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Santa Monica Beach, 1936

Santa Monica Beach, 1936

July 19, 1936: On a hot day in Southern California, the beach in front of the Deauville Beach Club building gets very crowded.

A page one story in the Sunday, July 19, 1936, Los Angeles Times reported:

Los Angeles awoke yesterday to the hottest day of the year.

At sunrise the thermometer registered 74 deg., 4 deg. higher than the same hour Friday. By 9 a.m. the mercury had soared to 85 deg. and at noon the temperature was recorded at 97 deg., establishing a 1936 record, 2 deg. higher than Friday’s 95….

The air temperature at Santa Monica and adjoining beach resorts registered 80 deg. at noon, while water temperatures were reported at from 71 to 74 deg…

Heavy undertows and occasional rip tides along the coast kept life guards busy rescuing bathers who braved the waters too far from shore.

The above photo by former Times staff photographer Horton Churchill was not published in 1936, but later used in the Dec. 1, 1975, Los Angeles Times. Two other photos below by Churchill were taken the same hot July weekend and published in the Los Angeles Times.

July 19, 1936: Published caption in July 20, 1936, Los Angeles Times:

How to keep cool and comfortable at the beach was a problem confronting several hundred thousands of persons yesterday. At Santa Monica the camera recorded this view. During the peak reading of the thermometer bathers found themselves packed almost as close as tinned sardines. Three-quarters of a million persons sought relief from the heat along the beaches from Malibu to Newport.

Credit: Horton Churchill/Los Angeles Times

July 18, 1936: Published caption in the July 19, 1936, Los Angeles Times:

There are a lot of people and umbrellas in this picture but only a few compared with the throng which crowded the beach during morning hours and again late in the day when the sun was near the setting point. Thousands deserted the ocean during the humid afternoon but returned toward nightfall. The photo shows the thinned afternoon crowd near Santa Monica Pier. Reports indicate both west and south beaches crowded with week-end visitors.

Credit: Horton Churchill/Los Angeles Times

1 Comment

  1. June 27, 2013, 1:03 pm

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    By: greytv

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