The “Tar Pits”

APPARENTLY, on this day in 1769 Explorer Gaspar de Portola made the first-ever recorded mention of the La Brea “tar pits” in Los Angeles: “The 3rd, we proceeded for three hours on a good road; to the right of it were extensive swamps of bitumen which is called chapapote. We debated whether this substance, which flows melted from underneath the earth, could occasion so many earthquakes.”

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