Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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  • Dec. 16, 1788 – From the “Journal of Disorders” of Eliphalet Pearson, the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages: “Still greater disorders at Doctor Wigglesworth’s public lecture. As he was passing up the alley, two vollies [sic] of stones, one from each side, were thrown at him, or just before him.” 
  • Dec. 13, 1856 – A(bbott) Lawrence Lowell, Harvard’s future 22nd President, is born in Boston. 
  • Dec. 3, 1872 – The Harvard University Foot Ball Club organizes in Holden Chapel; Bob Grant, Class of 1873, is the first president. 
  • Dec. 7, 1912 – Librarians move the last books out of Gore Hall before it is demolished (1913) in favor of its successor, Widener Library. 
  • Dec. 7, 1940 – Exactly one year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Harvard Alumni Association holds a special daylong symposium in Cambridge on Harvard and national defense. President James Bryant Conant addresses the topic during a dinner at the Harvard Club of Boston. 
  • Dec. 8, 1941 – More than 1,200 undergraduates gather at noon in Sanders Theatre to hear U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s congressional address on Japan’s Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. Before a jam-packed Sanders crowd that evening, President James Bryant Conant pledges the University’s full resources to help bring about swift and total victory, and he alerts the Harvard faculties to prepare to revise their curricula. – From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower