Another nail in the Coffin" was the summation of C. Crane Brinton '19, McLean Professor of History, commenting on yesterday's action of the History Department in waiving the Latin requirement for its graduate candidates for the Doctoral Degree.
His announcement follows on the heels of President Conant's affirmation, Wednesday of his desire to see the distinction between the A.B. and S.B. abolished. Brinton, however, did not link the Department's decision with president Conant's declaration.
He emphasized that this move has no significance for undergraduate History concentrators, who, to qualify for an B.B. degree must still present three years' of high School "How long, O Catiline," or two years on the college level. Ph.D.'s in the field of history were formerly required to take two years of High School Latin or one year in college.
Contacted last night, David E. Owen, chairman of the history Department, asserted that "there is nothing sensational about this move; it has been contemplated for some time." To "clear up confusion" he added that his Department would continue to accept holders of S.B.'s for enrollment leading to an advanced degree. This fact, Owen thought, was unknown to many students, even inside the College.
History majors who anticipate graduate study will no longer have to fit Latin into their programs, although some members of the history Department have declared that an A.B. is decidedly an asset in the teaching profession.
President Conant could not be reached for his reaction to the new development in his prolonged fight to eliminate the S.B. degree in the University. he has maintained since his report of 1934, however, that Harvard is unnecessarily unique in its classical requirements.