Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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May 4, 1943 — At the Boston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Boston firm of Perry, Shaw & Hepburn accepts the J. Harleston Parker Gold Medal for Houghton Library as the best architecture in New England for 1942. The City of Boston has given the award annually since 1923.

May 6, 1945 — At noon a novel contraption appears on high as a helicopter hovers over Harvard and lands on the riverbank in front of the Business School. A Coast Guard pilot and another officer alight from the craft to present a letter from the president of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce to a representative from its Boston counterpart.

Watching from motor launches (docked at the Weld Boat House float) are officials such as Governor Maurice J. Tobin, who eventually walks across the Anderson Bridge to inspect the craft. The helicopter had retraced the route of Paul Revere’s legendary 18th-century horseback ride to Lexington.

May 1946 — O.C. Carmichael, of the Carnegie Corp., taps President James Bryant Conant to chair a 10-member commission of educational administrators charged with exploring the possibility of combining the nation’s major educational-testing groups (e.g., the College Entrance Examination Board and the American Council on Education). The commission report of Oct. 4, 1946, recommends “that there be established the Cooperative Educational Testing Service.” The report paves the way for the creation of the Educational Testing Service in 1947.

May 1967 — More than 800 guests fill the Palmer Dixon Tennis Courts to celebrate John Finley’s 25th anniversary as Master of Eliot House.

June 19, 1638 — Shortly before this date, Nathaniel Eaton, first Master of the College, moves with his family from Charlestown into a house in the Yard. By Sept. 17, he has already assembled and begun teaching the first freshman Class of nine. Until the Bay Colony starts using coins for commerce, students for many years pay their tuition and living expenses in commodities ranging from agricultural products and livestock to boots, cloth, and hardware.

June 20, 1659 — In response to a recent town/gown disorder, the Harvard Corporation reserves responsibility for policing the Yard while acknowledging the town’s right to enforce civic ordinances.

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