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John Harvard's Journal

Yesterday’s News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

May-June 2015


1925

The senior and freshman classes assemble on the Widener steps to have their respective pictures taken, and the freshmen, according to custom, contribute to the seniors’ pre-Commencement celebration: the total is $244.24 and two cats, one alive and one dead.

Thirteen Harvard men gather on May 1 to organize the Harvard Club of Shanghai; Way Sung New, M.D. ’14, is elected president.

1940

After Germany invades the Netherlands, President Conant argues on national radio that “the changed military situation in Europe threatens our way of life,” and student support for aid to the Allies increases.

1950

Harvard enjoys its “most amazing financial year in history,” raising nearly $26 million in gifts, bequests, and grants.

1955

The Corporation approves a new doctoral gown for Harvard degree holders, “crimson silk and worsted stuff” faced down the front with black velvet and with three black velvet bars on each wide bell-shaped sleeve.

1980

Class Day speaker Walter Cronkite warns graduating seniors that unless they come to grips with the “megaproblems” of overpopulation, pollution, natural-resource depletion, and nuclear proliferation—“our modern Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”—civilization as we know it cannot survive.

1990

In mid May, President Derek Bok makes public the Harvard Corporation’s eight-month-old decision to remove from the University’s portfolio all stock in firms that manufacture tobacco products.

1995

Class Day speaker Hank Aaron shares a story about a young man who went running up to his father, saying, “Look, Dad, I got it! I got my A.B. from Harvard.” To which the father replied, “Son, that’s fine. We are all real proud. Now it’s time for you to go to work and learn the rest of the alphabet.”

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