State Normal School Opens in Los Angeles

UCLA’s roots can be traced back to 1882 and the origin of the State Normal School

In 1880, Los Angeles was a gaslit pueblo with a population of 11,000. Leaders of the expanding city tried to convince the state to establish a second State Normal School in Southern California, to resemble the original one existing 300 miles to the north in San Jose.  In 1882, the Los Angeles branch of the State Normal School, the usual term for an institution devoted to teacher education, opened its doors for instruction. Students who wanted to be teachers were the first to attend what is now one of the world’s pre-eminent universities.
A page from the 1924 UCLA yearbook describing the University’s origins