August 25th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1964, a sixty-year old evangelist preaching the bible in Seal Beach was assaulted by a band of teen-age delinquents.

Mark Frank Forsyth of Huntington Beach told police that he had been preaching at 10th Street on the beach as he done many times before in the previous two years. This time, however, a group of at least five teenagers began to heckle him at approximately 2 p.m. 

One of the teens grabbed Forsyth’s hat, and then the verbal assault escalated into violence. The other boys pelted Forsyth with rocks, hit him with their fists, and burnt him with cigarettes on the neck and left ankle. Forsyth’s clothes were torn as he tried to flee, and one boy grabbed his bible and tracts and begin to rip the pages of his bible. During the scuffle, no one came to Forsyth’s aid.

Later, the police brought in a fourteen-year old Long Beach youth on charges of participating in a riot, assault and battery, and armed riot, but he denied taking part in the attack and refused to identify any of his fellow teens.

When interviewed by an AP reporter, Forsyth said that he preached because he was “concerned for the spirit and physical well-being of the thousands of teenagers who flock to the beaches.”

– Michael Dobkins


Have you enjoyed this and other This Date in Seal Beach History posts?

If so, please consider making a small donation of a dollar or more to help defray the online subscriptions and other research costs that make this blog possible.

Donations can be made securely with most major credit cards directly through PayPal. Just click on paypal.me/MichaelDobkins to go to PayPal. Thank you.

This Date in Seal Beach History also has an online store hosted at Cafepress where you can order shirts, tote bags, stationery, and other gift items imprinted with vintage Seal Beach images. Visit the online store by clicking here.

This entry was posted in Seal Beach History and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s