Yesterday’s News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

Illustration by Mark Steele


1917 — T.W. Lamont ’92, chairman of the Harvard Endowment Committee, announces a novel plan to raise $10 million for the permanent endowment by appealing, for the first time, to all alumni and to “believers in Harvard other than its own sons,” rather than to a limited number of wealthy benefactors.


1932 — The Graduate School of Education, with Carnegie Foundation funding, is trying to determine the value of mechanical aids in classrooms, including the use of “talking films” in junior high schools as a means of improving science instruction.


1947 — President Conant, in his annual report, advocates continuing federal support for professional training, especially in the sciences, but warns against any University connection in peacetime with “secret research or development.”

The Bulletin calls Harvard a bargain among prestigious schools in the Northeast, despite its “rich man’s college” reputation: it now costs a total of $494 a semester, compared to $502.50 at Princeton, $524.50 at Williams, $544.50 at Columbia, and $650 at Yale.


1962 —Some 200 Harvard and Radcliffe students join several thousand other undergraduates in picketing the White House, demanding a “Turn Toward Peace.” The Crimson complains that any worthwhile ideas that the students may have are being jeopardized by their tactic of mass protest.


1967 — As an experiment, Lamont Library will be open in the spring term to Radcliffe undergraduates and Harvard’s 650 women graduate students.


1972 — In his first annual report, President Derek Bok asserts that recent upheavals at Harvard have led to an unanticipated development—a heightened sensitivity among the University’s separate faculties to each other’s interests and problems. “However painful the circumstances,” he writes, “barriers were broken down in ways that will serve the University well in future years.”


1992 — Some 1,800 “shoppers” attend the first meeting of “Contemporary African-American Cinema,” offered by visiting lecturer in Afro-American studies Shelton J. (Spike) Lee. His enrollment limit for the course is 60.

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