The Santa Monica History Museum held a celebration at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club July 15 to mark the city’s 135th birthday.
Among the guests attending the event were former mayors Pam O’Connor and Richard Bloom; City Council member Gleam Davis; Santa Monica Fire Engine 6 Battalion Chief Jose Torres and Capt. Dan Watje; several firefighters; Jane Newcomb Whiting, whose parents once owned the eastern end of the Santa Monica Pier; and Darlene Bahr, president of the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club.
The event included a surprise visit by actress Gloria Stuart, best known for her role as Rose in James Cameron’s Titanic, one of the most popular and highest-grossing movies of all time. Accompanying her to the event was her daughter, Sylvia.
Stuart, who just celebrated her 100th birthday on July 4, shared memories of her life in Santa Monica where she was born, attended Sixth Street School, the city’s first school, and graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1927. She is a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild and has appeared on stage, in television and in more than 30 films.
The program included a screening of the film “Santa Monica, The Way It Was,” produced by movie director and former Santa Monica resident Ken Wales for the city’s centennial celebration in 1975 and donated to the museum.
A scroll from state Sen. Fran Pavley was presented to the city and a festively designed birthday cake featuring “135” in large numerals was cut and passed out to all in attendance. A display of many rare photographs from the museum also was available for viewing while the cake and refreshments were served.