(Long Beach, CA)
A CAPSULE VIEW OF
August 6, 1995
Section: MAIN NEWS
Daniel de Vise
1895: Classes begin
in fall at the Methodist Tabernacle Chapel, northeast of Third Street and
Locust Avenue. Principal Walter S. Bailey and teacher Hattie Mason teach
English, math, history, Latin, Greek and German to 28 students.
1897: On June 18, Ernest
Shaul receives his diploma, the first graduate of
Long Beach schools and the sole member of the class of 1897. Classes move
to Chautauqua Hall at Fourth Street and Pine Avenue as work begins on a new
Long Beach High School at Eighth Street and American Avenue (now Long Beach
1898: Long Beach
High School dedicated May 20. It is a mission-style building with a red
tile roof, four classrooms and an assembly hall.
1899: The Long Beach
High School Athletic Association is formed. A semipro baseball team donates
uniforms, and Poly changes its school colors to match from red and white to
green and gold.
1902: Courtney A.
Teel graduates, the first student to go through every grade in Long Beach
1903: The first
Long Beach High School yearbook, ''Caerulea,'' is
1904: Football and
basketball come to Poly.
''Daddy'' Burcham becomes principal, a job he'll
hold until 1941. The girls' basketball team wins its first of three
consecutive state championships.
1909: Debate begins
on a site for a new ''polytechnic'' high school with a curriculum patterned
after Los Angeles schools. The following year, a site will be chosen at
16th Street and Atlantic Avenue.
1911: Long Beach
High School graduates its final class. Poly High School opens, with 31
teachers and 850 students.
California Interscholastic Federation forms, as does a girls' athletic
life and sports are interrupted by an influenza epidemic and World War I.
Inspired by the rabbits that roam the athletic field, track team members
decide to call themselves Jackrabbits. On Dec. 27, 1918, the old Long Beach
High School burns down. It last served as an elementary school.
1924: David Burcham Field, the Poly athletic field, is dedicated on
1927: Wilson High
School opens in Eastern Long Beach and quickly becomes Poly's chief rival.
1933: A 6.3
earthquake destroys Poly High School. A dome at the entrance to the campus
crashes to the ground, the science building burns and most other buildings
are ruined. School reopens the following week in 47 tents on Burcham Field. Tent City will remain for three years.
1935: A new science
building opens, and the Poly auditorium is remodeled. Architect Hugh Davies
authors the motto, ''Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.'' A new
administration building will open in 1936.
students graduate the first class over 1,000.
1941: ''Daddy'' Burcham retires as the United States enters World War
II. Poly students grow Victory Gardens, join bond and scrap drives. Four
thousand Poly students will fight in the war; 77 will die.
1945: Poly High
celebrates its 50th anniversary. ''The Spirit of Poly,'' a bomber built by
Douglas Aircraft Co. and financed with war bonds sold by students, flies
1952: The old
wooden bleachers at Burcham Field burn down. The
new Veterans Memorial Stadium becomes Poly's home field.
1957: ''Home of
Scholars and Champions'' is penned by Principal Neil W. Philips as a second
1969: On May 27,
about 100 white and African-American students fight on campus in response
to a racist leaflet. Twenty-four students are injured.
celebrates its 75th anniversary.
1974: Poly North
opens at Big Bear Lake as a weekend human relations camp.
1975: A Program of
Additional Curricular Experiences (PACE) is formed, drawing gifted students
from around the Long Beach district for college-preparatory classes.
1986: Poly High is
one of six California schools that year to receive the Distinguished School
Recognition Award, the California Department of Education's highest honor.
1988: Poly High has
six National Merit Scholarship finalists, more than any other U.S. high
1993: Poly is the
first (and still the only) area high school to split the principal's duties
among three administrators.
1994: Huong Tran Nguyen, a Poly bilingual educator, is named
teacher of the year by The Walt Disney Co.