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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

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EDITORS DAILY CRIMSON. - Some time ago several correspondents made different propositions in your columns about courses in contemporaneous history. I should like to advance still another plan on the same subject.

The main idea in having lectures in contemporaneous history should be not so much to make men acquainted with the events which are happening before their eyes. as to enable them to read newspapers and periodicals with understanding. It is comparatively easy to have a fair knowledge of what is happening in the world, but it is often quite difficult to know the significance of those events, or to understand the great questions which agitate the public mind. It would therefore be valuable to all if some instructors would give a few lectures on the most important events and questions which are being discussed in the newspapers. Mr. Hart has explained the arguments on both sides in the controversy between the President and the Senate, and made that question intelligible to many who had but an imperfect idea of it. If such lectures could be given on the most important questions as they arise, many men would take more active interest in politics. In the case of some topics (as the difficulty between the President and the Senate) one lecture would suffice; in the case of more intricate questions, two or three might be necessary. If possible, even foreign topics of such great importance as the Irish questions should be taken up. The lectures might be given in Sever 11 in the afternoon or evening, and attendance should, of course, be entirely voluntary. We have French, Greek and Latin readings, and the instructors in these departments do a good deal to make men acquainted with some of the great books of those languages; they therefore must have something done to make them thoroughly understand the great questions of the day.

'86.

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