The Beacon on Mount Diablo was originally installed and illuminated in 1928 to aid in transcontinental aviation. It is one of the four guiding beacons installed along the west coast by Standard Oil of California and is the only one known to still be operational.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Beacon’s light was extinguished during the west coast blackout, for fear it could enable an attack on California. It stayed dark until Pearl Harbor Day in 1964, when Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces during World War II, relit the Beacon in a commemorative ceremony and suggested it be illuminated every December 7th to honor those who served and sacrificed.
Since that day, Pearl Harbor veterans and their families have gathered every December 7th to see the Beacon light shine once again.
The Beacon now shines brighter than ever since it underwent an extensive restoration process in 2013 (thanks to a campaign led by Save Mount Diablo) to ensure it continues to shine for many more years. The Pearl Harbor Survivors now know that the Beacon will shine long after they are gone.
The Beacon is lit at sunset and shines all night on this evening each year. Beginning this year, it was also lit on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. On Sunday, April 11, 2021, Save Mount Diablo concluded a year of lighting the Beacon weekly to bring light and hope to our region during the worst of the pandemic.