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October 3
1918 - Box-office superstar William S. Hart promotes 4th series of Liberty Loan (World War I) bonds, which went on sale Sept. 28 [story]
William S. Hart


On a voice voice without objection, the House of Representatives approved legislation Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Steve Knight to establish a St. Francis Dam National Memorial and Monument in Saugus.

H.R. 5244, the Saint Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial Act, would create a national memorial at the site of the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster in the San Francisquito Canyon, which claimed the lives of an estimated 431 people. The memorial would be funded by private donations and would establish a 440-acre national monument encompassing the designated national memorial area that was devastated in the resulting flood.

“This memorial site is important for the people of the Santa Clarita Valley and I am proud to be part of the effort to educate the public and honor the individuals who perished in the St. Francis Dam Disaster,” Knight, R-Palmdale, said in a statement.

In May Knight testified in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands about the need to memorialize the victims of the disaster. He was joined in the hearing by Dr. Alan Pollack, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, who detailed the dam’s history, beginning with its flawed design and construction and ending with its abrupt and devastating collapse. The bill then passed the Natural Resources Committee with unanimous support.

File photo: Knight holds a chunk of the broken dam at a press conference.

File photo: Knight holds a chunk of the broken dam at a press conference.

Pollack, on behalf of the Historical Society, together with Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel of the local Community Hiking Club, had worked with Knight in developing the legislation. Pollack expressed his gratitude Tuesday.

“I thank the House of Representatives for passing HR 5244,” Pollack said. “Thank you to our congressman, Steve Knight, for his dedication and leadership in getting this bill passed.”

“This legislation is long overdue,” said Knight. “The victims of the St. Francis Dam Disaster deserve to be memorialized, and that’s exactly why we are here today. I am pleased that my colleagues in the House recognize the importance of honoring the individuals who perished in the St. Francis Dam Disaster.”

On Tuesday Knight spoke on the House floor, again urging his colleagues to support the Memorial. After his speech, the House voted unanimously to pass the legislation.

“Now we move on to the Senate,” said Pollack, “where we hope for a swift bill passage so that we can finally and appropriately honor the memory of all those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy.”

 

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5 Comments

  1. I am so pleased for the work that Congressman Knight has devoted to this wonderful bill. FINALLY the families of the victims will have some closure…..Now, on tot he senate for a vote!

    • Alan Pollack says:

      And in addition to Congressman Knight, we owe much gratitude to Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel, without whose dedication and expertise, none of this would have been possible. I look forward to working with Dianne, Congressman Knight, and the US Forest Service in the years to come to create a beautiful National Memorial at the St Francis Dam site. And we will need all your help in this endeavor, as we will need to raise sufficient funds to do right for the victims of the dam disaster. But first…let’s win over the Senate, so we can get the job done!

  2. Jennifer Marquez says:

    Help me understand why is this important?? Wouldn’t a bigger place to serve the homeless be more practical? I think honoring the dead is great but serving the living is a better use of time and resources. Why is closure from a 1928 disaster needed? A near century old disaster. Were you even alive then, or have a relative connected to this event alive still? If it was SO important to the people of the SCV valley, why did it take 88 years to produce a bill to create a memorial. This is a waste of resources. It is NOT important to the people in the SCV valley, vast majority of the people didn’t even know it had happened, or care to be truthful. The memories of those lost are held in the families of those who lived here. A better use of funds, resources, and time could be allocated somewhere else useful to the people who are living.

  3. Mbb says:

    To Jennifer: Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana

  4. jacqueline Saldana says:

    I agree with Jennifer Marquez! Why now? Why not long ago? What has taken so long? I respect the decision but why the big hurry? Does this have to do with the election and the BARRON RIDGE PROJECT? Let’s talk about how I live in this area and how Edison bribed our community with all kinds of promises and lots of MONEY. I havent seen much of the upgrades with this money that our community was suppose to receive. Or did it go into the hands of REAL ESTATE PEOPLE to buy up lands in green valley? OR to pay people to harass those who disapprove of this kind of cover up? To start lies and make fun and call people names because of their race! I am so tired of feeling like I live in a fish bowl… I am tired of comments from unhappy neighbors who finally have stopped harassing me. Only to find out that some of the water wells in OUR PRIVATE WATER DISTRICT ARE CONTAMINATED! No ONE told me until the other day. I have been sick with impetigo and had to go to the HOSPITAL on CHRISTMAS EVE. How did this happen? I know bad water!!! Who is the trader here? I do not want to believe that people could be that deceitful and organized or that i would be that special as to feel i have been a target! I want the real truth. I have not received any more calls from STEVE KNIGHTS tele town hall conferences. OOPS! Maybe I was only suppose to hear that there’s a PROBLEM in BOUQUET CANYON and that they need to call Arizona for help! I am assuming it is the CONTAMINATED WATER that has not been fixed yet and that the people cant take showers that get some of their water from the creek. And how other peoples water tanks are contaminated with rust coming out of their water pipes! I know it has always been a fight between the people and the forestry. It is FEDERAL LAND. So one would think that OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD TAKE CARE OF THIS SO CALLED EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT WAS SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN THAT HASN’T! Instead they have VOLUNTEERS SPRAYING HERBICIDAL POISON FOR THE
    NON indigenous tree called ANGEL and THE SCENT IS CALLED HEAVEN! I still have not received an answer from the forestry if this is harmful to humans or animals! I wish our Federal Government would fund what is IMPORTANT and take into consideration people who are still alive than those who are already dead! UNLESS this is your plan to ruin human and animal life!

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