Ginger Rogers beach pride lifeguard towers vandalized days after being unveiled

Two lifeguard towers painted the colors of the Progress Pride Flag at Ginger Rogers Beach in Pacific Palisades were in operation Tuesday despite being vandalized just days after they were unveiled.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath was among the local officials who took part in a dedication ceremony for the redesigned Towers 17 and 18 on Saturday at Ginger Rogers Beach, a portion of Will Rogers State Beach that is a traditional coastal haven for the LGBTQ+ community. During Saturday's ceremony, informational signs were also unveiled outlining the history of the beach.

By Monday morning, however, both of the colorful towers had been targeted by vandals who smashed their windows.

"Hate will not win. Not today, not ever," Horvath said in a statement Tuesday. "We will repair the towers and continue to fight the extremism that has given rise to acts of hate like this because the only way to fight hate is with love."

There were no reports of any injuries.

According to Horvath's office, the stretch of beach became a popular destination for gay men as far back as the 1940s. It was soon dubbed Ginger Rogers Beach in honor of the film legend.

The location evolved into a focal point of political activism, ranging from fundraisers for AIDS victims to petition drives opposing the Vietnam War.

Horvath said the beach in a "post-war era" provided a refuge from discrimination that many LGBTQ+ people faced elsewhere. Organizers gathered signatures against McCarthyism there, eventually leading to the creation of the Mattachine Society, one of the first gay rights organizations.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the beach became a hot spot for social and fundraising events to help those suffering through the AIDS crisis.

San Diego's Gay and Lesbian Times described it as the "West Coast's answer to the Statue of Liberty" in 1995.

Rogers appeared in more than 70 films during Hollywood's "Golden Age" -- including 10 classic musical comedies with Fred Astaire. She died in 1995 at age 83.