Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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  • March 1, 1944 – The Harvard Police begin wearing visored caps and dark blue uniforms like those of regular Cambridge and Boston policemen. Standard apparel had been plain clothes since the turn of the century. 
  • March 13, 1944 – Between matinees at Boston’s RKO Theatre, composer-pianist Duke Ellington visits Paine Hall to give a 20-minute lecture on the blues (“Negro Music in America”). At the keyboard, Ellington illustrates his talk with “Sophisticated Lady,” “Subtle Slough,” “Dancers in Love,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” and “Mood Indigo.” 
  • March 1948 – The Division of Geological Sciences votes to discontinue geography as a separate field of undergraduate concentration, prompting consternation among faculty and students alike. 
  • March 24, 1949 – In Sanders Theatre, Harvard debaters meet counterparts from Cambridge University, England, to consider the following proposition: “Resolved, That the American Revolution was a mistake.” Not surprisingly, Cambridge argues the affirmative. Harvard wins the debate, which is its third consecutive contest with a British university. 
  • March 27, 1949 – The Harvard Glee Club and the Radcliffe Choral Society join forces with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Bach’s B-minor Mass, under the baton of Serge Koussevitzky. The annual Pension Fund Concert comes during Koussevitzky’s 25th and final BSO season. 
  • March 1950 – The Harvard Society for Minority Rights forms as an affiliate of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). HSMR President Walter C. Carrington ’52 indicates that the organization will also act on behalf of other minority groups. 
  • March 15, 1951 – “A Touch of the Times” and “Much Ado About Studying” – the first and second productions of the student-run Ivy Films – begin a one-week run at Boston’s Beacon Hill Theater. 
  • March 16, 1951 – Nieman Fellows produce an issue of The Harvard Crimson in which (among other things) the veteran journalists hand out “Oscars” (from the “Harvard Square Academy”) to stellar professors, list the best and worst books they have ever read, grouse over Cambridge snow removal and parking, and editorialize on Harvard, pro and con. The issue also includes a specially commissioned Li’l Abner comic strip by cartoonist Al Capp.— From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower