Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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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 in service to the nation. 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.

Dec. 20, 1672 — Leonard Hoar, Class of 1650, is formally installed as Harvard’s third President and the first to have graduated from the College.

Dec. 15, 1788 — From the “Journal of Disorders” of Eliphalet Pearson, the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages: “More disorders at my public lecture, than I ever knew before. The bible, cloth, candles, and branches, I found laid in confusion upon the seat of the desk. During lecture several pebbles were snapped, certain gutteral [sic] sounds were made on each side the chapel, beside some whistling.”

Dec. 16, 1788 — From the “Journal of Disorders” of Eliphalet Pearson, the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages: “Still greater disorders at Doctor Wigglesworth’s public lecture. As he was passing up the alley, two vollies [sic] of stones, one from each side, were thrown at him, or just before him.”

Dec. 7, 1912 — Librarians move the last books out of Gore Hall before it is demolished (1913) in favor of its successor, Widener Library.

Dec. 7, 1940 — Exactly one year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Harvard Alumni Association holds a special daylong symposium in Cambridge on Harvard and national defense. President James Bryant Conant addresses the topic during a dinner at the Harvard Club of Boston.

Dec. 8, 1941 — More than 1,200 undergraduates gather at noon in Sanders Theatre to hear U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s congressional address on Japan’s Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. Before a jam-packed Sanders crowd that evening, President James Bryant Conant pledges the University’s full resources to help bring about swift and total victory, and he alerts the Harvard faculties to prepare to revise their curricula.

Dec. 2-3, 1942 — Seven Mexican and three Bolivian journalists visit Harvard while touring the U.S. and Canada to study wartime conditions.