Yesterday's News

1920 Thanks to the Endowment Fund campaign, President Lowell approves a new salary scale for faculty members under which full professors will...

1920 Thanks to the Endowment Fund campaign, President Lowell approves a new salary scale for faculty members under which full professors will receive $6,000 to $8,000 annually (an increase from the previous $4,000 to $5,500), and instructors will receive between $1,600 and $2,750 (rather than $1,000 to $2,000).

*    *    *

A general examination in their field of study will henceforth be required of most seniors, to “encourage students to conceive of education in terms of subjects rather than course-units….”

*    *    *

The editors express the hope that an “overalls movement”—“the cultivation of a spirit of moderation in this period of lavish expenditure”—that seems to have gained considerable headway in other colleges will spread at Harvard as a way to end its reputation as a “rich man’s college.”


1930 Alumni write to protest the University’s policy of paying Widener Library scrubwomen less than the minimum wage and deducting pay for the daily 20-minute “rest period” each worker is allotted. The writers urge Harvard to investigate its policy toward other manual workers and to give 29 fired scrubwomen their back wages, asserting that “Harvard could well afford such an expenditure, and in the long run would profit…through doing the right and generous thing.”


1935 The research activities of the Harvard University Bureau for Street Traffic will be reorganized and expanded thanks to a gift from the Automobile Manufacturers Association.


1940 The College admissions committee announces its intention to create a plan to admit students “whose likelihood to succeed can be measured not so much by a scholastic aptitude test…as by steady work habits, good judgment, and an interest in studies.”


1945 The death of President Franklin Roosevelt ’04 stuns the nation and the Harvard community, but in the interests of “providing essential training for Army and Navy personnel,” classes are continued as usual.


1950 Responding to a poll conducted by the United Press, the secretary to the University agrees that current undergraduates are in many ways superior to those who graduated a decade or so earlier. According to David M. Little ’18, “There’s no question…that these 1950 boys are more mature, alert, and serious-minded….The G.I.s who returned to College had a tremendous influence in spreading their habits of hard work among the student body.”


1965 Louis Beer ’66, Harvard’s representative to Boston’s annual pancake-eating contest, sets an all-time College record by devouring 119 in 30 minutes.


1975 Harvard Medical School and the Monsanto Company have joined forces in a 12-year, $23-million project in basic biological research, “the base for a totally new field—biologic-industrial technology.”


1980 The Faculty of Arts and Sciences votes to legitimize drama as part of the undergraduate curriculum, authorizing a faculty committee to approve courses and recommend lecturers from the recently arrived American Repertory Theatre.


1985 An estimated 5,000 people gather in Tercentenary Theatre on April 4 to hear the Reverend Jesse Jackson call on Harvard and other institutions to divest their holdings in companies doing business in South Africa.

*    *    *

After seven years of disembowelment while the MBTA extends the Red Line to Alewife, Harvard Square is again intact. The old subway kiosk’s roof has become the roof of the Out of Town newsstand.   

You might also like

General Counsel Diane Lopez to Retire

Stepping down after 30 years of University service

Navigating Changing Careers

Harvard researchers seek to empower individuals to steer their own careers.

Easing the Energy Transition

How the Bezos Earth Fund hopes to seed economic transformation

Most popular

Transitions Gradual and Cataclysmic

Andrew Knoll on the planet’s past—and fraught future

The Context: Daniel Lieberman on Food Addiction

Framing the news with our best articles on diet and health

How Paper Crumples

The research provides insight into the way materials react to repeated strain.

More to explore

Illustration of a box containing a laid-off fossil fuel worker's office belongings

Preparing for the Energy Transition

Expect massive job losses in industries associated with fossil fuels. The time to get ready is now.

Apollonia Poilâne standing in front of rows of fresh-baked loaves at her family's flagship bakery

Her Bread and Butter

A third-generation French baker on legacy loaves and the "magic" of baking

Illustration that plays on the grade A+ and the term Ai

AI in the Academy

Generative AI can enhance teaching and learning but augurs a shift to oral forms of student assessment.