Through the decades: snapshots of UC Davis life from the past 105 years of The Aggie

Through the decades: snapshots of UC Davis life from the past 105 years of The Aggie

Photo Credits: The California Aggie. Cover page of a 1929 print edition of The Aggie commemorating Picnic Day.

The California Aggie revisits its years reporting on life at Davis through the recently launched digital archives created with the UC Davis Library

From writing about world wars to agricultural innovation to student strikes, as a newspaper nearly as old as UC Davis itself, The California Aggie has continued to cover university life for 105 years. With the launch of its digital newspaper archives in April 2020, created in partnership with the UC Davis Library, The California Aggie revisits a few articles and memorable front pages from each of its many decades.

1910s

September 29, 1915

Founded in 1915, The California Aggie was originally entitled “The Weekly Agricola.” Here is the front page of the first edition of the paper.

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1920s

November 22, 1922

The university changed its name from “University Farm” to the “Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture,” and the California Aggies became the official school mascot. 

April 10, 1929

The school celebrated the twentieth anniversary of Picnic Day, founded in 1909.

1930s

October 11, 1933

The Cal Aggie’s Women Association was established in 1934 by the 17 female students at Davis. Here are 11 of them.

January 27, 1938

In 1938, the campus was renamed the College of Agriculture at Davis.

1940s

December 3, 1942

The U.S. Army Signal Corps took over the campus in 1943 and used it for a trading center, ceasing instruction until 1945.

January 28, 1943

Although it was not established until 1946 after the resumption of school, discussion about the School of Veterinary Medicine began in 1943.

March 7, 1945

With the return of students to campus in March of 1945, The California Aggie published this single page issue dedicated to acquainting new students with “the spirit of the school.”

December 13, 1945

The California Aggie began its regular publication with this issue in December 1945 after a three-year hiatus.

1950s

September 20, 1951

Fall quarter 1951 marked the first time students enrolled in the College of Letters and Science.

April 10, 1958

For Picnic Day in 1958, the UC Davis Arboretum opened for the first time. 

September 17, 1959

UC Davis became a general campus in the UC system.

September 17, 1959

That same year, the College of Engineering at Berkeley expanded to the UC Davis campus.

1960s

February 9, 1965

The then ASUCD president met President Lyndon Johnson along with 73 other college students in 1965.

October 9, 1967

ASUCD purchased two London double-decker buses to replace the formerly used yellow school buses.

May 23, 1969

Two months after the first ethnic studies department was established on May 7, 1969 at San Francisco State, students organized a UC-wide strike, calling for ethnic studies to be implemented in the UC system.

1970s

July 5, 1973

UC Davis took over the Sacramento Medical Center.

October 5, 1977

The UC Davis student farm that still brings fresh produce to the Davis community was first established in 1977.

October 20, 1977

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, ended his visit to the U.S. in October 1977 in California, making a stop at UC Davis for a presentation on agricultural research.

July 12, 1978

Allan Bakke, after his application was refused by the UC Davis Medical School, filed a lawsuit against the UC regents in 1974, claiming he was discriminated against because of his race. The Supreme Court ruling in 1978 in favor of Bakke declared affirmative action constitutional but did not allow the use of racial quotas. 

1980s

January 14, 1980

In support of a gay rights bill, gay student organizations from Berkeley and UCLA in addition to the Davis Gay Task Force marched in Sacramento.

1990s

April 6, 1999

UC Davis took over ownership of the McClellan Nuclear Research Center in 1999 from the United States Air Force.

November 22, 1999

A Graduate School of the Environment, established in 2001, was first proposed in 1999 by 30 faculty members.

2000s

July 21, 2005

The College of Biological Sciences was established at Davis in the summer of 2005. Students began enrolling in the fall.

September 29, 2005

Fall of 2005 was a period of expansion for the campus; the parking structure was underwork, construction on Giedt Hall was scheduled to begin and more.

2010s

December 5, 2012

The Manetti Shrem museum began construction by choosing three pairs of architects.

January 16, 2013

The Welcome Center at UC Davis opened its doors for the first time.

Written and compiled by: Sophie Dewees — features@theaggie.org