Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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  • January 1870 ‹ A statute creates and defines the Deanship of the College Faculty. History Professor Ephraim W. Gurney becomes the first incumbent this year and serves until 1876. 
  • Jan. 6, 1871 ‹ The Harvard Corporation votes to establish the nation¹s first professorship of political economy, to which Charles F. Dunbar, Class of 1851, is appointed on Feb. 10. Dunbar takes up his duties in September. 
  • Jan. 31, 1885 ‹ On the 635-foot summit of Great Blue Hill (in Milton, Mass., south of Boston), Abbott Lawrence Rotch and Willard Peabody Gerrish move into a meteorological observatory that Rotch had begun building in the fall of 1884. Later in the year, the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory becomes a Harvard department, with Rotch as director. 
  • January 1908 ‹ The Harvard Theological Review debuts. 
  • January 1914 ‹ The Cruft Memorial Laboratory is completed on Oxford St. for the Department of Electrical Engineering. 
  • January 1914 ‹ After three failed attempts (the first dating back to 1870-71), Harvard and MIT finally reach an agreement for cooperative efforts in scientific teaching and research. Legal and financial complications, however, unravel this initial collaboration by 1919, prompting Harvard to reestablish engineering instruction on its own in an Engineering School while leaving the door open to cooperative arrangements with other institutions. 
  • January 1919 ‹ The first courses of the Harvard Engineering School take place in the University Museum.- From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower