Last night a crowd that jammed the New Lecture Hall to capacity heard one of the most important contributions that the American History Plan has yet given the University or the general public. Professor Felix Frankfurter has become one of the public figures of the nation, with his name cropping up in the metropolitan press, whenever a Supreme Court post becomes vacant, or a major change in Administration policy is decided upon. But with the glorification of the Professor into a public figure, the immediate Harvard community is bound to suffer, for no one can be a household word and yet remain readily accessible for students or the public to tap the vast fountain of knowledge that is surely there. There was great danger that Professor Frankfurter, with the necessary anonymity that must cloak anyone who enters carefully hooded against the press, both the White House and Hyde Park by the side door, would soon vanish into the clouds and become an "informed source close to the President."
For that reason, the Committee on Extra-Curricular Reading in American History, should be heartily congratulated for their services in securing Professor Frankfurter for a series of three public lectures upon so important and timely a topic as "The Court and Mr. Justice Holmes." The publication of the notable Reading List on American History which was so widely acclaimed was unquestionably a contribution of great and fundamental importance. But the present series of lectures sponsored by the Committee, making available the wisdom of noted and cloistered speakers to students and the general public can only be of the greatest practical value and significance to the American History Plan and to those whom it is intended to benefit.