Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Yesterday's News

March-April 2010

 1920 

The editors express hope that an “overalls movement”—“the cultivation of a spirit of moderation in this period of lavish expenditure”—that seems to have gained headway in other colleges will spread at Harvard as a way to end its reputation as a “rich man’s college.” 

 

 1930

The Flying Club bests 13 other college clubs to win the first Loening Trophy for intercollegiate flying, for making the greatest advance in aeronautics. 

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“Prohibition is becoming more and more of a national and inescapable issue,” reports the Bulletin. A straw poll of 14 colleges reveals 64 percent of undergraduates imbibe alcohol. At Harvard, 78 percent of students reported drinking; at Yale, 71 percent; but “Princeton polled the wettest vote,” at 79 percent. 

 

 1940

President Conant leaves for a month’s visit to the West Coast—“one of many recent indications,” note the editors, “that Harvard aspires to rid itself of any charge of provincialism….The educational as well as the population center of the country is moving westward.” 

 

 1945

The 10,800-ton cargo ship SS Harvard Victory is launched, carrying a working library for use of the crew as a gift from the University. 

 

 1950

Responding to a poll conducted by the United Press, Secretary to the University David M. Little ’18 agrees that current undergraduates are in many ways superior to those of a decade or so earlier: “There’s no question…that these 1950 boys are more mature, alert, and serious-minded…The GIs who returned to college had a tremendous influence in spreading their habits of hard work among the student body.”  

 

 1970

Nearly 3,000 rioters battle police for more than four hours in Harvard Square, in what one official calls “the worst civil disturbance in Massachusetts history.” Many demonstrators have come from a peaceful antiwar rally on Boston Common, but police eventually employ tear-gas and nightsticks to curb the crowd. Damage to more than 40 local businesses from fire, broken windows, and looting exceeds $100,000. 

 

 1975

As the economy worsens, the Office of Career Guidance reports a surge of interest in banking. “Banking was a dirty word a few years ago, but somehow it seems that if anything is going to survive Armageddon it’ll be Chase Manhattan,” writes Undergraduate columnist Paul K. Rowe ’75.