Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

2 min read
  • Feb. 28, 1942 – In the Yard, Houghton Library is formally opened and dedicated as the new home of Harvard’s rare books and manuscripts. It is the nation’s first academic library specifically constructed for this purpose and the world’s first library with built-in climate control. The fireproof and earthquake-proof structure is originally designed to house 250,000 volumes. 
  • February 1943 – Composer-pianist Béla Bartók comes to the Music Department for the spring term as the fourth Horatio Appleton Lamb Lecturer. During his stay, he gives two series of lectures at the Music Building and, on March 26, a free public concert in Sanders Theatre. 
  • February 1943 – Animator Walt Disney visits Harvard to consult with Anthropology Department Chair Earnest A. Hooton about a forthcoming Technicolor film ridiculing Adolf Hitler’s racist theories. On the steps of the Faculty Club, Disney tells the Boston press that he plans to leave Hitler “out of the picture,” since “too much attention has already been given to that guy.” 
  • February 1943 – With an eye toward the postwar world, the Business School launches a research project on the role of local radio advertising in the marketing of peacetime products nationwide. Plans include making the results available to retailers, service operators, local manufacturers, radio stations, and advertising agencies. 
  • Feb. 22, 1945 – At the Fogg Museum, the Harvard University Committee on Inter-American Relations hosts a reception for Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, who had conducted the Boston Symphony in a Sanders Theatre concert devoted entirely to his music on Feb. 21.– From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower