Flashback to 1971-'72

A Chronicle of the Major Events the Class of '72 Faced In Its Senior Year

June 29, 1971

Radcliffe approves a deal that more closely links it with Harvard. The two will share fundraising and financing, and Radcliffe houses will join a unified house system, but admissions are still to be handled separately.

July 1, 1971

Derek C. Bok succeeds Nathan M. Pusey '28, becoming Harvard University's 25th president and the first without a degree from Harvard College. Bok begins a restructuring of top-level administration, spreading authority over four vice-presidents and two presidential assistants.

September 24, 1971

All students are photographed during registration for Harvard's first photographic identification cards. Keeping an eye on Big Brother, student representatives insure that the University makes no copies and returns all negatives.

September 24, 1971

Incoming Radcliffe students find in their registration folders a letter from the "Alumni Committee on Undergraduate Comportment," which cites an alleged increase in contraceptive device sales and asks the female students to "restrain the baser instincts of the menfolk." The mimeographed letter is evidently a hoax. The Harvard Lampoon denies responsibility.

September 27, 1971

Harvard-Radcliffe Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) pickets outside a class taught by Professor of Psychology Richard J. Herrnstein. An article he wrote for the Atlantic Monthly justifies unemployment as the result of an inherited lack of mental ability, their leaflets charge. The protesters enter the lecture hall but do not disrupt his talk.

September 29, 1971

Word reaches Cambridge that Richard E. Hyland '69-'70, a leader of the 1969 seizure of University Hall, has been arrested in Mexico City for alleged revolutionary activities. Mexican police charge that he is a member of the Movimiento de Accion Revolucionario, a group allegedly responsible for a series of bank robberies. Later allegations link him to the Comando Armando del Peuble, a Marxist urban guerilla group. Authorities do not level a specific charge. Under Mexican law, Hyland may be held in prison for as long as a year before charges are brought.

September 30, 1971

Cambridge City Council campaign expenses reach $144 for Robert A. Romagna '74. Romagna, a 19-year-old undergraduate, is running on an anti-corruption platform.

October 4, 1971

The Crimson publishes an affirmative-action plan submitted by the University to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare in February. The plan commits Harvard to employ only a slightly higher number of women and minorities, but predicts an increase in the percentage of women and minorities due to an anticipated drop in overall employment.

October 5, 1971

President Bok calls for the ratio of men to women in Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges to fall from 4 to 1 to about 2.5 to 1 over the next four years. He proposes a decrease in the number of incoming male students from slightly over 1,200 to about 1,150 and an increase in the number of incoming female students from just over 300 to about 450. He dismisses the implementation of a one-to-one ratio as economically risky at the time.

October 6, 1971

Cambridge Election Commission clerks turn away about 30 college students who attempts to register at a "register-in." Despite the recent passage of the 26th Amendment, the clerks give varying reasons reasons for denying the students' effort.

October 15, 1971

Simon S. Kuznets, Baker professor of economics, emeritus, wins the Nobel Prize for work done in the 1930s on national income accounting, including that of the gross national product.

October 26 1971

Presidential candiate George McGovern says at the Harvard Law Forum, "If I am elected president, I would not only bring an end to the war in Vietnam, but I would also declare a general amnesty for all those who have stood up against it."

November 1, 1971

U.S. Magistrate Willie J. Davis rules in favor of most of the Harvard students who brought suit against the Cambridge Board of Election Commission, deciding that in the case of 21 of 24 plaintiffs, the board had not produced adequate evidence to deny them their right to vote in the city.

November 4, 1971

With the final tally from the Nov. 2 election finally in Lawrence S. DiCara '71 wins a seat on the Boston City Council, after spending $16,000 on a shoe-string campaign. Romagna loses in his bid for the Cambridge City Council.

November 17, 1971

Daniel Ellsberg '52, the self-acknowledged source of the Pentagon Papers, dissects Harvard's war role in a speech at Lowell Lecture Hall. He cities President Pusey's outrage at the October 1970 Center for International Affairs bombing, saying: "I had missed it if Pusey had ever spoken out against the most massive bombing campaign in history--initiated by the former dean of the Harvard Faculty and extended to Cambodia and Laos by the former associate director of the Harvard Center for International Affairs," referring to National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger '50, respectively.

November 20, 1971

Harvard beats Yale 35-16 in The Game after quarterback Eric Crone throws two touchdown passes in the first quarter.

November 30, 1971

Coleman P. Harrison '74 receives a one-year suspended sentence and a three-year parole after being found guilty of armed robbery and assault and battery of a Boston police officer during a welfare demonstration.

December 1971

Twenty students organize the Harvard-Radcliffe Gay Students Association, Harvard's first undergraduate gay rights group.

December 20, 1971

Mexican authorities deport Richard E. Hyland '69-'70. He is to be tried in absentia for charges connecting him to two Mexican revolutionary groups. "At no time was I a member of any of those groups," Hyland says.

December 27, 1971

Two Harvard social psychologists present a study that shows that more than half of the American people, if given orders to shoot all inhabitants of a Vietnamese village suspected of aiding the enemy, would follow those orders.

January 15, 1972

The Harvard Club of New York announces its intention to admit women.

January 19, 1972

The Faculty Council unanimously passes a resolution that condemns the federal government's interrogation of scholars in the Pentagon Papers case.

January 27, 1972

Tuition, room and board costs rise from $275 to $4,745.

Febuary 11, 1972

Dean of Freshmen F. Skiddy von Stade Jr. '38 asks for current first-years to volunteer to live in the Yard as advisers to the incoming class, foreshadowing the current prefect program.

Febuary 24, 1972

About 50 black protesters, most of the them Harvard students, stage a mill-in at University Hall to demand that Harvard divest itself of its 680,000 shares of Gulf Oil stock. They charge that Gulf, through investment in Portugese colonies in Africa, "facilitates the daily slaughter of Africans."

March 4, 1972

President Bok ruptures his Achilles tendon during a basketball game against Crimson editors.

March 16, 1972

President Bok approves a plan to house first-year women in Harvard Yard for the first time.

April 12, 1972

With 34 Law School professors, President Bok sends a letter to Congress that calls. President Nixon's busing proposals "a failure in leadership" and warns that "the two bills, if enacted, would sacrifice the enforcement of constitutional rights, impair the functions of the judiciary under a rule of law, and jeopardize the improved schooling for many, many children."

April 16, 1972

A People's Coalition for Peace and Justice antiwar demonstration turns into a near-riot. About 125 people, only a few of them Harvard students, ransack the Center for International Affairs, inflicting $20,000 to $25,000 in damages before police and firement disperse them and clear Harvard Squre with tear gas.

April 19, 1972

President Bok announces that the Harvard Corporation will not sell its stock in the Gulf Oil Company. Instead, the Corporation will ask Gulf to set forth its plan for improving its employment, training and management policies. Also, the University will send a fact finder to Angola.

April 20, 1972

Two dozen black protesters seize Massachusetts Hall at dawn in protest of the Corporation's Gulf Oil Decision. That night, a meeting of 2,000 students in Sanders Theatre calls for a five-day strike against the war and in support of the Pan-African Liberation Committee (PALC) seizure of Mass. Hall.

April 21, 1972

Class attendence is about 25 percent. A deputy sherriff reads a temporary restraining order to the Mass. Hall protesters.

April 26, 1972

PALC protesters march out of Mass. Hall, their fists thrust upward, in a proud but less-than-victorious end to the 153-hour occupation, the longest in Harvard's history.

May 3, 1972

President Bok announces that the Harvard Corporation voted in favor of two disclosure resolutions filed with the Ford Motor Company and the General Motors Corporation. It is the first time the University has voted against management in a proxy fight.

May 15, 1972

The Radcliffe Board of Trustees confirms that Matina S. Horner has been appointed the next president of Radcliffe. The announcement follows a year-long search for a replacement for Mary I. Bunting.

May 15, 1972

President Bok declines an invitation to a party thrown by President Nixon. Bok, in Washington to meet with other Ivy League presidents and to lobby against the Vietnam War, says, "My wife and I both felt uncomfortable given the President's decision on the bombing of North Vietnam and the mining of the harbors."

June 7, 1972

The Committee on Rights and Responsibilities decides not to require the withdrawal of any of the 34 students who seized Mass. Hall.

June 13, 1972

The 21 students who last November won the right to vote in Cambridge after a court challenge, receive letters informing them that the Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners is removing their names from the voters' list.

June 15, 1972

Commencement echoes the past year: some 4,200 graduates march into Tercentenary Theatre concurrent with four student protests.