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Yesterday's News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

November-December 2003

1923 Responding to a New York Times assertion that "information from Harvard, Princeton and Yale" indicates that the Volstead Act seems to have driven many students from the "comparative moderation of the last decade," the Bulletin's editors report that "the testimony of the College officers and of the police and our own observation convince us that both drinking and drunkenness have fallen off in Cambridge."


1928 Harvard has received an anonymous gift of $3 million to build and endow an upperclass House, dining halls and common rooms. The gift and possibility of new dorms have prompted debate over whether it would benefit the College and students to split them into smaller living groups.


1943 The University reports its civilian enrollment is only 1,925 out of a total of 8,000 undergraduates and graduates. About 2,200 students are enrolled in army programs and about 3,600 in naval programs.


1948 Groundskeepers discover a nefarious Game plot: several MIT students have wired the field to blast that school's initials into the grass. "Local police were called in, a trap was set, and, shortly before game time, an MIT junior and his lady friend were apprehended near the detonating point." Eight students were suspended and one placed on probation.


1953 Senator Joseph McCarthy calls Harvard "a smelly mess" for continuing to employ a former member of the Communist Party. The Corporation states that it would not best serve the University to dismiss the junior faculty member "at this time."


1958 Plans have been completed for an extension of Leverett House. For the first time, the University decides to build high: two 12-story glass-and-limestone towers to house 280 students.


1963 Segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace delivers a speech to a packed Sanders Theatre that the editors describe as "alternately humble, cajoling, homey, obscure, quick, and disarming."


1968 Fury erupts at a December 3 faculty meeting when philosophy professor Hilary Putnam introduces an anti-ROTC resolutiom. The huge attendance forces the meeting to be held in Sanders Theatre; outside, 250 students hand out leaflets and shout, "ROTC must go."


1983 On November 19, the hundredth Harvard-Yale football game is played in the Yale Bowl, a mile from the old park where the first game took place in 1875. Harvard wins, 16-7, to tie Pennsylvania for the Ivy League title.