The "65 Club" was at its peak when we were students. Members included Professors Ben Boyer (Civil Procedure), Richard Carpenter (Tax), Brooks Cox (Contracts), Laurence Eldredge (Criminal Law), Milton Green (Conflicts), Jerome Hall (Criminal Law) Rollin Perkins (Criminal Law), Richard Powell (Property), Shelden Tefft (Remedies), Harold Verall (Community Property).
We were an oversized class needing five first year sections instead of the usual four. The reason was that the school had over-accepted, presumably anticipating more students being drafted once the educational deferment did not extend into graduate education.
The first year women met during orientation with the student women's organization called the Women’s Caucus (later renamed the Hastings Women’s Union), and the upper class woman leader of that group exclaimed, "We're so glad to see you all -- so many of you!" Women were about fifteen percent of the class.
President Richard Nixon made his famous visit to China during our first year. The Vietnam War continued.
Professor William Prosser -- "the" name in Torts -- was scheduled to teach a couple of sections of us in the first year, but he fell ill shortly before the year started. Professor Justin Smith substituted. He frequently joked that "southern California" had different rules.
The Hastings Law Journal was the only law review until our third year, when the Hastings Constitutional Law Journal was begun by our classmate David Steiner. There are now nine law reviews.
Rollin Perkins, who taught Criminal Law to some of us, taught the elements of crimes with many hypotheticals ("Suppose D had a grudge against X and . . ."). Larceny and embezzlement were imparted with a series of "jewel box" hypotheticals.
During our second year: (1) The Watergate break-in occurred in June 1972. (2) The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, had the “Munich Massacre” where eleven members of the Israeli team were kidnapped and eventually killed by a Palestinian terrorist group. (3) At those Olympics, swimmer Mark Spitz won seven Gold medals and set seven world records. (4) Richard Nixon was re-elected to a second term as president in a landslide over George McGovern. (4) The Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. (5) The Paper Chase movie was released.
Beginning in 1973, the OPEC oil embargo caused gas prices to skyrocket to about fifty cents. Rationing restricted purchase of gas for a while to odd and even days based on one’s license plate. The stock market crashed during the same period.
During our third year: (1) The Senate Watergate Committee conducted year-long hearings into the Watergate break-in and cover-up. Nixon resigned the August after we graduated, right after many of us had taken the California Bar Exam. He was later pardoned of any crimes in office by his successor, Gerald Ford. (2) During the last semester of our third year, Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army as a political prisoner. In response to a demand for a massive distribution of food to the poor, her famous family made a lesser distribution than demanded and Patty was not released. In April 1974, Patty participated in a bank robbery with her captors because she had joined the group. In the subsequent trial for the crime, she was convicted despite the defense claim of brainwashing. She was later pardoned.
In our second year, the thoroughbred racehorse Secretariat became the first Triple Crown winner in twenty-five years. Secretariat set records in all three races – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes – that still stand today. In our third year, millions of people worldwide watched a televised tennis match where Billie Jean King defeated Bobbie Riggs in a game that was called the Battle of the Sexes.
Upon our graduation in May 1974, our law degrees were signed by Governor Ronald Wilson Reagan, who went on to become the 40th President of the United States.
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