy in the early 20thcentury and became famous for being home to several aeronautics and space technology companies. Work was done in Downey in the space shuttles and the Apollo missions.
Downey has a Mediterranean climate which means mild temperatures year round. Summer temperatures generally stay in the 70's or 80's Fahrenheit while winter temperatures rarely dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer is the dry season with scarce rain. Most of the areas rainfall occurs during the months of January through March.
A popular tourist attraction in Downey is the McDonald’s restaurant on the corner of Lakewood and Florence. It was the third restaurant in the chain to be built and it is the oldest surviving McDonald’s restaurant in the world. It was built in 1953 and still operates as a restaurant today.
Downey is within driving distance of Los Angeles International and Ontario International Airport. These airports offer daily flights with major domestic carriers to cities in the US, in addition to international carriers with flights to cities in Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
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