Yesterday’s News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

Illustration by Mark Steele


1911 Holworthy Hall, refurbished after 99 years, boasts hot-water heating and “shower baths” for the first time.

1916 More than 1,500 undergraduates and graduates have spent the summerin military training camps as part of anational “preparedness movement.”

1926 The Memorial Hall dining room closes because of students’ preference for “the nasty, unhygienic, and unsociable fashion of ‘eating around’ at cafeterias and lunch counters.”

1931 Adams, Eliot, Kirkland, Leverett, and Winthrop Houses open their doors as the House plan goes into full operation. For the first time, all the dorms in Harvard Yard will be occupied by freshman.

1936 Harvard adopts a new parietal rule: “Students living in the Houses will be given permission to entertain ladies in their rooms without a chaperon only if there are two or more ladies present.”

1941 President Conant is spending two days a week in Washington chairing the National Defense Research Commission. The Crimson, meanwhile, endorses “all-out war” to crush fascism.

1946 A record 11,700 students areenrolled in the University, 75 percent of whom are veterans.

1956 A fire severely damages the tower and roof of Memorial Hall during renovations.

1966 Radcliffe freshmen register alongside their Harvard counterparts for the first time.

Creation of the Institute of Politics is officially announced at a dinner on October 17 attended by eight members of the Kennedy family. (See "A Living Political Monument.")

1971 Derek Bok is installed as the twenty-fifth president of Harvard.

1976 The Harvard-Radcliffe class of 1980 is admitted under a gender-blind admissions process, resulting in thelowest male:female ratio to date—1.9:1.

You might also like

Steven Pinker on Apple’s Vision Pro

Professor of psychology on the science and history behind the Vision Pro.

The State of Black America

Harvard African American scholars take stock of a difficult moment. 

Threats Foreign and Domestic

Joseph Nye discusses geopolitics and Harvard’s challenges.

Most popular

We Can Do Better

A human-rights expert on Central American child immigrants

Let the Sonnets Be Unbroken

Neil Rudenstine guides readers through Shakespeare’s lyric masterpiece.

Martha Tedeschi to Lead Harvard Art Museums

Hailing from the Art Institute of Chicago, Tedeschi will assume the role next July. 

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