There will be no classes tomorrow because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is going to celebrate the birthday of Christopher Columbus. The Commonwealth is not a very pretty place to have to live in these days, but be it ever so humble, Columbus had a hand in discovering it.
Harvard, by the same token, should also celebrate, but with reservations, because by rights Harvard should disapprove of Christopher Columbus.
Columbus attended a college that was, comparatively speaking, very much more advanced and enlightened than Harvard. And he was thrown out. He was thrown out because he was loud-mouthed, arrogant, cock-sure, unwilling to study and opposed to the methods of scientific investigation.
He got his big chance because he had what we would call "the gift of gab" and, more important, what we would call "pull." He succeeded because he had courage and because he was lucky.
There will always be men like him, with a smattering of knowledge and a nice smile and a guardian angel keeping them out of trouble, but they cannot be counted upon. Research, scientific investigation and free inquiry will have to go on, even if a mischievous Dame Fortune rewards the undeserving. Columbus was the XVth century Corrigan.
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