Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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May 26, 1902 — The Harvard Corporation approves the construction of a temporary addition to the south side of Boylston Hall. Completed over the summer and measuring 83 by 33 feet, the add-on consists of a single large laboratory for elementary-chemistry classes and a general-use basement. The addition opens in the fall, with a stucco exterior to match Boylston’s rough granite finish. (Wigglesworth Hall will not occupy part of this site until the early 1930s.)

May 31, 1902 — Harvard welcomes the French delegation that attended the May 24 dedication of a replica of Fernand Hamar’s bronze statue of Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, in Washington’s Lafayette Park (across from the White House).

Led by French Ambassador Jules Cambon, the group (which includes the Comte and Comtesse de Rochambeau, representing the family; and the Comte de Sahune de Lafayette, representing the family of the Marquis de Lafayette) attends part of the Harvard-Yale freshman baseball game at Soldiers Field, enjoys a reception with President Charles William Eliot in the Faculty Room of University Hall, and takes a drive around the University.

In Sanders Theatre, Alfred Croiset, Dean of the Faculty of Letters at the Sorbonne, delivers an address in French. After a late-afternoon tea at Phillips Brooks House, the delegation returns to Boston.

May 25, 1905 — On Ralph Waldo Emerson’s birthday, Harvard dedicates Emerson Hall (the first building in America devoted exclusively to philosophy) by hosting a national meeting of the American Philosophical Association. The then-large sum of $208,485 was needed to build and equip the hall. The Philosophy Department had previously functioned in locations scattered around the College.

May 1931 — The George Edward Woodberry Poetry Room — a gift of Harry Harkness Flagler — opens on the third floor of Widener Library. (The room is now in Lamont Library.)

May 8, 1939 — Near Austin Hall, the new Littauer Center of Public Administration is dedicated.