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It was nearly seventy years ago that a Japanese submarine shelled the Santa Barbara coast—the last recorded attack on a Southern California land target. In 1955, the U.S. Army installed a ring of Nike anti-aircraft missiles to defend the Los Angeles area, but by the 1974 the system had been dismantled.
In earlier times, however, Southern California was a geopolitically dynamic region at the edge of the Spanish empire and—later—the Mexican republic. While not common, warfare did occasionally mar the region's landscape.