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Much Confusion Concerning Exact Date at Last Settled.


The 304th anniversary of the birth of John Harvard was celebrated last Monday, November 27, by a short address in Appleton Chapel at the time of morning prayers. As the Founder's birthday was celebrated last year on November 29 it seems best to clear up the question of the date for future celebrations.

No record of the date of John Harvard's birth has ever been discovered by historians, but the baptismal records of St. Saviour's Church, Southwark, bear the following entry: "1607 November 29 John Harvye S. of Robt. a Butcher." It has generally been assumed that he was not baptized on the day of his birth, but according to the custom of the church in this time, three days after. This custom may or may not have been followed. However, at the time of the 300th anniversary of the birth of John Harvard in 1907, the celebration was arranged for November 26 in accordance with the custom cited above. On this date a special service was held in Appleton Chapel in the morning and in the evening about three hundred and fifty graduates and undergraduates attended a dinner in Memorial Hall arranged by the Memorial Society. On the evening of November 29, however the undergraduates held a torch-light procession to the Stadium returning finally to the Delta where three last cheers were given.

In view of the records now existing and in accordance with the official celebration in 1907 it has been agreed that November 26 has the better right to be observed as the birthday of John Harvard.

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