Campus & Community

This month in Harvard History

1 min read

Nov. 28, 1942 – The Cocoanut Grove, a celebrated Boston night spot, burns on Thanksgiving weekend, killing some 500 people, including 15 from Harvard. Already in Boston at the time, an instructing officer and several student officers of the Harvard-based Naval Communications School are among the first to arrive on the scene. They play an important part in initial rescue efforts. Additional Harvard instructors, undergraduates, and alumni arrive before midnight and during the following day to lend a hand as stretcher-bearers, hospital orderlies, and body-identification assistants. Many students and faculty from the Medical School assist as well. The Harvard Alumni Bulletin reports that “a deep pall was cast over the entire University.”

Nov. 11, 1951 – On Armistice Day (now Veterans’ Day), an overflow crowd jams the Memorial Church for the dedication of the World War II Memorial wall, bearing the names of those from the Harvard family who gave their lives during the conflict. The guest preacher is the Rt. Rev. Henry Knox Sherrill, Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America. Divinity School Dean Willard L. Sperry formally accepts the tablets as a gift from the University to the Church.

– From the Harvard

Historical Calendar,

a database compiled by

Marvin Hightower