Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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October 1784 — Harvard awards an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Maj. Gen. Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.

Fall 1899 — The Viking Club of Boston donates 155 volumes of modern Norwegian literature to the College Library.

October 1900 — The Harvard Corporation gives Ohio’s Great Serpent Mound to the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society. “The mound has been in the possession of the Peabody Museum ever since 1886, when it was purchased by private subscriptions amounting to $6,000, chiefly from citizens of Boston. The understanding was that the Museum should take charge of the mound until some local society should be able to receive it. Of late years there has been great difficulty in taking proper care of the Serpent Mound Park and it has therefore been transferred to the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society.” (Quoted from “The Harvard Bulletin,” Oct. 31, 1900)

Oct. 9, 1936 — The “Harvard Alumni Bulletin” launches a column called “The Undergraduate View” (later known simply as “The Undergraduate”). James B. Hallett ’37 pens the first installment.

Oct. 5, 1942 — For the first time since 1918, Harvard confers regular academic degrees in October. The no-frills autumn Commencement graduates 340 students from various University departments. “Unable to ‘draw near’ because of war duty throughout the country and overseas, the majority of candidates for the various degrees received their diplomas through the mails,” notes the “Harvard Alumni Bulletin” (Oct. 24, 1942).

“Commencements at Harvard since June, 1942, have been practically continuous,” the account adds, citing graduations of the various Harvard-based military training programs.

Oct. 17, 1944 — Chinese Finance Minister and Vice Premier Kung Hsiang-Hsi visits Harvard, taking in Massachusetts Hall, the Fogg Museum, the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Houghton and Baker libraries, and the Business School Faculty Club. He also poses for photographers beside the marble dragon given as a Tercentenary gift by the Chinese Alumni of Harvard. Kung is a 75th lineal descendant of Confucius and brother-in-law of Mme. Chiang Kai-shek.