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Friday, July 20, 2007

The Founding Father of Surfin' USA

George Freeth, whose mother was native Hawaiian, brought the sport of surfing from Hawaii to Southern California 100 years ago this Sunday.

Freeth came to Venice on July 22nd, 1907 at age 24 and by the end of the month, it was reported in the news that a Hawaiian was riding the waves on a board on the north end of Venice.

As if it weren't enough to bring what later would become the cultural phenomenon of surfing to Southern California's shores, Freeth is also revered as a pioneering lifeguard. [Link]
A statue at Redondo Beach Pier also gives Freeth credit for inventing the "torpedo shaped rescue buoy that is now used world wide." If not for George Freeth, a lot more people would have drowned on Baywatch.

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