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 The war recruiting poster from the 1940s; Uncle Sam in the center surrounded by the wordsMarch 21, 1941 - Board of Presidents meeting; deputy superintendent Dr. Clarence E. Ackley reviews three bills in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives that could change the state system. Bill 453 would change two of the teachers colleges into vocational schools; Bill 460 would convert all the teachers colleges into "Pennsylvania State Trade School Defense Centers" by September 1942. Bill 722 would enable the teachers colleges to teach students skills and knowledge relating to agriculture.

Fall 1941 - Bachelor's degree programs are moved up to 128 credit hours needed to graduate.

Dec. 7, 1941 - "A day which will live in infamy." The Japanese navy attacks Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the United States declares war. California prepares to assist in the war effort. California alumnus Rear Admiral W.R. Furlong, commander of Minecraft Battle Forces in Pearl Harbor, is on board U.S.S Oglala when the attack begins. He is later promoted to Commandant of the Navy Yard at Pearl Harbor.

March 18, 1942
- California enters agreement with U.S. Employment Service to train lathe operators; industrial arts shops are placed on twenty-four hour service to accelerate training.

March 1943
- Governor Edward Martin recommends selling all but six of the teachers colleges to the federal government, and then improving the remaining six after the war in his budget message.

March 12, 1943 - Dr. Steele offers a reorganization plan to the trustees. His plan would convert California into the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology. Dr. Steele felt that California was in the perfect location for this because of the large amount of industry in the surrounding area. The trustees take no action and decide to further study the problem. A.A. Haines, president of the Alumni Association, writes to Governor Martin to plead for California's continued existence.

June 1943 - California applies to the Veterans Bureau and the American Vocational Association for a contract to rehabilitate handicapped veterans.

Aug. 30, 1943 - California begins a nurse cadet training program in conjunction with hospitals in Brownsville, Canonsburg, and Rochester.

Oct. 1943
- A committee of the board of trustees reviews the budget and reports a deficit of $98,679 for the year.

Nov. 29, 1943
- The board of trustees approves leaves of absence without pay for the spring for eight faculty members in order to make ends meet.

Jan. 3, 1944 - At a meeting of the Board of Presidents, Dr. Steele recommends that a joint committee on post war education be formed. The committee would include members of the State Department of Higher Education, the Association of Presidents of Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities, the Board of Teachers College Presidents, the State Council of Education, and the Department of Public Instruction. The Board of Presidents approves the idea, but the committee is not formed.

Jan. 7, 1944
- The first returning veteran, Merland Carson of Charleroi, enrolls at California.

A photo of Franklin Roosevelt surrounded by top military officers March 6, 1944
- Representatives from Jones and Laughlin, Pittsburgh Coal, Republic Steel, the Hillman Coal Company, and Crucible Steel Company meet on campus to plan a program to train students in mine mechanization and to be mechanics and machine operators.

March 1944
- The United States Veterans Administration approves the contract applied for in June 1943.

July 1944 - Dr. Steele goes over the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944 with the trustees. The forecast for demobilization included a massive flood of new and returning college students. Dr. Steele modified his proposal to convert California into a technical institute: California should continue to train teachers, especially in industrial arts and elementary education, but expand into technical areas. The trustees decided that any new technical programs be non-degree and limited to "agriculture, home making, commerce, mining and vocational, industrial, and technical programs." California files requests with the state for a 200-bed male dormitory, a 1200-seat auditorium, a library, a classroom addition to Herron, a sewage disposal plant, a Unit Shop building, and a central stores building.

May 1945 - War in Europe comes to an end.A photo of a homecoming parade during the 1940s

Aug. 6, 1945 - War in Asia comes to an end when the United States drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 9. 430 students and alumni served in the Armed Forces in World War II; eleven gave their lives. Rufus Barkley, William Burok, Grayson Crumrine, George C. Harkness, Frank Huseman, James Knarr, Andrew Kulik, Charles M. Ross, William R. Simpson, Brandt R. Smith, Walter Glod.

Feb. 16, 1946 - Special Committee on Cooperation with the Pennsylvania State College meets with Penn State president Dr. Ralph D. Hetzel. A plan is made where Penn State freshmen will go to one of the teachers colleges with a guarantee to be able to transfer to Penn State at the end of their freshman year. The committee also recommends that Act 83 be extended to provide science, engineering, and technology programs for Penn State. Act 83 had allowed the teachers colleges to offer such programs during the war years.

Feb. 12, 1946 - Approval granted to erect army barracks on campus and an additional biology laboratory. The barracks were needed because California's housing was inadequate to meet the projected needs for new California and Penn State students. Conversion of the second floor of Noss Hall is also discussed as a backup plan; instead, Herron Hall serves as a temporary dormitory.

March 1, 1946 - The Curriculum Revision Committee of the Board of Presidents recommends that a committee of faculty from each teachers college be formed for each area of study to revise the objectives and course outlines for their area.  The Curriculum Revision Committee of the Board of Presidents recommends that a committee of faculty from each teachers college be formed for each area of study to revise the objectives and course outlines for their area.

A photo of a radio microphone from the 1940sFall 1946 - Large postwar enrollment increase hits California; 846 students register. 498 of these are veterans; 170 of the veterans are Penn State students.

Dec. 5, 1946 - A contest for renaming the college's student newspaper, the Hammer and Tongs, concludes; the newspaper becomes the Tower Times.

March 28, 1947 - The Board of Presidents considers having the fourteen schools join the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

June 23, 1947 - Dr. Steele announces to the Board of Presidents that the Governor has appointed him to a commission to study the needs of the Commonwealth's colleges and universities.

Sept. 1947 - Master Sergeant Coogan is assigned to head California's new ROTC program in an effort to help veterans adjust.

Jan. 1948 - Dr. Shriver Coover returns to California after a three-year leave of absence. He had been assigned by the Institute of Inter-American Affairs to assist Chile in reorganizing secondary education.

July 1949 - A request is submitted to the General State Authority for a new male dormitory.