Yesterday's News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

1923 The College admits 940 applicants, its largest class ever. For the first time, those in the top seventh of their preparatory schools have been admitted without having to take entrance exams.


1928 Radcliffe surveys its married alumnae to find out "what sort of men [they] prefer to marry." The answer is clear: 53 percent had chosen Harvard men; MIT placed second with 5 percent; Yale ran third, with 2.5 percent.


The University plans to give a total of $350,000 in financial aid to its students, enough to pay the tuition of the entire previous year's College class.


1933 The editors report, "Interest in football seems to be at a low ebb in Cambridge" and elsewhere and suggest this is due to a combination of students preferring to participate in athletics, rather than cheer on classmates, and of elaborate rules and coaching that make the game "an uninteresting struggle."


After two months on the job, President James B. Conant discontinues the 7 o'clock rising bell in Harvard Yard, ending a tradition that has long outraged sleepy freshmen. (In the earliest days of the College, the bell was rung at 5 a.m.)


1938 A hundred men turn up for the beginning of football practice; the editors note "reports from Soldiers Field [that] the material is somewhat better than...last year and in the fall of 1936."


1943 On September 6, in a ceremony whose guest of honor is kept secret until the day before, the University grants an honorary degree to Winston Churchill. The chance to hear "the man whose character and eloquence have been the inspiration of the free world in its darkest hour" brings many professors home from vacations and leads many families to cancel Labor Day plans.


1948 Responding to queries about a military draft, President Conant suggests that the country "apply the principle of universal liability or obligation to everyone at 18 years of age or on graduation from high school."


1953 Nathan M. Pusey, recently attacked by Senator Joseph McCarthy as a "rabid anti anti-communist," becomes Harvard's twenty-fourth president.

1958 The Harvard Cooperative House, the first of its type at the College, opens at 3 Sacramento Street after more than 1,000 hours of refurbishing and cleaning. Chores are done on a rotating basis by its 29 residents.


1968 Harvard offers its first-ever class on the study of race relations in American history--Social Sciences 5, "The Afro-American Experience." A committee established the previous spring continues to examine African-American and African history as well as black life on campus.


1973 House populations have grown to such a degree that "capacity figures"--the numbers calculated to give most juniors and all seniors their own rooms--have been far outstripped.


1978 Radcliffe College celebrates its centennial on September 15 and 16 with speeches, a gala dinner, exhibitions, and the awarding of honorary degrees.


1983 The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, Harvard's oldest music group, is invited to play in Russia--a first for any Harvard group.


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