Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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Nov. 4, 1949 – On the eve of the Princeton football game, Harvard has its first riot in more than a decade. Fueled by a Harvard pep rally, visiting Princetonians, and “a hundred gallons of beer,” the disturbance swells to a crowd of 2,000 stalling traffic in the heart of Harvard Square.

Cambridge police quickly respond, loading all within their grasp into paddy wagons (including several individuals just passing through). Things clear up by 1:30 a.m., Nov. 5. The aftermath? “[N]o students injured, one policeman knocked down, one set of police tires deflated, sixteen intercollegiates and several citizens arrested, fifteen bursar’s cards picked up by Yard proctors and University police.”

Days later, College Dean Wilbur J. Bender puts nine Harvard students on probation. (Quotations: “Harvard Alumni Bulletin,” 11/19/49)

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.

November 1953 – Some 300 alumni, faculty members, and friends of the School of Dental Medicine celebrate the completion of expanded and revamped facilities that constitute the “most extensive project of construction and renovation since 1909, the year when [the School] moved into its quarters at 188 Longwood Avenue, Boston, adjacent to the Medical School.” Dean Roy O. Greep presides over the exercises. (Quotation: “Harvard Alumni Bulletin,” 11/28/53)

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