Yesterday’s News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

1913

The class of ’14 votes almost unanimously for the installation of electric lights in the senior dorms, suggesting the $3,000 cost be covered by a $6 term-bill charge against sophomores and juniors.

1948

British constitutional historian Helen Maud Cam becomes the first woman granted tenure as a full professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

1953

Harvard University Press publishes Flying Saucers, by Paine professor of practical astronomy Donald H. Menzel. Warning that the “exploitation of the minds of the American public, feeding them fiction in the guise of fact under the protection of a free press,” could start a serious panic, he analyzes and debunks assorted alleged UFO sightings.

1958

The University stages a discreet fundraising event, “Harvard’s Day,” drawing 2,600 alumni and wives to Cambridge and reaching others with “The Case for the College,” an hour-long program carried on 197 CBS radio stations, Armed Forces Radio Service, Voice of America, and WCJB of Quito, Ecuador. Participants include Robert Frost ’01, Leonard Bernstein ’39, John F. Kennedy ’40, and Tom Lehrer ’47.

1963

A $72,000 Xerox Copyflo is installed in Widener only after a 12-man crew hoists the huge, steel-frame machine up by crane, swings it over the library’s roof, lowers it to D-level of the inner courtyard, and pushes it through a window. (The formerly off-site machine had produced an eight-fold increase in reproductions, including copies of books printed on deteriorating stock.)

1973

A proposal to reform the College calendar would bring freshmen to Cambridge before Labor Day, end first semester before Christmas, and end second semester in mid May. (Faculty members reject it.)

1983

A sampling of statistics from the College admissions office reveals 12,450 applications received for the class of 1987—down 6.5 percent from the previous year; a 14.5 percent drop in applicants from New York City; and a 20 percent increase in applicants from Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Kansas.

1998

Diana L. Eck, professor of comparative religion and Indian studies, and Episcopal minister Dorothy A. Austin become the first same-sex couple named to lead a Harvard House (Lowell).

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