History

Joan Didion giving a commencement speech with a UC Riverside blue and yellow gradient on both sides

Joan Didion’s ‘lost’ commencement address, revealed

The late California author’s 1975 talk, reproduced here, has been called among the best commencement addresses ever.

Ralph Bunche shaking hands with Martin Luther King Jr. as Coretta Scott King smiles.

Archival papers show bond between Ralph Bunche and Martin Luther King Jr.

The only UC alumnus to be honored with a Nobel Peace Prize, Bunche marched with King in Alabama and was a champion of racial equality. 

bell hooks portrait

Alumna bell hooks — celebrated feminist theorist, cultural critic, artist and writer — dies at 69

hooks was the author of over two dozen books, including the groundbreaking ‘Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism’ and ‘Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood.’

A Latina seamstress at work

Eight films with UCLA ties among 25 named to the National Film Registry

The Librarian of Congress annually selects the United States’ most influential motion pictures for this honor.

Kara Cooney examining an Egyptian artifact

Renowned Egyptologist says it’s time to stop romanticizing ancient Egypt

Pyramids, pharaohs and ancient Egyptian gods reflect the trappings of authoritarianism, says archeologist Kara Cooney.

South Iceland village with sea visible

How one tiny island influenced the world

Egill Bjarnason, journalist and alum, explains the big history of his native Iceland in a “joyously peculiar book.”

Image of torn black and white photo of a mission

UC teams with Indigenous scholars to recast history of the California missions

UCLA-led critical mission studies program creates a new model to understand the past, present and future.

Matthew Henson

A lunar honor for explorer Matthew Henson, thanks to a UCLA graduate student

A crater on the moon is now named for the Black Arctic explorer, whose achievements were played down in his lifetime.

A Catholic manuscript from the early Americas

New book explores how an epidemic shaped Christianity in the Americas

A new book details how Indigenous Mexicans rebuilt the Roman Catholic Church in the aftermath of an outbreak.

Olympic athlete montage

Quiz: How well do you know your UC Olympians?

The Tokyo Summer Games marks 100 years of UC Olympic history! See how well you know our competitors past and present with this quiz.

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