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John Harvard's Journal

Yesterday's News

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

July-August 2020

Cartoon showing student pilots flying airplanes above Harvard's campus

Illustration by Mark Steele


Illustration by Mark Steele

1935

The Summer School hosts multiple discussions of national educational policy, the editors report, noting “signs that academic freedom may become a central issue in a modern struggle as momentous as the earlier struggles in this country for the principle of liberty.” They encourage “bring[ing] into schools and colleges a closer contact with the realities of life. Quacks and nostrums still succeed…despite advances in the social sciences, there is no safeguard in the general mind against the demagogue, the jingo, or the maker of false economic promises. Nor have the natural sciences routed superstition. Those who still believe that the truth has a least some part in making human beings free have much to do in seeing to it that the truth is widely known.”

1940

Harvard sets up a summer aviation camp at Plymouth, offering students a chance to earn private pilots’ certificates from the Civil Aeronautics Authority. 

1955

Helen Keller ’04 becomes the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Harvard. Her fellow honorands include Andrew Wyeth, Archibald Mac­Leish, West Germany’s chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, and Harvard’s president emeritus, James Bryant Conant. 

1960

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences establishes a new degree, A.B. in Extension Studies, to replace the Adj.A. (adjunct in arts) previously awarded.

1970

The Faculty of Arts and Scien­ces resoundingly votes down the so-called Princeton Plan already adopted by 15 other universities: a proposal for a two-week recess during the fall so students may participate in political campaigns.

1990

Widener Library will require stack users to sign in “after an unidentified vandal mutilated more than a hundred books and a phone message threatened physical harm to anyone who interfered.”

2010

The Medical School updates its conflict-of-interest policies, prohibiting faculty participation in industry-sponsored speakers’ bureaus and limiting industry funding for continuing medical-education course content.

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Beds were set up for Spanish flu patients outside the Harvard-affiliated Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in 1918.
Photograph courtesy of the Brigham and Women's Hospital Archives

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Photograph of Nelson Mandela receiving honorary degree and University Marshal Rick Hunt

Nelson Mandela, holding his honorary degree, and University Marshal Rick Hunt

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