Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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  • Oct. 17, 1944 – In the “Harvard Service News,” Anthropology Professor Earnest A. Hooton advocates the election of a woman to the U.S. presidency, noting that “the females of our species have certain qualities that ought to render them superior to males in statesmanship.” His comments are widely quoted in the general press.Disavowing himself as a “burning feminist,” Hooton observes that “[i]f women had run the affairs of the world for the past few thousands years, they could hardly have made a worse mess of them than the men have. [. . .] I believe that the greater honesty of women springs from their lesser ability to befuddle their own consciences with specious excuses and fallacious reasoning. Their capacity for moral deception is smaller than that of males. [. . .] The trouble is that there are at present too few women holding office to provide adequate knowledge of the legislative and administrative ability of the sex. [. . . ] I still look forward to a time when a woman will be sitting in the Presidential office of the White House. We should then have a First Gentleman of the land, and some of us would rather be that than President.” (As quoted in “Harvard Alumni Bulletin,” Nov. 4, 1944)
  • Oct. 26, 1952 – Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson worships at the First Parish Church in Harvard Square and visits President James Bryant Conant afterwards in Massachusetts Hall.– From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower