South Gate is the seventeenth largest city in Los Angeles County, California, with 7.4 square miles. South Gate is located 7 miles (11 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles It is part of the Gateway Cities region of southeastern Los Angeles County. The city was incorporated on January 20, 1923, and it became known as the “Azalea City” when it adopted the flower as its symbol in 1965. In 1990, South Gate was one of ten U.S. communities to receive the All-America City Award from the National Civic League.
South Gate was the location of a General Motors automobile manufacturing facility called South Gate Assembly which was built in 1936. Originally built to manufacture Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac vehicles, it was converted to war production after 1940, and was the primary supplier of aircraft engines for the B-24 Liberator, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, and the Douglas C-54 Skymaster, as the Douglas and Consolidated companies has aircraft manufacturing facilities in Long Beach and San Diego. During the 1950s, it was GM’s highest producing facility. The plant was closed in 1982 and is now the location of South East High School as of 2005.
Schools located in South Gate include: 18 public (13 elementary, 3 high school and 2 middle high school) and two parochial schools. Adult Education classes are conducted at both the junior and senior high schools. The City is also served by 3 community colleges (Compton, Cerritos and East Los Angeles—main campus and South Gate satellite) and 3 California State Universities (Dominguez Hills, Long Beach and Los Angeles.)
South Gate Park covers a total of 96.8 acres (392,000 m2), and is the largest park within the city limits. This park is used to carry out most of the Parks and Recreation Department’s community programs. There are a total of six different facilities at this park, some of which can be rented out for a variety of events. These facilities include the Municipal Auditorium, Girls Club House, 9 hole Par 3 Golf Course, Senior Recreation Center, Swim Stadium, and Sports Center. The site also features athletic fields, outdoor basketball courts, two playgrounds, tennis courts, a skate park, several shaded areas for picnics, and a Jr. Hockey Rink.