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American History Exam for Bliss Prizes to be Held November 30

Jones Emphasizes Fact That Bliss Awards Are Only Part of Plan To Educate Students In American Culture--Counsellors Glad To Assist All Students


Competitive examinations for the William H. Bliss Prizes in American History and Literature totalling $250 will be held on November 30 and April 15, according to an announcement yesterday by Howard M. Jones, professor of English, Chairman of the Committee supervising the awards.

The first Bliss prize of $100 was won last year by Harold V. B. Cloveland '38 for the best appear among the twenty-five submitted in the contest under Plan I. This year, contestants under Plan I will be examined in the autumn and those under Plan II in the spring.

Strictly Extra-Curricular

The program set in motion a year ago provides that undergraduates in Harvard College who wish to compete for the annual prizes may present themselves for examination on books selected from Parts I and II of the Harvard Reading List in American History. The Committee will emphasize the extracurricular nature of the competition by excluding from the examination under Plan I students who have had any courses in American History or American literature.

Also, excited from examination under Plan II, are concentrators in American History and American Literature, together with all other students credited with a total of more than a course and a half in these fields (including courses which are being taken at the time of the examination). Under Plan I the annual prize in $100; under Plan II a first and a second prize are offered, of $100 and $50 respectively.

List Attracts Public Interest

First announced by President Conant in his Report for 1935-1936, the work of the faculty Committee on the Extra-Curricular Study of American History has been steadily expanded. The Raiding List, prepared by the Committee and published by the University in 1937, has attracted widespread attention; more than six thousand copies have been mailed out in response to inquiries from persons not connected with the University.

In 1937-1938 the Committee sponsored lectures by Falix Frankfurter, and Bernard Do Vote '18; during 1938-1939 it will present Professor Edwin F. Gay and President James Phinney Baxter of Williams College. Last year the program of providing assistance for students in their reading was inaugurated in meetings with Freshmen at the Union.

Names of Counsellors

This year, in addition, a Counsellor has been appointed for each of the Houses:

J. W. Finch, Eliot.

Granville Hicks, Adams.

C. Hislop, Leverett.

C. J. Olson, Jr., Winthrop

R. C. Overton, Kirkland.

E. S. Morgan, Lowell.

H. N. Smith, Dunster.

Professor Jones has pointed out that although the competitions for the Bliss Prizes are an important part of the Committee's plans, they represent but one phase of a general effort to awaken in undergraduates an interest in the formative influences which have gone to make American civilization what it is today.

Any Student May Receive Help

The Counsellors will be glad to assist any student who wishes to increase his understanding of American culture, past and present, whether he plans to compete for the Bliss Prizes or not. The Committee is especially eager to interest students not taking courses in the American field.

Further information regarding the competitive examinations, and copies of the Reading List, may be obtained from the various Counsellors at the Union and in the Houses, or at Strauss Hall Common Room from 4:15 to 5:30 o'clock on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

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