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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
New Haven, June 1.--A riotous celebration by the Freshman class at Yale involving the burning of the traditional "Freshman Fence" and the rough handling of a professor was under investigation here today. The riot, which occurred yesterday afternoon and evening, took place in the Berkeley Oval, the Freshman dormitory section. Professor F. H. Bangs was subjected to physical maltreatment when he tried to quell the outbreak.
The entire Freshman class faces today the prospect of being placed on probation as a result of its riotous action, which was started, as nearly as can be established, in celebration of the end of classes for the college year. Such a probationary measure would mean the recall to New Haven of the Freshman crew from Gales Ferry, where it is in practice for the race with the Crimson Freshmen.
Freshman Fence Fed To Flames
The riot began when the Freshmen sent a shower of logs from the windows of the dormitories ostensibly in an attempt to break as many electric lights as possible in the Oval. Their efforts were largely successful and, lacking further diversion along the same line, a convocation ensued which resulted in the building of a bonfire. In order to supply fuel, the venerable "Freshman Fence", dear to the memory of Yale graduates and esteemed as one of the traditions of the college, was torn from its historic position and was used piecemeal to feed the flames.
Alarmed at the possible further developments of the insurrection, the college officials took advantage of the preoccupation of the Freshmen in their high carnival to lock all possible exits from the Oval with padlocks.
Professor's Efforts Futile
Professor Bangs, who found himself incarcerated with the rebellious Freshmen behind the locked gates, made three courageous sallies in the face of the outraged prisoners to quell the disorders. His fourth sortie was greeted by a well-directed stream from a fire extinguisher which had been brought into action.
After the final retreat of Professor Bangs, order was only restored when Registrar John R. Ellis put in his appearance and with threats of probation called upon members of the Freshman class privatim et seriatim to restore peace at once.
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