Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

1 min read

May 14-15, 1874 – In response to a challenge from the McGill University Foot-ball (sic) Club, the Harvard University Foot Ball (sic) Club squares off against McGill at Jarvis Field (near the west end of today’s Perkins Hall).

Rules of the game still vary, so the teams play one match by Harvard rules (May 14) and another by McGill’s modified English rugby rules (May 15). Although 15 players are originally set for each side, four McGill men have to remain in Montreal, reducing each side to 11 players. Harvard wins the first match (three games), 3-0; the second ends in a zero-zero tie. Harvard goes to Montreal for a third match in October.

The Harvard-McGill games become the basis of modern American football.

May 1916 – The Division of History, Government, and Economics holds Harvard’s first divisional examinations for 24 members of the Class of 1917 who are finishing College early to receive special &”war degrees” given to those who have satisfactorily completed 12 (instead of the usual 16) courses and wish to leave for active duty in World War I or join ROTC.

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