Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

George Harris, C.M. MacDougall, Ronald Reagan

Hart High School | Newhall, California


Monday, September 17, 1962 — (From left) George Harris, Hart High School principal from 1949-1965, and C.M. MacDougall, longtime Newhall Municipal Court judge, greet actor Ronald Reagan, former president of the Screen Actors Guild (1947-1952), at the school auditorium. Reagan gave a 45-minute talk on the topic, "What Price Freedom."

Harris, in a June 2000 Signal interview when Harris was 90, said the occasion was "before (Reagan) was governor of California. I took a group of seniors in to hear him speak at the auditorium."

Reagan had been invited to speak by the Newhall-Saugus Republican Women's Club as part of a speaker series. At the time, Reagan was contempating a career move into politics. Since 1960, he had been giving Republican stump speeches to service clubs and other organizations throughout Southern California.

About Hart High: Hart High students were housed in 1945 on the Walnut Street campus of Newhall Elementary while the school was being built one block to the west. The new campus opened in September 1946, and it was the Santa Clarita Valley's only high school until 1968 when Canyon High opened. From the 1940s to 1968, students came to Hart from all over the SCV. (Agua Dulce was split down the middle; kids on the east side went to high school in the Antelope Valley.)

The Henry Mayo Newhall Auditorium at Hart High School opened September 12, 1952. It was closed following the January 17, 1994 earthquake and reopened six years later.

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