Hail Montezuma! The Hidden Treasures of San Diego State

Aztec Timeline: A Chronology of All Things San Diego State > 1950




After receiving authorization from the State of California in 1949, San Diego State offers its first master’s program.  By 1960, it will have 30. 

Alumna Florence Chadwick swims the English Channel from Cape Gris Nez to Dover in 13 hourzs 20 minutes, breaking the record set by Gertrude Ederle; the following year she is the first woman to swim the more difficult route from England to France.  Chadwick is the holder of 16 world records, and is hailed as the greatest female long distance swimmer in the world. (August 8, 1950)


Businessman Robert O. Peterson (attended 1938) opens the first Jack in the Box restaurant at 63rd Street and El Cajon Boulevard (6270 El Cajon).  It has an intercom system, a drive-thru window, 18-cent hamburgers, and a giant jack-in-the-box clown atop its roof.


Mayor John Butler (class of 1935), the former football standout, proclaims San Diego State College Day for the city. (May 4, 1952)


Just as anti-communist sentiments peak in the U.S. with Senator McCarthy’s congressional investigations that result in the imprisonment of hundreds of American citizens and the loss of employment for thousands, Roy Simpson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, officially dismisses San Diego State College psychology professor Dr. Harry Steinmetz for refusing to tell the State Board of Education whether he is a communist.  Dr. Steinmetz will never be reinstated. (February 4, 1954)


Denis Sander, who will go on to be professor of telecommunications and film at San Diego State College, wins an Academy Award for the Civil War short, A Time Out of War.  It is widely considered one of the best antiwar films of all time.


Dr. Beatrice Markey joins the faculty as an assistant professor in political science; she is the first African-American professor at San Diego State.


The College opens an Imperial Valley campus to accommodate students and communities to the east.

With encouragement from President Love, the SDSU faculty establishes a senate that is part of the college’s system of shared governance.