Every day is a day that us Berkeley students can celebrate our university’s history and achievements. There’s one day in particular that sticks out, though: March 23rd (tomorrow!), the date of the University of California’s founding. It’s more fondly known as Charter Day, and we’re able to celebrate the birth of our university and the UC system as a whole.
Let me give a little historical context to Charter Day. Before the University of California, the College of California existed. In 1862, right in the middle of the Civil War, president Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Land Grant Act, which allowed the federal government to allot land for states to establish a public Agricultural and Mining Arts College. This went into effect for California in 1866, but this state college had no campus. However, on March 23, 1868, governor Henry Haight signed an act that merged the College of California with the Agricultural and Mining Arts College to create the University of California. Then, five years later, the University of California moved from Oakland to the Berkeley campus, where students work, study, and figure out life today.