Genealogical Society’s Return to In-Person Meetings Opens with Neal Graffy | Homes and lifestyle

Posted on June 14, 2022
| 4:49 p.m.

Neal Graffy

The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society will host local historian Neal Graffy at its first in-person general meeting in over two years on Saturday, June 18. The hybrid event will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, 21 E. Constance Ave., and will be available via Zoom.

Following the annual meeting of society members to approve next year’s budget and elect board members, Graffy will deliver his presentation, They Came, They Saw, They Shelled.

On February 23, 1942, at 7:15 p.m., a U-boat sitting off the coast of Santa Barbara bombarded the Ellwood oil field near Goleta. Just two months and 16 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor – and during one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats – the I-17, a Japanese submarine, surfaced in the Channel of Santa Barbara and bombed the Ellwood oil installations.

The submarine may have fired only 25 shells and caused minimal damage, but it sparked widespread panic along the California coast.

Since giving his first local history slide show in 1989, Graffy has given over 400 presentations on 22 different topics. His expertise has been sought by local, state and national radio and television.

He is the author of monographs for historical organizations, as well as articles in regional and national publications, three local history books, and co-author of a series of historical fiction novels set in the early 1900s. 1900.

Graffy has been featured in several documentaries, including Emmy Award-winning “Impressions in Time”; appeared on Huell Howser’s “California Gold”; KCET TV’s “Life and Times”; and on “This old house”.

“Delightfully free from convention pretty much sums up Neal Graffy’s approach to the story,” according to his website “Whether in print, radio, television, documentary or live, his audiences always find his presentations entertaining, fun and always educational.

Graffy’s speech and Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society meeting are free to attend in person or on Zoom. To attend via Zoom, register at The meeting will include special interest groups at 9:30 a.m. (in-person only), a brief business meeting at 10:30 a.m., and Graffy’s presentation at 11 a.m.

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