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Saturday, February 2, 2008

March 12, 1928 St. Francis Dam Collapses - Historic Lecture

Shel Weisbach, Contemporary History and Popular Culture Director for The Museum of the San Fernando Valley alerts the Museum Community to an important lecture.

80 Years Later, Dam Still Fascinates Historians
SCVHS sponsors free lecture on St. Francis Dam disaster for students and history buffs March 8; fundraiser tour to be conducted March 9.

The second-worst natural disaster in California history occurred March 12, 1928 when the St. Francis Dam collapsed, sending a wall of water
rushing through San Francisquito Canyon and the Santa Clara River
canyons, killing 450 and laying waste to thousands of acres of land. To

commemorate the 80th anniversaryof the disaster, the Santa Clarita
Valley Historical Society will host two events exploring the dam break
and its aftermath.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, March 8, noted dam lecturer Frank Rock will give a
free 90-minute lecture on the disaster at the Saugus Train Station in
Heritage Junction, which will include a multimedia presentation of
photographs, maps and other memorabilia. Doors will open at noon for
lecture; no reservations will be taken, so arrive early for a good

On Sunday, March 9, Rock will conduct a motorcoach tour and hike of the

dam ruins as a fundraiser for the Society at 1 p.m. Tickets for the
Sunday lecture and tour are $35 per person, which includes water and
snacks. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and long
pants for the moderate hike. The tour will last approximately three
hours, when the motor coaches will return to Heritage Junction.

Rock is a historian who has been featured on the History Channel,
Discover and the Learning Channel and is considered the expert on the
disaster. He is currently working with noted geologist J. David Rogers
on a book about the disaster and has lectured on the disaster at the
California Conference of Historical Societies Symposium, College of the

Canyons and other groups of historical interest.

Tour reservations may be made via credit card by calling (661) 254-1275

or by mail by sending check or money order to the Santa Clarita Valley
Historical Society, P.O. Box 221925, Newhall, CA, 91322-1925. Seats are

limited, so make reservations early to guarantee a spot for the tour.
Any remaining seats will be sold the day of the tour on a first-come,
first-served basis. Unforseen road or forest closures may cause
cancellation of the tour.

Alan Pollack, MD
President and Program Chairman
Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society

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