FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The 50th anniversary of the naming of California’s official state insect is in July – and it was students from Fresno who were instrumental in making that happen.

According to Sierra College, a state butterfly for California was first proposed in 1929 when members of the Lorquin Entomological Society pushed to have more people recognize the importance of entomology (the study of insects).

However, it would be 43 years later when the now state insect would be made official.

In 1972, fourth-grade students at Dailey Elementary School wrote to then Assemblymember Kenneth Maddy, leading Maddy to introduce a bill in the state legislature. That bill was approved by then-Governor Ronald Reagan on July 28, 1972.

Another four decades would pass before the California Dogface got another opportunity to shine on postage stamps. In 2019, the U.S. Postal Service issued the California Dogface stamp allowing the state insect to spread its wings on letters sent across the nation.