Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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June 19, 1858 – At the Boston City Regatta, crimson finds its first use as a Harvard color when members of a Harvard boat club seek to distinguish themselves among the many entrants. At a store, Charles William Eliot (then a tutor, later President) and club captain B.W. Crowninshield pick six crimson China-silk handkerchiefs to tie around their heads (University Archives holds several of the originals). The team beats 6 others from Boston, New York, and St. John in a 3-mile race. On July 5, they beat 7 boats in a 6-miler. Crimson becomes Harvards rowing color and spreads to other teams. The Harvard Corporation officially adopts it in 1910.

June 1894 – The newly incorporated Radcliffe College holds its first Commencement in the auditorium of Fay House. At the request of President Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, the graduates wear “pretty, simple dresses” instead of caps and gowns, which Agassiz deems excessively masculine and potentially provocative.

June 22, 1903 – Groundbreaking for Harvard Stadium takes place.

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