Memorial Hall has played a social part as well a utilitarian one in the history of the University. Its chief contribution to the body of Harvard's etiquette occurred when Senator Charles Summer of Civil War fame was conducted on a tour of the University.
Straying away from the officials, the good Senator found himself on a small balcony overlooking the great hall where the students ate. It was noontime. The fare, which none but the brave could eat, was on the tables.
The students noticed Senator Sumner, made conspicuous in his perch by a shining plug hat which he had forgotten to remove. With rhythmic regularity, feet began to pound. Sumner bowed deeply. The stomping increased in direct proportion. He bowed again. Half a dozen lumps of bread whistled by his head. One of his escorts hurried up to him and asked him to remove the hat. He did so, and all was peace again. Shortly afterward, the Maintenance Department posted a sign on the stairs leading to the balcony. It is visible to this day. "Gentlemen will please remove their hats."
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Class proms, no longer given, used to be held in Memorial Hall. The orchestra played in the balcony where Senator Sumner had his experience. The sounding board is still in place.
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The waitresses for the dining room used to live on the premises. they occupied rooms, now empty, high up in the tower, walking in a week over a mile straight up and down.
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The new transmitter of the Radio Club, placed in the basement of the Astronomy Laboratory, ostensibly to make contact with the East African Observatory, has become a source of aggravation to the graduate students residing in Perkins Hall.
So much power does it draw in operation, that the lights in Perkins flicker and dim while the transmitter is in operation, thus interfering with the graduate's studious activities.
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Contrary to a widely spread rumor, Stephen Leacock, McGill professor of Economics and noted humorous essayist, will not come to Harvard as a roving professor under the Tercentenary Fund.
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Hollis 17 still has marks left there by Colonial soldiers who stacked their guns for the night by the simple process of jamming the bayonet into the ceiling.