Mt. Diablo’s Beacon Will Shine Bright on December 7th

December 3, 2013 8:00 am · 9 comments


On December 7th, Mt. Diablo’s Beacon will be relit for the first Pearl Harbor Day since its restoration earlier this year. A commemorative symbol of those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor, the Beacon is re-lit by survivors each year in a ceremony attended by their families and the public.

This year marks the 49th annual Beacon Lighting Ceremony, and the first official relighting since its restoration.

From sunset this Saturday, December 7th, to sunrise the next morning, the Beacon will shine brighter than ever before.

This year’s event is expected to be the largest yet, with local Pearl Harbor survivors and community members eager to see the restored Beacon shine anew.

The Beacon was originally installed and illuminated in 1928 to aid in trans-continental aviation. It is one of the four guiding beacons installed along the west coast by Standard Oil of CA and is the only one known to still be operational. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Beacon’s light was extinguished during the West Coast Blackout, for fear it may enable an attack on California. It stayed dark until Pearl Harbor Day 1964, when Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz relit the Beacon in a commemorative ceremony and suggested it be illuminated every December 7th to honor those who served and sacrificed. Since that day, Pearl Harbor Veterans and their families have revisited Mt. Diablo’s mountain summit every December 7th to see the light shine once again.

Over the years, the Beacon fell into severe disrepair thereby requiring significant restoration. With the California State Parks’ limited budget and a need to move quickly, Save Mt. Diablo volunteered to fundraise and organize the Beacon Restoration Project.

WHAT: The 49th annual beacon lighting takes place at sunset and the Eye shines brightly throughout the night.

WHEN: Saturday, December 7th, 3pm – 5pm

WHERE: The ceremony will be held at the Summit Visitors’ Building in Mt. Diablo State Park.

ACCESS: Parking is available in the Lower Summit Parking Lot and can be accessed from either entrance to the Park. A shuttle service is provided by a volunteer from the lower lot to the Summit for those who would like a ride for the last quarter mile.

COST: $10 per car park entrance fee to Mt. Diablo State Park.


1 SK December 3, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Many thanks to the Beacon Restoration Team. You guys rock!

2 Cowellian December 3, 2013 at 8:32 AM

What a great tribute to those heroes who were lost in America’s first battle of WWII.

And the restoration project is a tribute to the power of the community who came together to support this noble cause.

3 Dorothy December 3, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Ooopsie: “From sunset this Saturday, January 7th, to sunrise the next morning, the Beacon will shine brighter than ever before.” Spell check does a very good job on correctly spelled words no matter how wrong they are.

I really hope it will not be overcast on Saturday because I’m looking forward to seeing this light.

4 Sacto Rob December 3, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Very cool. Well done. I’ll make a point of trying to see the beacon here in Sacramento. It will depend on cloud cover.

5 Connie Dobbs December 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

There’s a clear view of Mt. Diablo from the second floor of Creek Monkey. Just putting that out there.

6 anon December 3, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Hopefully the beacon will also shine more brightly than ever before.

7 Marissa December 3, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Overcast or not-the beacon will shine. Who is going to stop it, really?

8 Soft Spot December 3, 2013 at 6:03 PM

I have always had a soft spot for our military men and women. The neglect and lack of respect they habitually receive grieves me. I was happy to contribute toward the beacon restoration earlier this year. I will be proud to see it shining on Dec. 7.

9 Just curious December 4, 2013 at 1:07 AM

JW, are they going to do anything special next year for the 50th anniversary? Just curious

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