Looking Back 100 Years at Dickens' Centennial

Crimson FILE Photo

1946 Crimson

Every Friday, The Crimson publishes a selection of articles from days and years past.

Feb. 7, 1912: The Dickens Centennial

An unusual interest attaches to Professor Copeland's reading in the Union this evening. It may be called Harvard's only recognition of the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, with whose amiable characters nearly all of us are familiar. In New York a committee of which T. Roosevelt '80 is chairman, last night gave a banquet at which the best known writers of the country paid tribute to the author of "Pickwick". This evening the same committee will organize a mass meeting where Dr. Van Dyke, H. W. Mabie, and William Watson, of London, will speak. Were it not for Professor Copeland, it is doubtful if any of us would take an interest in Dickens today other than to hear that William Watson, of London, read an original poem in commemoration of the anniversary "before a large and cultured audience."

To those who recently heard Professor Bliss Perry's brilliant lecture on "Dickens", in Comparative Literature 12, or to those who are already familiar with the inimitable Dick Swiveller, the Artful Dodger, Mr. Pecksniff, with his air of injured innocence, Miss Sarah Gamp or her omnipresent friend Mrs. Harris, little urging to hear Professor Copeland need be given. To those unacquainted with some of the most familiar and lovable characters in fiction, the reading this evening offers a rare opportunity in this land of plenty.

Feb. 9, 1959: ROTC Instructor Welcomes 'Cliffie As First Girl To Enroll in Course

"This is Military Sciences 1b," the Colonel began. ROTC members had filed in with amazing regularity for a 9 o'clock class. "Promptness is the courtesy of kings," the colonel said. "I guess I'll have to get up ten minutes earlier," the Cliffie thought. The walk from the Radcliffe dorms to Shannon Hall is a long one.

"You are the first young lady to come to this class in all the years I've been teaching it," the colonel went on. "Are you thinking of auditing this course?" "I'd like to take it, sir," she answered. The colonel laughed. "You're welcome." Before the experiment, skeptics had warned she'd be thrown out on her curls.

"Open to non-ROTC students with permission of the instructor," the course catalogue said. There was no gender qualification. The instructor seemed willing to give his permission.

Feb. 8, 1978: Students Celebrate College Shutdown

While firemen, public works employees, policemen and National Guardsmen battled one of the worst snowstorms in New England history, a party atmosphere reigned in Harvard Square as a multitude of students and Cambridge residents enjoyed the winter wonderland.

"Thank God for acts of God," said Nicholas H. Vanderbilt '80. "But I'm not looking forward to digging my car out."

Many students delighted in the sense of anarchy that prevailed yesterday, although some felt let down by Harvard's failure to overcome the forces of nature.

—Compiled by Kerry M. Flynn, Jared T. Lucky, and Julie M. Zauzmer

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