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Peace Monuments
in Southern California (USA)

Click here for peace monuments in Northern California.

N.B. This web page has three parts: (1) Los Angeles Area, (2) San Diego Area, and (3) Remainder of Southern California.

(1) Los Angeles Area

Right click image to enlarge.

1770 - ''Mars & Venus: Allegory of Peace" by Louis Jean François Lagrenée [1724-1805], Getty Center, Los Angeles, California (USA). 33 9/16 x 29 3/4 x 2 in.


August 6, 1906 - El Camino Real, Alta California (USA). "El Camino Real (Spanish for The Royal Road, also known as The King's Highway), sometimes associated with Calle Real, usually refers to the historic 600-mile (966-kilometer) road connecting the former Alta California's 21 missions (along with a number of sub-missions), four presidios & three pueblos, stretching from Mission San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego in the south to Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma north. /// Modern El Camino Real was one of the first state highways in California. Given the lack of standardized road signs at the time, it was decided to place distinctive bells along the route, hung on supports in the form of an 11-foot (3.4 m) high shepherd's crook, also described as a 'Franciscan walking stick.' The first of 450 bells were unveiled on August 15, 1906, at the Plaza Church in the Pueblo near Olvera Street in Los Angeles. A California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) restoration program resulted in the installation of 555 El Camino Real Bell Markers in 2005. The original 1906 bell molds were used to fabricate the replacement bells."


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December 13, 1925 - Frank A. Miller Testimonial Peace Tower & Friendshp Bridge, Mount Rubidoux, Riverside, California (USA). "Erected...in recognition of his constant labor in the promotion of civic beauty, community righteousness & world peace." Frank Augustus Miller [1857-1935] founded the Mission Inn in Riverside & Institute of World Affairs (which is now the World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California). Tower bears the names & coats of arms of all nations as of 1925. Bridge is replica of the Alcántara bridge in Spain. 1 of 40 monuments in "Peace Symbols" by Zonia Baber (1948), pp. 48-49. Entry #111 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

1932 - Americal Tropical, Italian Hall, Olvera Street, Los Angeles, California (USA). By David Alfaro Siqueiros [1896-1974]. "According to the text on a plaque on Main Street, Siqueiros was invited to paint a mural on the second floor exterior wall of the building. The mural (featuring an Indian bound to a double cross, surmounted by an imperialist eagle, and surrounded by pre-Columbian symbols and revolutionary figures) was considered hightly controversial." "The mural was partially whitewashed shortly after its completion, and then fully painted over within its first year on public view, beginning a legacy of censorship that still haunts Los Angeles. In the 1970's, 40 years after it was painted over, the image began to reemerge from the whitewash."


1935 - Garden of Peace, Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School, 456 South Mathews Street, Los Angeles, California (USA). Inscription on plaque: "GARDEN OF PEACE. A dedication ceremony was held in June 2005 to commemorate the naming of the restored Japanese Garden built in 1996 by Roosevelt HS Alumni and friends. The gardern was named "HEIWA-EN", garden of peace, to reflect our hope for future generations. The original garden was build by the RHS Japanese Club students in 1935, led by Shigeo Takayama, Club president. // Through Mr. Saigeo Tskayama's generosity the garden underwent a major upgrade in 2005, designed by Haroo Yamashira, an award winning landscape contractor..."


August 20, 1950 - Gandhi World Peace Memorial, Lake Shrine, Self-Realization Fellowship, Pacific Palisades, California (USA). The focal point of the memorial is a thousand-year-old stone sarcophagus from China, in which a portion of Gandhi's ashes are encased in a brass and silver coffer. The sarcophagus is flanked by two statues of Guan Yin.

April 1968 - Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument, Montebello, California (USA). "In Los Angeles metropolitan area. Better known as Montebello Genocide Memorial. Dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. A tower of eight arches supported on 75-foot-tall (23 m) white concrete columns. Designed by Hrant Agbabian. The oldest & largest memorial in the USA dedicated to the Armenian Genocide victims."


1968 - Campana de Dolores / Bell of Dolores, Placita de Dolores / Plaza of Dolores, Los Angeles, California (USA). Replica of the bell associated with Mexican independence. "Actualmente, la Campana de Dolores se encuentra en la alta cornisa del balcon presidencial de Palacio Nacional, junto al Zocalo de la Ciudad de Mexico. Cada 15 de septiembre el presidente en turno la hace sonar, en conmemoracion del aniversario del inicio del proceso independentista mexicano."

May 4, 1969 - "Peace on Earth" fountain, Los Angeles Music Center, Los Angeles, California (USA). By Cubist Jacques Lipchitz [1891-1973]. "Portrays a dove descending to earth with the spirit of peace, symbolized by the Madonna, standing inside a tear shaped canopy, supported by a base of reclining lambs. The architects opposed placing sculpture in the plaza between the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Mark Taper Forum. Today, no work of public art in Los Angeles is more photographed." "Water jets shoot out of holes in the paving tiles. The fountain jets radiate out of the side forming a cross."


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May 1969 - Bust of Ralph Bunche, Bunche Hall, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California (USA). Has 25 General Assigment Classrooms, of which 16 are Media-Equipped. Images show Palm Court inside the hall & Bunche with Chancellor Charles Young at the hall's dedication. Ralph Bunche [1903-1971], was graduated from UCLA in 1927, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, & died December 10, 1971, at age 68.


October 3, 1976 - Korean Bell of Friendship, Angel's Gate Recreation Center, 3601 South Gaffey Street, San Pedro, California (USA). Near Los Angeles (whose sister city in Korea is Pusan). Gift from Korea to the people of the USA for the US bicentennial. Entry #80 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

1978 - The Great Wall of Los Angeles, Tujunga Flood Control Channel, Los Angeles, California (USA). "One of LA’s cultural landmarks and one of the country’s most respected and largest monuments to inter-racial harmony (2,754 feet wide). Represents the history of ethnic peoples of California from prehistoric times to the 1950’s. Conceived by Judith F. Baca, artistic director and founder of the Social & Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). Begun in 1974 and completed over five summers, employed over 400 youth and their families from diverse social and economic backgrounds working with artists, oral historians, ethnologists, scholars, and hundreds of community members." Click here for "The Art of the Mural" by Judy Baca.

1981 - "Mur Murs," Los Angeles, California (USA). A film about the mural art of Los Angeles by French director Agnes Varda. Click here for complete download.

1982 - Bicentennial Friendship Fountain, Sterns Whart, base of State Street, Santa Barbra, Calfornia (USA). Sculpted by local artist James (Bud) Bottoms.
1987 - Fuente de los Delfines / Fountain of the Dolphins, Malecon, Puerto Vallarta (Mexico). Sculpted by James (Bud) Bottoms in sister city Santa Barbara, California (USA).


1984 - International World Peace Rose Garden, Gandhi World Peace Memorial, Lake Shrine, Self-Realization Fellowship, Pacific Palisades, California (USA).


About 1990 - Bell, Gardena Buddhist Church, 1517 West 166th Street, Gardena (near Los Angeles), California (USA). Related to Gardena's sister city Ichikawa (a suburb of Tokyo), Chiba Prefecture (Japan). Cast by Sotetsu Iwasawa, Iwasawa no Bonsho Co., Ltd., Kyoto (Japan).


1991 - "Chain Reaction," Santa Monica Civic Center, Santa Monica, California (USA). Directly across the street from Rand Corporation headquarters (monument visible at bottom of right image). A 26-foot mushroom cloud made from links of a massive chain. Text of plaque: "This is a statement of peace. May it never become an epitaph. Paul Conrad 1991." Designed by Paul Conrad [1924-2010], chief editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times 1964-1993 (& syndicated to 100's of newspapers worldwide). See video. "Gifted to the City of Santa Monica through a $250,000 anonymous donation..." Said to be structurally weak in 2011. "Save Our Sculpture" (SOS) campaign organized by Jerry Peace Activist Rubin. Officially declared a City Landmark by unanimous vote of the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission on July 9, 2012.

1991 - Mural Dedicated to Peace, Hyperion Avenue & Sunset, East Los Angeles, California (USA). Painted by local youth for the Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance.

1991 - Peace Memorial, Civic Center Park, Palm Desert, California (USA). Artists Ross Andrews & Marton Varo. Honors all veterans. Five 10-foot tall, free standing monoliths flanking a terraced triangular dais from which erupts a flame-like composition of a sculptured stone slab. The flame symbolizes peace in the shadow of the gray monoliths. Inscriptions of those desert residents who lost their lives defending peace are placed on the Memorial. The center shadow is inscribed with a letter from the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell."


1993 - Museum of Tolerence, Simon Wiesenthal Center, 9786 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, California (USA). Entry #87 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).


August 6, 1995 - Sadako Peace Garden, 800 El Bosque Road, Santa Barbara, California (USA). Designed by Isabelle Greene & Irma Cavet. A project of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & La Casa de Maria. Dedicated on 50th anniversary of Hiroshima. Joined the Gardens for Peace network on June 30, 2002. Entry #154 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

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1998 - "A shenere un besere velt / A more beautiful & better world," Workmen’s Circle building, 1525 South Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles, California (USA). "Mural by Eliseo Silva (an immigrant from the Philippines) explores numerous themes including Jewish holidays, culture, education, traditional Jewish support for labor & social justice, universal healthcare, immigrant rights & the Yiddish language, as well as the historic struggles against fascism & totalitarianism. Depicts great Yiddish writers, such as Mendele, Sholem Aleichem & Peretz, cultural leaders such as Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King & Sugi Hara, and the Jewish holidays are celebrated in bigger than life size. Speaks not only to the Jewish community, but to other immigrant communities in Los Angeles."


January 26, 2001 - World Peace Bell, Maguire Gardens, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, California (USA). One of 23 World Peace Bells placed in 16 different countries by the World Peace Bell Association (WPBA) of Tokyo, Japan.

December 15, 2002 - Memorial Statue of Chiune "Sempo" Sugihara, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California (USA). Life-size statue by Ramon Velazco depicting Sugihard seated on a bench and holding a visa in his hand. Inscribed from the Talmud: "He who saves one life, saves the entire world." Unveiling attended by attended by Sugihara's son Chiaki Sugihara, 64, from Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. Shiune Sugihara [1900-1986] was a Japanese diplomat who helped thousands of Jews leave the Soviet Union while serving as consul of the Empire of Japan in Lithuania.


June 10, 2003 - Isla Vista Peace Monument, Perfect Park, Isla Vista, California (USA). Near University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). At site of numerous anti-Vietnam War concerts, rallies & peace events in the late 1960's and early 1970's, culminating in the historic sit-in of June 10, 1970 (right image).
2005 - "Peace Not War" Mural, Highways Art Center, Olympic & 18th Street, Santa Monica, California (USA).


October 4, 2007 - Paderewski Monument, Flora L. Thornton School of Music, University of Southern Californa, Los Angeles, California (USA). /// Ignacy Jan Paderewski [1860-1941] was a legendary Polish pianist, composer and statesman. "At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, which formally concluded WW-I, Paderewski & US President Woodrow Wilson reestablished the borders of Poland with the signing & ratification of the Treaty of Versailles. Shortly thereafter, Paderewski became Poland's Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs." June 24, 2011 - Paderewski Monument, Institute of Musicology, Jagiellonion University, Krakow (Poland). "Features a replica of a statue of Paderewski donated by Paso Robles resident Harry E. Blythe."
Spring 2004 - Statue of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Polish Embassy, Washington, DC (USA). Life-sized, weighs approximately 400 pounds. Created by renowned sculptor Jessie Corsaut at the Monterey Sculpture Center in California. Heroic size statue of Paderewski as a young man. "Temporarily installed in the embassy garden until it can be relocated to a permanent public setting in the city." Donated by Harry E. Blythe III, a well known philanthropist, who owns a significant portion of Rancho San Ignacio in Paso Robles, California, formerly owned by Paderewski. Blythe is a lover of Paderewski's music & a collector of his memorabilia. Similar monuments at University of Southern California, at Rancho San Ignacio, & at Jagiellonion University in Krakow (Poland).

April 25, 2009 - Vietnamese Boat People Monument, Westminster, Orange County, California (USA). Memorializes the tens of thousands who died in the high seas as they tried to escape communist Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon in April 1975. Built by Cam Ai Tran and Hap Tu Thai who escaped from Vietnam in 1979 by a boat which capcized, forcing them to swim ashore near Hai Nam Island in the South China Sea.


September 12, 2010 - Two Robert F. Kennedy Murals, Paul Schrade Library Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Los Angeles, California (USA). By Professor Judy Baca. Named "Tiny Ripples of Hope" & "See Through Others Eyes" (RFK with Caesar Chavez [1927-1993]). "The schools are a K-12 complex located on the site of the Ambassador Hotel where Senator Robert F. Kennedy [1925-1968] was assassinated on June 5, 1968. Schools in the RFK Network embody Kennedy's social justice legacy." Paul Schrade was wounded in the same shooting.

August 13, 2013 - "Friendship & Peace Bell," Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, California (USA). "A bell was unveiled in a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday as a monument to long-standing ties between the hospital & its sister facility in South Korea. Named 'the Friendship and Peace Bell,' it rang Wednesday in the dedication ceremony. It did not ring only to mark the unveiling but also because when the dedication took place it was Thursday in South Korea. That is Korean Independence Day... The bell was made by Won Gwang-sik, who crafted the Bosingak Bell [sic], which is designated as South Korea’s National Treasure No. 2."

January 1, 2017 "HOLLYWeeD," Mount Lee, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (USA). "A prankster around 3 am on Sunday morning draped tarps over the iconic "HOLLYWOOD" sign, transforming the O's in 'WOOD' into lowercase e's...[and] nestling a peace sign & the drawing of a heart into the bottom right corners of the two letters..." His intent was more likely to invoke marijuana than any serious message about peace.

(2) San Diego Area

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1851 - Boundary Monument, Friendship Park, on international border between Border Field State Park, San Diego, California (USA), & Tijuana (Mexico). Monument of Italian marble made in New York, shipped around Cape Horn, and erected in 1851 (soon after the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848). When area started being call a Friendship Park has not be determined. Fence now separates the two countries and the monument. Mexican lighthouse and bull ring visible in background.


About 1900 - Temple of Peace, International Theosophical Headquarters, Point Loma, San Diego, California (USA). "In 1896 Madame Katherine Tingley [1847-1929] became the leader of the Theosophical Society. In 1897 she purchased a sanitarium to found 'an Athens of the West' at Point Loma. She changed its name to the Academy (Homestead) and used it as a living quarters and as a schoolroom for the fine arts. In 1900 she completed the construction of this building by adding a stain-glass dome and then built the circular Temple of Peace next to the Academy." Image shows Raja-Yoga Academy (left) and Temple of Peace (right).

December 11, 1960 - Yokohama Friendship Bell, Shelter Island, San Diego, California, USA. Gift from sister city Yokohama (Japan) to the City of San Diego. Designed by Masahiko Katori [1899-1988].


Summer 1998 - Pearl of the Pacific, Shelter Island, San Diego, California (USA). Other Pacific Rim Parks are in Tijuana (Mexico), Vladivostok (USSR) & Yantai (China).

October 31, 2000 - Flame of Friendship /Flama de la Amistad, Convention Center, San Diego, California (USA). By Leonardo Nierman of Mexico City (Mexico). A gift from the Government of Mexico that was presented to the people of San Diego as a gesture of friendship. Has stunning vistas of San Diego Bay. The sculpture is made of polished stainless steel and is nearly 21-feet in height.

December 5, 2001 - Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ), University of San Diego, San Diego, California (USA). Entry #119 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). Date? - Garden of the Sea, behind the Joan B Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies (KSPS), University of San Diego (USD), San Diego, California (USA). "Features a reflection pool, lush gardens, a sculpture [by Giacomo Manzù (1908-1991)] donated by Joan B. Kroc & a stunning view of San Diego’s Mission Bay & the Pacific Ocean."


May 2005 - Peace sign, Bird Rock, Point Loma, Ocean Beach, San Diego, California (USA). "The decoration on the rock keeps changing. I'm not sure who does this...or how they do it."

Future - San Diego Friends Center, 3850 Westgate Place, San Diego, Califrnia (USA). Energy efficient straw bale building. "A unique collaboration between two historic peace churches and two well-established and respected non-profit organizations in the San Diego area: American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Peace Resource Center of San Diego (PRC), San Diego First Church of the Brethren, and San Diego Friends Meeting (Quakers)."

(3) Remainder of Southern California

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1934 - Mojave Memorial Cross, Sunrise Rock, Mojave National Preserve, California (USA). "Erected to honor Americans who died in World War I. Maintained by volunteers and was reconstructed after being destroyed. A park visitor sued in 2001. Boarded up [as shown in right image] after a federal judge ruled that it violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause because it conveyed “a message of endorsement of religion.” Congress passed a law that transferred the land under it to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who would maintain it. The same park visitor challenged the land transfer. A trial court ruled that it was invalid because it was simply an attempt by the government to keep the cross. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, agreed. But, on April 28, 2010, the US Supreme Court voted 5-4 (and issued six separate opinons) overturning the lower court and permitting the cross to remain.



Memorial Day 1976 - Whittier Peace Memorial, Civic Center, Whittier, California (USA). " Inscribed: "Dedicated to world peace in grateful memory of those who have given up their lives in the past wars in order that we may live in peace." /// "This wording is consistent with the philosophy of Whittier’s first settlers, the Quakers, who did not believe in memorializing war, but who gave honor to those who fought in defense of others."/// "The names of 157 men who were killed, & two missing in action in Vietnam, are listed on 3 bronze plaques. The 4th plaque contains the dedication & Whittier Bicentennial logo. The sundial represents the world as a hollow sphere with the equatorial band parallel to the equator. Parallel to the axis of the earth and pointing to the North Star is the arrow, or gnomon, it casts a shadow on the equatorial band indicating the time & was designed to fit local time changes. The memorial was designed by the architect William H. Harrison."" /// "Renovated in 2010 and re-dedicated on November 11, 2010 (lower image), "in honor of those already named on the monument [residents who died in four wars in the last century: World War I, World War II, Korea & Vietnam] as well as those who have died in recent military action... A curving white wall highlights the Memorial, which will also be surrounded by flags--the US Flag, flags of all the branches of the American military groups and the POW Flag."

March 3, 1992 - Manzanar National Historic Site, California (USA). Best preserved of several several World War II internment camps for Japanese-Americans. In 1988 the US Government paind detainees $20,000 each. In 1992 the camp was designated a National Historic Site. Image shows replica of watchtower built in 2002.


1993? - Pacific Crest Trail Monuments, on US/Canadian Border (Washington & British Columbia) & on US/Mexican border. Identical wooden monuments 2,650 miles apart at each end of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

August 4, 2004 - Peace Bell, Mountain Spirit Center (MSC), 8400 Juniper Way, Tehachapi, California (USA). Founded in 1993, MSC is a Korean Zen Buddhist temple affiliated with the Kwan Um School of Zen, founded in America by Zen Master Seung Sahn [c1927-2004].



Future - American Indian Veteran Memorial, Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, California (USA). "At last there will be a fitting tribute to the more than 600 American Indian tribes and their warrior veterans. However, there will be a bit of irony on the cemetery grounds. Over at the stunning National Medal of Honor monument (lower image), one of the granite slabs is entitled 'Indian Campaigns' and has a long list of those who distinguished themselves in combat with Indians. It becomes ironic that these men received this medal for killing American Indians who were attempting to protect their lands and preserve their tribal cultures that date back thousands of years, and especially unsettling that 20 of those listed men received the Medal of Honor for killing 350 Lakota men, women and children at the massacre of Wounded Knee on Dec. 29, 1890."

Please email your comments & questions to geovisual at comcast.net. Thank you.

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