Look back at Sonoma County’s graduates

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As May draws to a close, thousands of Sonoma County high school and college graduates will don a cap and gown and celebrate their hard-earned achievement.

The traditional graduation attire dates back to 12th-century Europe, where clergy wore robes and hoods. Students adopted the garb to mark their passage from student to graduate — and keep them warm in drafty medieval halls.

Hoods transitioned to caps in the 14th century, and tassels where added much later. The movement of tassel from right to left and the tossing of the cap both are used to symbolize this life transition.

Alternatively, some female students wear a white dress and carry a bouquet of roses on graduation day. This tradition dates back to the early 1900s and mimics the formal presentation attire donned by debutantes at their coming-out balls.

Click through our gallery above to view photos of Sonoma County graduates way back when.

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