November 19, 1856: William E. Ritter is born on a pioneer homestead in Hampden, Wisconsin.
June 1891: University of California, Berkeley, Professor William E. Ritter marries physician Mary Bennett and honeymoons at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, where he collects zoological specimens at the seashore. He meets San Diego physician and shell collector Fred Baker.
1892: The University of California provides Ritter and students with $200 to establish a summer instruc- tion program in marine zoology. Ritter purchases a tent and a few instruments and sets up a seaside laboratory at Pacific Grove, south of Berkeley, California.