The most important question in forming the department was what fields were to be emphasized. The most obvious field was that of Anglo-American history, just as Berkeley had developed the Latin American field. Berkeley had the Bancroft Library; the Los Angeles campus was near the Huntington Library. Into this British field, in addition to the chairman, Frank J. Klingberg, came Harvey, William Forbes Adams, Nelson Vance Russell, Clinton N. Howard, Charles Mowat, John S. Galbraith, Trygve Tholfsen and Mark Curtis. The European field was more difficult, because it had to be built from nothing. The Latin American field was not emphasized in the beginning because of the work in this field in the department at Berkeley.
The history department was one of the first four departments on the campus to be approved for Ph.D. work. The first degree was awarded in June, 1938, to Kenneth Bailey.
As Howard said to Mowat, "Charles, you do not understand;
we have to build our country while we live in it. Our churches are not heavily
endowed and ivy covered as in England." The same is true of the history
department. In 1945, there were 52 students in graduate work and 1,800 students
enrolled in history courses. In 1965, there were 318 graduates, and 7,313 students
enrolled in history courses. source
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