By Dina Martin
President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address as the Civil War rages.
Samuel Clemens becomes Mark Twain for the first time.
Mail delivery begins in 49 US cities; postage is 3 cents.
Ground is broken in Sacramento on the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad.
Amid this backdrop, the California Educational Society (now the California Teachers Association) was formed by John Swett. CTA has been advocating for children and public education for 150 years, first sponsoring legislation that established free public schools in California back in 1866 and fighting for the state’s first class size reduction law in 1895.
To help celebrate the rich and significant history of our great association during our sesquicentennial, historic and provocative events and issues will be outlined in the Educator magazine, discussed at conferences and honored or celebrated statewide and locally. Some members, especially younger teachers, may not know the rights they now have were won on picket lines, in courtrooms, and in hard-fought political campaigns decades ago.
There are many heroes in our public schools. Like our founders, CTA members are still voting, advocating, bargaining and organizing for students, for better communities, and for the respect, benefits and salaries that educators and education support professionals deserve.
Note: In every 2013 issue of the Educator we will be highlighting a portion of CTA’s proud history in a timeline. You’ll find the sights and sounds of teachers making history — and making their voices heard across the state — from yesteryear to today. Collect all 9 and put them together for a big look at all we’ve accomplished over the past 150 years.