The Mather Witch Project

In 1692, there was a tide in the affairs of the Mathers. Increase Mather, the family patriarch, had just reluctantly accepted his appointment as Harvard’s seventh president. His son, Cotton, was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young minister who fully immersed himself in all things Protestant. Neither had much to do with the other’s business, until something wicked came their way.

Food and Drink

The Other John

John the Orange Man began selling fruit in Harvard Square in 1858, about a decade after he immigrated to Cambridge to escape the Irish potato famine. He worked in the Square until his death following an operation in 1906, and during that period, saw the erection of 26 university buildings, and made the acquaintance of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Theodore Roosevelt. In 1891, the Boston Daily Globe dubbed him “the most popular man at Harvard.”



A MEETING of the Harvard Nine was held on Friday, January 16, to fill the vacancy caused by the departure of their Captain, Mr. White, for Europe. The meeting resulted in the choice of Mr. C. T. Tyler, '74, as Captain, and of Mr. A. G. Hodges, '74, as Secretary.


Diary of a Mad Librarian

SCENE: THE LIBRARY. (Curious Freshman removes a catalogue-card from its proper place). NOAH. Look here, sir! Don't you know it's against the rule to take those cards from the drawer? CURIOUS FRESH. But I suppose it's no matter, as I did it insensibly. NOAH (excited). Yes, but it is! You will incense Sibley, if you are not careful!


B.F. Skinner at Harvard

Long before there were grab and go lunches and weekly pub trivia nights, slot machines and pianos filled the basement of Memorial Hall. The lucky gamblers and musicians were not students or faculty, but pigeons.


The Tell-Tale Heart

The oldest college periodical is essentially a gossip rag. Plus a dream journal. And an exposé of the "Spy Club."


Timeline: Beer at Harvard

1637: John Harvard moves from England to Massachusetts Bay Colony. He dies later that year, leaving money to New College, which is later renamed for its greatest benefactor. Harvard develops plans to build a brewery on its campus. Legend has it that Harvard learned the art of beer brewing from family friend William Shakespeare. One could say that the College’s on-campus brewery used recipes directly from the “First Folio.”


Retrospective: Faculty in Hot Water

In light of the Venezuelan President's recent threat of legal action against a Harvard professor, here's a trip down the Harvard Faculty's extensive memory lane of lawsuits, threats, and accusations.

Holden Chapel

Services, Cadavers, and Collegium: The History of Holden Chapel

A young Holyoke of the Class of 1746 chronicled the happenings at Harvard College before his admission: “1742, June 2. Foundation of the Chapel Laid Some part of ye begin’g of this month. [sic]” Thus he recorded the beginning of a symbolic change in the Harvard Yard: the construction of its first chapel. Despite the many religious commitments of Harvard men, who read the Scriptures multiple times in a day and practiced the teachings of the Bible, a century went by until Holden was built.

Samuel L. Coffin

The Legend of the Z-List

The Z-list inhabits an especially remote cranny in the cave of Harvard lore. The core of the Z-list intrigue is exclusivity. As admission rates have plummeted, mystery has increased.


Battle of the Ban

As soon as Beyoncé told us to “Ban Bossy,” we had to take note.


The Class of 1918

It was easy to get in then. No personal essays required, just a series of entrance examinations. 73 percent of applicants were admitted. Admittedly, there are lots of reasons to discount these numbers. The exams required special preparation available only at a few elite prep schools. There was no Common App, no female students, and only 937 people applied.

Final Clubs

Greek Life Timeline

Though Final Clubs, fraternities, and sororities are long-standing staples of the Harvard social scene, their presence is anything but static. Last year, sorority Alpha Phi set down its roots in Cambridge, while fraternity Kappa Sigma reinstated its Harvard chapter last week after an eighty-year hiatus. FM digs into the archives to create a chronology of Harvard’s dynamic Greek life.


In And Around Language: "Midterm"

Please sit down. We’re passing out booklets now. You should have a question sheet and two booklets. Raise your hand if you—sorry about that James, there you go. You’ll have 53 minutes; there are four sections. We’ve included a suggested time for each section. I’ll also keep track of how much time is left on the board. And...begin.

Kuumba Rehearsal

The Politics and History of Kuumba

Today, the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College is a choir of more than 100 members. Its mission “to express the creativity and spirituality of black people through song” has endured over the years, though the group has experienced many changes and faced various challenges since its founding in 1970. “No one person can understand Kuumba completely,” the choir’s vice president Matthew S. Williams ’14 says. “It’s still a mystery to me how this group has been able to last and maintain so much of what makes it itself for so long.”