Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Yesterday's News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

July-August 2009

 1929

Construction crews are busy pouring foundations for the first units of the new “houses” on Plympton and DeWolfe streets, raising the steel frame of the new athletic building, and converting Boylston Hall from a mostly science to a mostly nonscience facility.

 

 1944

Thomas J. Watson, president of IBM, formally presents Harvard with the “revolutionary” Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, 51 feet long and eight feet high, the brainchild in part of associate professor turned naval commander Howard H. Aiken, Ph.D. ’39. 

*  *  *

President James Bryant Conant offers Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks estate in Washington, D.C., for a conference of delegates from Britain, Russia, and the United States to plan for the preservation of peace in the postwar world.  

 

 1949

Fully air-conditioned Lamont Library, open to both sexes during summer school, becomes the center of activity during the hottest Cambridge summer yet recorded.

 

 1954

Hurricane Carol strikes with 120-mile-per-hour winds on August 31, toppling three of the oldest elms in the Yard, de-roofing the Newell Boathouse shed, and dropping a finial through the roof of Memorial Hall.

 

 1964

Post-Commencement statistics reveal that, excluding those seniors headed for engineering, research, and technical jobs, the Peace Corps (at 16 percent) accounts for the largest segment of new graduates.  

 

 1969

Early in the morning of August 20, a man attempting to steal Widener's two-volume Gutenberg Bible falls approximately 50 feet from a rope into an interior courtyard of the library, breaking his leg and cracking his skull. The Bible is recovered in excellent condition apart from damage to the bindings, which were not original. 

 

 1974

New studies offer various plans for improving Harvard Square: among the issues involved are the dearth of parking spaces and debates about rerouting cars, proposed guidelines for real-estate development, and Harvard’s own long-range development plans.