- A trip to the beach, the smell of the ocean air, the feel of sand on your feet, the sound of the waves continually crashing. This timeless tradition is but a rare experience for some and a daily occurrence for others. Yet, one medallic issue commemorates and depicts a beach day in 1933 for one of Southern California's most popular beaches, the Santa Monica Pier and breakwater.
1933 SC$1 HK-687 Aluminum Santa Monica Breakwater. PCGS MS62.
By the time the medal issued for the commemoration of the opening of the Santa Monica breakwater was minted and issued in 1933, the pier had already seen a long and interesting history. Piers on the East Coast of the United States had been popular destinations for people looking to spend the day having fun and enjoying various amusements. Other pier projects had appeared on the California coast to bring this experience to the people of the West Coast, and it was decided by the city of Santa Monica that building a municipal pier would be in the city's best interest, so construction began in 1908.
After six months of construction and at a cost of $100,000, the pier opened to the public in 1909. It started at the foot of Colorado Avenue measuring 1,600 feet long with a width of 30 feet and height of 21 feet above the tide level. Opening on September 9, 1909, the 59th anniversary of California being admitted into the Union of the United States, over 1,000 people showed up to walk out onto the pier for the opening. Along with fishing and swimming, this festive occasion saw concerts played all day long. Two United States cruiser ships, the USS St. Louis (C-20) and USS Albany (CL-23), were stationed on the pier for people to be able to board and tour. Upon the closing of the opening day ceremonies, a show in which an actor portraying Neptune (the God of the Sea) stepped out declaring he would destroy the pier, at which point an actress portraying Queen Santa Monica appeared to declare that Neptune had no power to do so as the pier was made of concrete; dejected, Neptune jumped off the pier into the ocean defeated by the man-made concrete pier and Queen Santa Monica.Read the Entire Article