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John Harvard's Journal

Yesterday's News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

September-October 2008


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.



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.)



On September 6, in a ceremony whose guest is kept secret until the day before, Harvard awards 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” leads many professors to curtail vacations and many families to cancel Labor Day plans.



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.”



Harvard offers its very first class on race relations in American history: Social
Sciences 5, “The Afro-American Experience.” Meanwhile, a committee continues to examine African-American and African history as well as black life on campus.



Radcliffe College celebrates its centennial on September 15 and 16.


For the first time in nine years, undergraduates elect representatives to a College-wide assembly, and the class of ’82 forms two political groups. The Hedonist Party rallies around a platform of “constant physical contact between genders, oral surgery for Jimmy Carter, total use of beer, wine, Thai sticks, ganja cigarettes, Quaaludes, THC, and LSD as the bill of rights.” The Mongol Party campaigns for the ideals of “rape, pillage, plunder, and rape.” The dean of freshmen calls the Mongol agenda “moderate and sensible.”


The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, the University’s oldest music group, is invited to play in Russia—a first for any Harvard organization.