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Surf & Rescue: George Freeth and the Birth of California Beach Culture WNP Event

Jul 28, 2022 6:00pm-7:30pm (Thursday) at Virtual Event

Western Neighborhoods Project is thrilled to host a virtual author talk by Patrick Moser, who recently published "Surf & Rescue: George Freeth and the Birth of California Beach Culture," on Thursday, July 28, 2022 at 6:00pm.

"Surf & Rescue" is about a mixed-race Hawaiian athlete named George Freeth who brought surfing to Venice, California in 1907. Over the next twelve years, Freeth taught Southern Californians to surf and swim while creating a modern lifeguard service that transformed the beach into a destination for fun, leisure, and excitement.

Patrick Moser places Freeth's inspiring life story against the rise of the Southern California beach culture he helped shape and define. Freeth made headlines with his rescue of seven fishermen, an act of heroism that highlighted his innovative lifequarding techniques. But he also founded California's first surf club and coached both male and female athletes, including Olympic swimming champion and "father of modern surfing" Duke Kahanamoku.

Moser's work contextualizes the surf history we've long held dear at Kelly's Cove on Ocean Beach, and the book also features several photographs from our OpenSFHistory Archive. Hear how Freeth and Kahanamoku are connected to Sutro Baths and San Francisco and so much more.

This online event is free but you do need to register in advance and donations are always appreciated.

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