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Today decides tomorrow

Chico State and the beautiful town of Chico that surrounds it are full of history. Protests, movements, and pieces of the past that connect to us today. From Native Americans, to the Cold War, here are the reasons why Chico State is historically important.

1. Teacher’s College of 1921

Chico State was one of the first teaching colleges in California and the United States. It offered a chance for people to gain a teaching credential easily while earning their bachelor’s degree. It is still one of the best colleges to gain a teaching credential from in California. Being able to gain a credential without going through a completely separate program or institution.

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2. Bidwell Family Aboretum

Before the land of Chico State was turned into a school, it was an expansive orchard that belonged to the Bidwell family. They would host luxurious parties, and the only requirement for people to attend was to bring seeds of a tree from their travels. That is why the campus is covered in trees of all sorts. Palm trees, redwood, aspen and many more. And you better believe that Chico State is one of the most beautiful in the Fall.

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3. Mechoopda Tribe

Even before the Bidwell Family owned the orchards that Chico is on, the Mechoopda Native American Tribe lived on the land. To honor them, the college says a Native American prayer at the beginning of each year, and thanks them for the sacrifice they gave. A few of the dorms are even named after the tribe and their culture. (pronounced Meh-Ch-oop-duh)

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4. Cold War Nuclear Missile Base

Just a little outside of the more populated parts of Chico is the abandoned Missile Base. It was built during the Cold War, but dismantled in 1965.  It cost about $40 million to build, however a month after it was declared open and ready a missile exploded. This caused a rain of concrete all over the city of Chico, however it was overshadowed in the news by the launch of a new spacecraft. Thankfully, it was only the missile that exploded and did not set off the nuclear bomb attached to it.

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5. Peace Protests, Start of the Hippies

The nuclear missile base being built was a very skeptical subject for people in the city of Chico, however most cared more about protecting the US against Russia at the time. Until the missile went off, this sparked peace protests in the city which became more popularly known as the Hippies of the 70’s. That’s right, they started in Chico!

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Most people have not heard of CSU Chico, but the history of the college is actually more well known than most think. Explore the campus to find every hidden thing. If you attend a time capsule is opened usually every few years, to gain a look into the past. Keys to unlocking the city’s history are everywhere. There is more there than meets the eye.

Hope it helps! Happy Studies!


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Addison Bedford

Student from Chico State. Interested in photography, event planning, and anything mysterious or paranormal.


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