Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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Nov. 6, 1770 – Rumblings of Revolution: Joseph Avery, Class of 1771, orates on “Oppression and Tyranny” before the Speaking Club.

Nov. 1791 – A writer in the Boston press accuses Harvard of poisoning students’ minds with Edward Gibbon’s monumental “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” (1776-88). President Joseph Willard replies that far from even considering Gibbon, the College uses a text by French historian Abbé Millot. Nathaniel Ames, who left Harvard around 1812, recalls Millot’s as “the most utterly worthless and contemptible work of that kind or any other extant.”

Nov. 24, 1873 – Charles Sprague Sargent officially begins a 54-year term as first Director of the Arnold Arboretum (est. 1872). Sargent soon enlists the aid of pioneering landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted – then busy designing the Boston park system – to help him lay out the grounds.

Nov. 23, 1876 – Princeton convenes a meeting in Springfield, Mass., that results in the formation of the Intercollegiate Football Association (Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia). Yale decides not to join but does contribute to the development of the IFA’s modified rugby rules.

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