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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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November 30, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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November 30, 2012
 

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m Above and below right: USMS in front of El Encanto Photo courtesy of Catalina Island Holiday Tour Exhibition "First Line of Defense" ' opens Dec. 7 COURTESY OF THE CATALINA ISLAND MUSEUM Few people realize the impor- tant role Catalina Island played in the defense of our nation during Forces," said John Boraggina, the World War II. "First Line of De- Catalina Island Museum's curator. fense: Catalina Island and World "This exhibition will bring to life War II" will explore how Cata- the struggles and sacrifices of citi- lina Island was transformed from zens and servicemen as they pre- a carefree paradise into a Federal pared for war on the 'magic isle.'" Military~ Zone used for training, On Dec. 7, 1941 the most dev- coastal defense, and covert opera- astating attack in United States tions, history occurred at Pearl Harbor. The exhibit will open on Fri- Instantly the country was thrust day, Dec. 7, the anniversary of the into the Second World War. Cata- attack on Pearl Harbor. lina Island was at the height of its Derived from the Catalina Is- ~ golden age, bursting at the seams land Museum's own extensive ar- with premier entertainment and a chive, the exhibition will feature wealth of activities that attracted letters, photographs, rare film visitors from around the globe. footage of training exercises, top- The effects of the day that secret weapons and recently de- Would "live in infamy" quickly classified military documents, rippled across the Pacific to the~ "The activities that took place sun-kissed beaches of Catalina on Catalina Island during World Island, destroying its carefree in- War II helped turn the tide against nocence. Citizens and the military the Axis powers. The OSS train- feared that if Catalina Island were ing which took place at Toyon Bay captured, the west coast of the and Howland's Landing paved United States would be in peril. the way for what we know today Tourist travel to the Island was as the CIA and America's Special almost immediately halted. With- in two weeks, the United States Coast Guard ordered regularly scheduled steamship passenger service to cease. The U.S. government declared Catalina Island a Federal Military Zone and designated the San Pe- dro Channel a controlled area for vessels. During the war years, the Island provided isolated locations for a top-secret radar facility that defended Southern California and a training ground for the world's most covert organization, the Of- Top: Swimming through fire exercise. Above: USMS rice of Strategic Services. "First Line of Defense" will run from Dec. 7, 2012 through April 28, 2013 and can only be viewed at the Catalina Island Museum. The anti:aircraft guns on Catalina. Photo courtesy of Catalina Island Museum museum will hold an opening re- ception for "First Line of Defense: Catalina Island and World War II" from 6-9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7. Tickets are free for members of WINTER ISLANDER SPECIAL $40 MONTHLY- c=asses) : (31o) 51o-o7oo 1OO Falls Canyon Road Catallrla-. > - PC~Box 1563, Avalon 90704 www.ClMedicalCenter.org Island. 1edlc al Center A destination for patient-centered excellence and health enrichment. THE OATAUNA ISLANDER November 30, 2012 i g