The Daily Cal: A monumental record of Berkeley’s past

Black-and-white photo of a person reading the Daily Cal newspaper, their spectacles just visible over the paper.

An avid reader of the campus newspaper

September 4, 1900 — Juniors elect class officers; no contest for presidents

October 1, 1964 — Williams refuses demands; 700 sleep in Sproul Hall

September 12, 2017 — UC to receive $1M from state to support undocumented students 

The Daily Californian has served as the student voice and record of life at Berkeley since 1871. Covering the university and city in comprehensive detail — while training future leaders in journalism — the student-run paper is one of the oldest papers in the country. Notable alumni include Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone, Marguerite Higgins, the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1951, NFL sportswriter Michael Silver, and T. Christian Miller, an investigative reporter and war correspondent for ProPublica. 

Like the university it represents, The Daily Cal is no stranger to controversy. It gained independence from UC Berkeley in 1971 after three editors were fired over an editorial that encouraged readers to “take back” People’s Park. In 1982, three days after the now-legendary Big Game (known for The Play), disgruntled Stanford fans spread hundreds of copies bearing the fake headline “NCAA Awards Big Game to Stanford” across campus, much to the chagrin of Cal readers. And in 1996, nearly 23,000 papers were stolen on Election Day when the editorial board endorsed Proposition 209, a California amendment that prohibited state governmental institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity in public employment, contracting, and education. To restore relations with community members upset by the endorsement, The Daily Cal established the nation’s first college paper sex column, inspiring a wave of similar columns across the country. 

The Daily Cal continues to change with the times, launching its first blog in 2006 and a digitization effort in 2016, and is frequently awarded for its high-quality content. 

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