CSUDH History: 1960s

Travel back in time and discover the rich history of California State University, Dominguez Hills.

April 29, 1960: Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown signs bill for state college to be known as South Bay State College.

January 19, 1962: Newly formed CSC Board of Trustees appoints Dr. Leo F. Cain president of South Bay State College.

July 2, 1962: First meeting of President Cain’s planning staff. Chief priority: select college site.


July 12, 1962: Trustees rename South Bay State as California State College at Palos Verdes (CSCPV).

December 8, 1962: Trustees decide CSCPV library will open with 50,000 volumes.

June 7, 1963: Trustees put CSCPV on year-round quarter system.

January 1964: Trustees approve CSCPV curricular plan with dual-major, interdisciplinary studies approach.

May 6, 1964: Consulting architect A. Quincy Jones submits master plan for campus.

April 1, 1964: Design for a “Small College” experimental subunit approved.

August 1964: University Library design approved by trustees.

September 9, 1964: First meeting of CSCPV Advisory Board.

May 1965: Plans to purchase land in Palos Verdes for a permanent site are abandoned due to rising land costs; campus is slated to move from Palos Verdes to one of four other proposed sites: Friendship Park, Fort MacArthur, Torrance and Dominguez Hills.

Watts RiotsAugust 11-17, 1965: The Watts Riots, or Watts Rebellion, begin on the evening of August 11, 1965 when Marquette Frye, a young African American driver, is pulled over in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles for reckless driving and arrested by a white California Highway Patrolman. Crowds gather and protest; rioting erupts and continues for six days, resulting in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. Considered by many to be a key turning point in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Fall 1965: Gov. Brown visits the area in the wake of the Watts urban unrest and determines that the Dominguez Hills site would have the best accessibility to diverse, minority students in nearby neighborhoods who want a college education.

An official investigation, ordered by Gov. Brown, finds the Watts Riot was a result of the community's longstanding grievances and growing discontentment with high unemployment rates, substandard housing, and inadequate schools.

September 1965: Classes begin for freshmen and juniors at California Federal Savings Bank in Palos Verdes Peninsula.

History 1960s

October 14, 1965: Trustees approve 346-acre site at Dominguez Hills in soon-to-be city of Carson; Jones and Emmons appointed master architects.

October 1965: Debut of The Mariner, CSCPV’s first newspaper; college’s first chorus formed.

November 19, 1965: William R. Hart, an Air Force veteran is elected as first student body president.

Winter 1965: College enrollment totals 27 freshmen, 14 juniors.

March 1966: Governor Brown authorizes purchase of 346 acres at Dominguez Hills site for nearly $11 million.

March 3, 1966: Trustees change name of institution to California State College, Dominguez Hills (CSCDH).

History 1960s

September 21, 1966: Student association’s first social event, “Hootenanny Under the Stars,” is held.

September 1966: Watt campus (across from future college site) opens with 20 new faculty and 180 students.

December 1966: Future of young college threatened; Governor-elect Reagan recommends halt to college site acquisition and construction, imposition of tuition, freeze on hiring and financial cuts.

January 1967: CSCDH’s first public demonstrations held against Reagan proposals; a compromise with the new governor saves the university.

June 10, 1967: Four students graduate at the first Dominguez Hills commencement, Bill Hart, Pamela Striplin, Othilie W. Moritz, and Sharon Chambers.

History 1960s

1967: School nickname, “Los Gitanos” (the gypsies), is adopted. Motto: “In learning is brotherhood, integrity and freedom.”

First evening classes open.

Fall 1967: Donald Loker elected new chair of expanded Advisory Board, helps establish College Foundation to promote Dominguez Hills’ best interests; first Foundation board of directors includes Loker, Leo Cain, Harry Nethery and William Huston, president of Watson Land Company.

1967: Dominguez Hills Academic Senate develops.

December 5, 1967: Lt. Gov. Robert Finch keynotes groundbreaking ceremonies for first permanent buildings.

History 1960s

February 6, 1968: Voters incorporate City of Carson.

February 20, 1968: President Cain attends first Carson City Council meeting; offers new city use of Dominguez Hills/USC faculty-student team to survey city land-use patterns.

1968: Black Students Union chapter begun on campus calls for interdepartmental Afro-American studies major.

June 1968: Annual student awards convocation canceled in memory of Robert F. Kennedy, who was shot in Los Angeles on June 6.

Spring 1968: College’s second commencement graduates 21 students.

History 1960s

Fall 1968: Enrollment exceeds 1,000 for first time.

Lyle Gibson named college’s first vice president.

October 14, 1968: CSCDH Small College classrooms open.

October 1969: First bus service established to CSCDH.

January 1969: Student Association votes funds for Draft Counseling Center; trustees approve the motion a month later.

February 27, 1969: Small College Little Theatre opens – Ben Jonson’s “Volpone” is first play.

June 14, 1969: Third commencement sees 85 bachelor’s degrees awarded.

1969: Students for a Democratic Society and the United Mexican American Students Association form campus chapters; UMASA calls for Mexican American studies major.

Summer 1969: Tennis courts and physical education facilities constructed.Tennis courts and physical education facilities constructed.

July 1969: 250 applicants turned away from CSC Dominguez Hills due to budget restrictions.

Fall 1969: College Advisory Board “greenlights” University Extension Program.

October – November 1969: Vietnam War rallies held at CSC Dominguez Hills.


CSUDH History: 1970s >>