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The completely unbossed attitude of a large part of this country with regard to Harvard affairs was shown recently by the author of one of those mass production, pre-fabricated political columns called, "The National Whirl gig." At the time of the Tercentenary, when even the most crabbed of Boston reporters were lulled into amiability by Harvard's antiquity and learning, one columnist gave birth to a unique interpretation of the exercises in the Yard. It appears under the straightforward, no-foolin' title, "Out in the Rain."
"The Boston drizzle which slanted off President Roosevelt's top hat was balmy by comparison with the welcome which Harvard officials and alumni extended to their most distinguished alumnus at the tercentenary celebration. The president's party was given a cold, academic shoulder.
In awarding honorary degrees, President Conant jibed at new deal aims and principles. Despite contrary (Roosevelt) theories, he noted that "mathematical cycles still revolve" and that the Constitution still preserves our liberties. FDR was allowed to huddle in the rain during the open air ceremonies, although wealthy and prominent Harvardians nearby had more than enough umbrellas to go around.
University officials angrily refused to permit the White House press party to set up telegraph wires on the spot. So poor were the arrangements that some reporters accompanying the president could not squeeze into the hall. Veteran presidential companies can't recall when a chief executive was so thorough rebuffed as FDR was at his alma mater. In his manner and in his cart address joshing Harvard for its dislike of democratic presidents Mr. Roosevelt gave tit for fat.
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