May 21, 1940 — “The Harvard Crimson” publishes a statement endorsed by hundreds of students vowing “never under any circumstances to follow the footsteps of the students of 1917” who had gone off to fight in World War I. Thirty-four members of the Class of 1917 defend their actions in a statement published on May 31.
May 18-29, 1942 — About 50 newspaper editors from across the nation convene in the Faculty Club Library for an “Institute on War Problems,” sponsored by the Nieman Foundation (for journalism). In on- and off-the-record talks, participants learn helpful cues for interpreting wartime news on a global scale.
May 3, 1943 — The Harvard Corporation hosts an informal dinner for the heads of Cambridge government in the Eliot House rooms of the Society of Fellows. The results are so successful that it is unanimously voted to make it an annual event.
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 27, 1943 — Traditional Commencement Day in the Yard. Graduation exercises and the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association are combined into one three-hour afternoon. A crowd of about 7,000 is expected (10,000 seats are eventually set out and occupied, with about 1,000 additional standees), prompting a change of ceremonial venue from the Sever Quadrangle to the south porch of the Memorial Church.
May 1946 — As part of its continuing effort to expand housing for returning veterans, Harvard signs a three-year lease on the Hotel Brunswick (Boylston St., Boston). Repainted and refurbished, the hotel operates as a Harvard dormitory at the start of the fall term. Residents are a 20-minute subway ride from Harvard Square.
May 17, 1956 — The Committee on Undergraduate Affairs grants permission for WHRB-Radio to expand into FM broadcasting.
May 12, 1958 — Eliot House hosts a dinner for poet T. S. Eliot ’10 (’09), A.M. ’11, a longtime associate of the House.