Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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  • January 1935 – In his second Annual Report, President James Bryant Conant proposes the creation of a special category of academic appointment, the University Professorship. In his memoirs (“My Several Lives”), he recalls that “I spoke of ‘University Professors with roving commissions whose teaching and creative work shall not be hampered by departmental considerations.’ A year later, after working with deans about budgets and presenting the scheme to them, I could see how the original idea would also provide flexibility in a system which could otherwise easily become rigid.”
  • January 1948 – A $100,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation establishes the Russian Research Center (now the Davis Center for Russian Studies) to help fill gaps in the nation’s knowledge of the Soviet Union.Faculty for the Center will consist of anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, economists, historians, political scientists, and experts in Slavic languages and literatures. Carried out independently of government agencies, all research is to be made public.

    Anthropology Professor Clyde Kluckhohn serves as the first director.

  • January 1950 – Cambridge Police Patrolman Thomas F. Burke, the voice of Harvard Square, retires after 34 years on the force – the final 15 as occupant of a little green booth (on the corner near the Coop) from which his amplified comments attempted to bring order to the Square. Classic remarks:”Hey, Chevvy, Hey Chevvy, no double parking!”

    “I wonder where the lady in the green hat thinks she’s going!” (Quotations: “Harvard Alumni Bulletin,” Feb. 11, 1950)

    – From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower