A mid-sized, landlocked city located within the central region of Orange County, Westminster, California, is a city with a population of nearly 90,000, as of 2000 census figures. Residents here have a median household income of around $50,000, and the city has one of the largest Vietnamese communities in the nation. It encompasses an area just over 10 square miles, all of which is land. The city is bordered by Seal Beach to the west, Garden Grove to the north and east, and Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley to the south.
Westminster was founded in 1870 by Rev. Lemuel Webber as a Presbyterian temperance colony, and as such the city takes its name from the Westminster Assembly of 1643, which designed and conferred the basic tenets of the Presbyterian denomination. The city incorporated in 1957 with about 11,000 residents. In the 1970s, during the height of the war in Vietnam, a large number of refugees from the country fled and arrived here, settling into an area now officially known as Little Saigon.
Public schools in the city include five elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools. Kindred Hospital Westminster provides medical services and care to residents. Today around a third of the city's population is Vietnamese, and the city has a strong presence of that country's heritage, culture and cuisine. There is a large Vietnam War Memorial.
Popular points of interest here include the Westminster Mall, with a food court, 180 specialty stores and four department stores; Liberty Skate Park; Westminster Ice Palace skating/hockey rink; the Hoover Golf Practice Center; and the Blakey Historical Park and Museum. Annual events include summer concerts, Saint Patrick’s Family Festival and the Blessed Sacrament Parish Festival. The Westminster Rose Center is a nearly 34,000-square-foot banquet hall with a theater that seats nearly 500.
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