Yesterday's News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

1919 Alice Hamilton is appointed assistant professor of industrial medicine, becoming the first woman to hold a professorial position at the University.


1934 The mayor of Cambridge orders that fire trucks from the new station near Memorial Hall must not sound their sirens on Thursday nights (when concerts are in progress) until they are two blocks away from Sanders Theatre.

Illustration by Mark Steele

1944 Between matinees at the RKO Theatre in Boston, Duke Ellington visits Harvard to discuss "Negro Music in America" before a crowd in Paine Hall, and then treats the audience to a medley that includes "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and "Mood Indigo."


1954 A Center for Middle Eastern Studies has been established at Harvard within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the third such "area program" in the University; the others focus on East Asia and the Soviet Union. Faculty members from the graduate schools of law, business, public health, and public administration are also involved in the project.


1969 Some 70 students occupy University Hall to protest ROTC and Harvard expansion, precipitating a police bust and student strike.


1974 A $200 increase in tuition and a $125 increase in room-and-board rates raise the cost of a Harvard-Radcliffe education to $5,350 — the same price as Yale's.


1979 President Derek C. Bok issues two open letters to the Harvard community, on "the ethical responsibilities of the university in society" and on "divestment of stock," both concerning in large part Harvard's ownership of stock in companies doing business in apartheid South Africa. A Washington Post editorial suggests that Bok has "sharpened the issue at least to a point where the opponents can see each other."


1984 Computer-consciousness is on the rise throughout the University. The Business School has announced that incoming M.B.A. students will be required to use portable IBM personal computers as part of regular class preparation, and the Expository Writing program is offering an experimental section in which the papers are written and critiqued on computers on loan from IBM.


You might also like

Threats Foreign and Domestic

Joseph Nye discusses geopolitics and Harvard’s challenges.

Harvard’s New Football Coach: A Real Tiger

The magazine’s football correspondent advises fans to deal with it.

The Interim President’s Agenda

Alan Garber on campus speech, academics, and his other Harvard priorities

Most popular

Open Book: The Photographer’s Art

Robin Kelsey probes the place of photography within art.

An Ipswich Idyll

Restorations revive the grand spirit of a North Shore estate.

Harvard Corporation to Drop Law School Shield Linked to Slavery

The announcement follows a Law School committee’s recommendation to abandon the shield. 

More to explore

Photograph of Winthrop Bell 1910

Winthrop Bell

Brief life of a philosopher and spy: 1884-1965

Illustration of people talking to each other with colorful thought bubbles above their heads

Talking about Talking

Fostering healthy disagreement

Vacationing with a Purpose

New England “summer camps” for adults