1849 The newly approved California Constitution, stating that "the Legislature shall encourage by all suitable means the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvement," calls for the establishment of a University of California. Twenty years will pass before classes begin.
1851 Santa Clara College (now Santa Clara University) opens.
* The California Supreme Court, itself in its first year of existence, charters California Wesleyan College in Santa Clara. The first class is enrolled the next year.
1852 Mills College is founded as the Young Ladies Seminary in Benicia. School moves to Oakland in 1866.
1855 University of San Francisco opens with three students.
1858 The West Coast's first medical school opens at Wesleyan. (In 1961 the college becomes known as University of the Pacific.)
1861 Chapman University is founded (as Hesperian College) in Northern California. It moves to its present location in Orange in 1954.
1862 Minns' Evening Normal School, established in 1857 as a training facility for elementary school teachers by the San Francisco Board of Education, becomes California Normal School. The school moves to San Jose in 1871 and today is San Jose State University.
1869 At last, the University of California opens with 38 students on the grounds of the former College of California in Oakland.
1873 The University of California, now with 191 students, moves to Berkeley.
1880 The University of Southern California opens with 53 students and 10 teachers.
1885 Southern California's first school of medicine opens at USC.
1887 Pomona College is founded 35 miles east of Los Angeles and opens its doors the next year.
* Chico State University begins as a state Normal School.
1891 Stanford University, created by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their late son, opens in Palo Alto after six years of planning and building.
* Pasadena philanthropist Amos Throop rents the Wooster Block building in Pasadena for the purpose of establishing Throop University, the forerunner of Caltech. In November, Throop University opens its doors to 31 students and a six-member faculty.
1897 San Diego State University begins as the San Diego Normal School, another training facility for elementary school teachers.
1899 Azusa Pacific University starts life as a Bible college geared toward training students for service and missionary endeavors.
* State creates San Francisco Normal School.
1901 Whittier College, which grew out of the Whittier Academy, is chartered by the state with a student body of 25.
* The California Polytechnic School is established in San Luis Obispo.
1905 Prodded by dairy operators, the Legislature approves the establishment of a UC agricultural college. Davisville -- later Davis -- wins the competition for the campus. Classes start three years later.
1907 The Legislature establishes the Citrus Experiment Station in Riverside, the forerunner of UC Riverside.
1909 The University of Redlands opens to 59 students.
* State turns an existing city normal school into Santa Barbara State Normal School. It joins the UC system in 1944.
1910 The state's first public junior college, Fresno Junior College, opens. Today, it is Fresno City College.
1911 A State Normal School is established at Fresno; Humboldt gets a Normal School in 1913.
1914 Occidental College moves from Highland Park to its current location in Eagle Rock.
1917 Jessica Peixotto becomes the first female full professor at the University of California.
1919 The Southern Branch of the University of California -- which will become UCLA -- opens on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles
1921 California's "normal schools" are designated "teachers colleges."
1925 The UC regents choose Westwood as the new site of the Southern Branch campus.
1929 UCLA's Westwood campus opens with 5,500 students.
* Los Angeles City College is founded.
1935 Caltech's Charles Richter, in collaboration with Beno Gutenberg, develops a scale to measure the size of earthquakes.
* California's "teachers colleges" become "state colleges."
1938 California State Polytechnic School establishes a southern campus at San Dimas.
* University of California reports the largest enrollment of any "educational institution of its kind," according to The Times. Berkeley and UCLA combined for a total of 24,809; the University of Minnesota came in second with 15,146; Columbia University was third with 14,980.
1944 The G.I. Bill of Rights makes college possible for millions returning from war.
1947 Los Angeles and Sacramento state colleges are established. Long Beach is founded in 1949.
1950 UC regents dismiss 31 professors who refuse to sign an anti-Communist loyalty oath. Two years later, after the California Supreme Court strikes down the loyalty oaths, the professors are reinstated.
1954 UC Riverside opens.
1957-60 State college campuses are authorized for Fullerton (1957), Hayward (now East Bay, 1957), Stanislaus (1957), San Fernando Valley (now Northridge, 1958), Sonoma (1960), San Bernardino (1960) and Dominguez Hills (1960).
1960 UCLA opens its first co-ed dorm, Sproul Hall.
* UC San Diego is founded.
1961 Walt and Roy Disney establish the California Institute of the Arts.
* The California State University system is established as a system with a chancellor and a Board of Trustees.
1962 USC wins its first national football championship.
1964 Demonstrations at UC Berkeley protest a rule that prohibits students on campus from promoting off-campus movements. The Free Speech Movement begins.
1965 UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz are founded.
* California State College, Bakersfield, is authorized.
1966 California State Polytechnic College's southern campus, which moved to Pomona in 1956, becomes independent.
1969 Protests by Berkeley students block a plan to build a dorm at People's Park. Gov. Ronald Reagan calls in the National Guard and declares the city under a state of emergency. One person is killed and hundreds are injured in the students' confrontation with sheriff's deputies and the National Guard.
1970 Gov. Reagan asks the UC and state university systems to shut down for four days after repeated Vietnam War protests.
* California State College, Bakersfield, is founded.
1972 The Los Angeles area finally can boast of a campus with world-class vistas. Pepperdine opens a new 830-acre facility in Malibu.
* In response to protests by Native Americans, Stanford changes its mascot from the Indian to the Cardinal.
* The state college system is designated the California State University and Colleges.
1973 Loyola University and Marymount College merge into Loyola Marymount University.
1978 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Allan Bakke was unlawfully denied admission to the UC Davis medical school because he was white. But the court also says universities could give blacks and other minorities special consideration in admissions programs that didn't employ rigid racial quotas.
1981 Caltech's Roger Sperry wins a Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery that the two sides of the brain are specialized -- the left hemisphere for verbal thinking and language, the right for spatial-visual thought.
* UCLA physicians identify a new disease that became known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.
1982 The state university and colleges system is designated California State University.
1984 The Summer Olympics comes to Los Angeles and USC is the site of the largest Olympic Village, hosting swimming and diving competitions.
* After decades of free access, California begins charging tuition at community colleges.
* Loma Linda University physicians transplant a baboon heart into the chest of a 14-day-old girl. "Baby Faye" lives for 21 days.
1985 University of California regents adopt a plan to consider divestment of South Africa-related stock.
1986 UC Santa Cruz officially embraces the banana slug as its mascot.
1989 The 20th California State University campus is founded at San Marcos.
1993 Latino students stage a hunger strike at UCLA to demand a Chicano studies department. After 14 days, the strike is settled and the university agrees to create a Chicano studies center named after Cesar Chavez.
1995 Cal State Monterey Bay, a redevelopment of former military base Ft. Ord, is founded.
* The California Maritime Academy, founded in 1929, joins the Cal State system.
* Teach-ins, walkouts and rallies are held at all nine UC campuses to protest regents' rollback of affirmative action.
1997 UC Santa Cruz, long known for its laid-back attitude, gives students the option of getting grades.
2002 Cal State Channel Islands, the 23rd campus in the CSU system, opens in Camarillo to upper division students; freshmen are admitted the next year.
2005 UC Merced opens, the 10th campus in the University of California system.
2006 UC regents agree to divest from companies with connections to the Sudanese government.