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John Harvard's Journal

Yesterday’s News

January-February 2022

Illustration of a collegiate hero, per Theodore Roosevelt in 1907

Illustration by Mark Steele


Illustration by Mark Steele

1907

President Theodore Roosevelt, A.B. 1880, in town to see his son, Theodore Jr. ’09, inducted into the Porcellian Club, addresses 2,000 students and alumni at the Harvard Union. “Harvard must do more than produce students,” he tells them. “The college man, the man of intellect and training, should take the lead in every fight for civic and social righteousness.”

1922

Acknowledging the geographical dispersion of Harvard men, the Board of Overseers and the Corporation agree that henceforth Overseers and Alumni Association directors will be elected by postal ballot rather than by vote of those alumni present on Commencement day.

1927

After conducting the physical examinations of the freshman class, Dr. Alfred Worcester, Henry K. Oliver Professor of Hygiene, reports that “smoking is a habit with 294 freshmen, 11 are color blind, 91 cannot swim, 297 wear glasses, 77 have lost their appendixes, 21 their adenoids, and 32 have never been vaccinated.”

At a Harvard Club of Boston colloquium titled “What is the Sub-Freshman Thinking About?” the principal of Phillips Exeter Academy reports that many high-school seniors and college freshman alike answer, “with surprising frankness, ‘Why…most of us are not thinking at all.’”

1937

Dean of the Divinity School Willard L. Sperry reports that attendance at Memorial Church’s morning prayers has dropped drastically with the recent move of undergraduates to the Houses. Bulletin editors note, “It was just fifty years ago that Harvard abandoned the rule requiring attendance at morning prayers. Probably very few of those who objected to the change would go back to the old order even if they could.”

1957

As of January 12, the Faculty extends upperclassmen’s Saturday night curfew to midnight and the freshmen’s curfew to 8 p.m.

1977

After 104 years, The Harvard Crimson elects Gay W. Seidman ’78 as its first woman president.

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Photograph of a pet hamster, dyed Yale blue, for a humor piece about Yale admissions

Photograph by iStock

Memorable Mentors

Painting: Carnations, Gillyvors, Willow

(1) Carnations. (2) Gillyvors. 
Perdita: The fairest flower o' the season
Are our Carnations and streaked Gillyvors, 
Which some call Nature's bastards 
Winter's Tale, Act IV, sc. 4 

(3) Willow. 
Queen: There is a Willow grows aslant a brook, 
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream. 
There on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clamoring to hang, an envious sliver broke. 
Hamlet, Act IV, sc. 7 

Artwork by Rosa M. Towne and photograph by Edward Tabor 

The Paintings Found Behind a Shelf of Books in the Harvard Botanical Museum

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Photograph of a pet hamster, dyed Yale blue, for a humor piece about Yale admissions

Photograph by iStock

Memorable Mentors

Painting: Carnations, Gillyvors, Willow

(1) Carnations. (2) Gillyvors. 
Perdita: The fairest flower o' the season
Are our Carnations and streaked Gillyvors, 
Which some call Nature's bastards 
Winter's Tale, Act IV, sc. 4 

(3) Willow. 
Queen: There is a Willow grows aslant a brook, 
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream. 
There on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clamoring to hang, an envious sliver broke. 
Hamlet, Act IV, sc. 7 

Artwork by Rosa M. Towne and photograph by Edward Tabor 

The Paintings Found Behind a Shelf of Books in the Harvard Botanical Museum