Soldiers in a pre-meteorology class in 1943
Soldiers drilling in front of Clark V in 1943
Soldiers at Pomona College in 1943 during specialized training
Professor Willis Pequenat in a zoology class in 1943
An Army Air Forces detachment of 225 enlisted men were part of a Pomona College training program for weather officers in 1943
Laguna Beach Lab Sold
The College’s Marine Biology Lab in Laguna Beach, which had been in operation for summer programming in marine zoology since 1913, was sold in 1943. From 1943 until 1967, the program continued as a six-week summer program at a rented facility, Caltech’s Kerckhoff Marine Lab in Corona del Mar.
In February, a detachment of 225 enlisted men came to the College as part of a pre-meteorological program sponsored by the Air Force. In June, 325 men came to campus for the Army Specialized Training Program in basic engineering, European languages and Asian languages. By the autumn of 1943, almost half of the students on campus were in the two military programs, and the number of civilian male students was down to about 60.
Athletics and Men’s Organizations Discontinued
With the lowering of the draft age to 18 in 1942, the number of incoming male students dwindled and so, in 1943, intercollegiate athletics and most men’s organizations at the College were discontinued, including Men’s Glee Club, the Associated Men Students and several fraternities.
Women Take Charge
The great reduction in the male ranks of students gave women an opportunity to take on more leadership positions on campus, editing The Student Life and the Metate, and maintaining traditions and activities. Margaret Boothby ’45 became the first woman to be elected president of the Associated Students.
Pomona College students are fingerprinted as part of a national effort to record the prints of everyone in the United States.
Art Clokey and Gumby
A pioneer of stop motion clay animation, Art Clokey '43 was a high school teacher and USC film student when his three-minute experimental film Gumbasia caught the attention of 20th Century Fox. His characters Gumby and Pokey debuted on The Howdy Doody Show, landing their own TV series in 1957. Gumby returned to pop culture prominence in the 1980s when Eddie Murphy parodied the character on Saturday Night Live (“I’m Gumby, dammit!”), leading to a new TV series and a feature film.
- The Battle of Stalingrad ended with the surrender of the German 6th Army.
- Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Oklahoma opened on Broadway.
- An Allied invasion of Italy prompted the Italian government to switch sides, but Italy remained a battleground between Allied and German forces.