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city, Alameda county, western California, U.S. It is situated on the eastern edge of the Livermore-Amador Valley, 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Oakland. The area was originally inhabited by Costanoan Indians. Located partly on the site of the Rancho Las Positas (granted to Robert Livermore and Jose Noriega in 1839), the city was founded in 1869 by William Mendenhall after the arrival of the Central Pacific Railroad. It developed as a shipping-processing point for valley products, including cattle, roses, and particularly (since the 1880s) dry white wines. Agriculture and ranching continue to be important, and the city is the site of the Livermore Stockmen's Association annual rodeo, which was first held in 1918. The establishment in 1952 of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (renamed Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in 1971 and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1979) by the University of California spurred the city's growth as a technological centre (atomic ordnance, nuclear research, medicine, and computer-related manufacturing). Livermore's population grew rapidly in the 1990s, when residents of the San Francisco Bay area moved farther from the urban core. Del Valle Dam and Reservoir and Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (which has a professional motocross track) are nearby. Inc. town, 1876; city, 1900. Pop. (1990) 56,741; (2000) 73,345.