130 years ago, on July 15, 1875, auctioneer Tom Fitch heralded the initial sale of land in the brand-new city of Santa Monica with these words:“At one o’clock, we will sell at public outcry to the highest bidder, the Pacific Ocean, draped with a western sky of scarlet and gold; we will sell a bay filled with white-winged ships; we will sell a southern horizon rimmed with a choice collection of purple mountains, carved in castles and turrets and domes; we will sell a frostless, bracing, warm, yet languid air, braided in and out with sunshine and odored with the breath of flowers. The purchaser of this job lot of climate and scenery will be presented with a deed of land 50 by 150 feet. The title to the land will be guaranteed by the owner. The title to the ocean and the sunset, the hills and the clouds, the breath of the life-giving ozone and the song of the birds is guaranteed by the beneficent God who bestowed them in all their beauty.”
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