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From the Archives: 1929 Independence Day beach crowds set record

July 4, 1929: Crowd celebrating the Fourth of July on Venice Beach beach near Lick Pier and Ocean Pa
July 4, 1929: Crowd celebrating the Fourth of July on Venice Beach beach near Lick Pier and Ocean Park Pier, Venice.
(Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

Los Angeles residents celebrated 1929’s Independence Day by swarming the beaches around Santa Monica. The crowds also led to major traffic jams. The next morning's Los Angeles Times explains:

A record crowd, estimated by Police Chief Webb in excess of 250,000, kept traffic squads here, at Ocean Park and Venice and on the beach north through the Malibu working overtime in the night of the largest Fourth of July celebration in the history of the bay district. By noon the Roosevelt coast highway was so congested with automobiles that Beverly Boulevard, the Santa Monica Canyon Road, Pico Boulevard and other arteries carrying the thousands from Los Angeles were placed under traffic restrictions entailing delays of half an hour in some instances before cars could move along.

Beach clubs and public beaches were covered with holiday-celebrating patrons. Opening of the completed portion of the coast road through the Malibu added to the congestion, thousands motoring down from the north for the day. At Ocean Park the crowd packed piers and amusement places. …

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Santa Monica Police Chief Clarence Webb served from 1921-1936, then again from 1940 to 1945. The Roosevelt Coast Highway is now Pacific Coast Highway. In 1929, the Los Angeles Times referred to Malibu as “the Malibu.”

July 4, 1929: Crowd celebrating the Fouth of July on Ocean Park Beach, Santa Monica. This image is f
July 4, 1929: Fourth of July crowd at Ocean Park Beach, Santa Monica. Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here


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