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Homecoming festivities began at UCLA in 1928, but its heyday was during the late 1950s. It was exactly what people think of when they thought of the era: the picturesque “golden age” of America. A homecoming queen and king were selected by the student body, followed by the dance and football game.
During the homecoming queen’s coronation, an honor guard comprised of midshipmen and cadets from all three ROTC units would flank the queen and her attendants as she walked down Janss Steps to be crowned. An honor guard also accompanied them during the parade.
However, the shot that killed President John F. Kennedy also killed homecoming. News broke of his assassination the day before the 1963 keystone event. It recovered the next year but the extravagance of a homecoming court and other formalities never resurfaced. Today, very few remnants remain of what used to be the centerpiece of the fall semester.
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Source: UCLA Southern Life yearbooks: 1928, 1953 – 1964, 1976.
Photo taken from the 1952 UCLA yearbook