Palm Desert, California

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Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 11 miles (18 km) east of Palm Springs. The population was 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state's fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s,[citation needed] beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000.

A major center of growth in the Palm Springs area, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for "snowbirds" from colder climates (the Eastern and Northern US, and Canada), who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become "full-timers" (mainly from California, who have come for affordable but high-valued home prices).

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History

The area was first known as the Old MacDonald Ranch, but the name changed to Palm Village in the 1920s when date palms were planted. Local historians said the main residents of pre-1950 Palm Desert were Cahuilla Indian farmers of the now extinct San Cayetano tribe, but a few members of the Montoya family of Cahuilla/Spanish descent were prominent leaders in civic life.[citation needed]

Palm Desert once served as a training ground for General George Patton's Third Army troops and tank battalions. After World War II, Cliff Henderson, a Los Angeles developer, began to develop the desert into his dream community.

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