Colorful Crimson History Began with Off-Color Magenta...

Continual Process of Change Marks History of 73-Year-Old Crimson; Once Appeared as Bi-Weekly Literary Mag; Still Cambridge's Only Breakfast Table Daily

National and world news first began to be brought into the Crimson offices via the teletype in March 1934. It used to be claimed that Harvard's own newspaper had the smallest and cheapest professional news service in the country, thanks to United Press. The first contract, lasting for about two years, ran under the pretentious head, "Salients in the Day's News."

Today's Crimson carries UP news as "Over the Wire," which it has been ever since the service was resumed in 1939. The news includes the latest up to 8 o'clock of the previous evening but is always subject to change if the UP should have any important last-minute bulletin.

Whimsical, perverse, doubtful Vag has been the wry, yet sometimes sentimental, humorist of the editorial page since the end of 1926. At first, "The Student Vagabond" embodied an anonymous impersonal editor who would recommend certain lectures for possible browsers to audit. Eventually and inevitably, however, Vag's name stirred editorial imagination, and two years after his creation, he was becoming a composite of the lackadaisical, as well as the wise, Harvard man.

Confy Guide Born in '25

Perhaps the most famous, the most popular, and the most attentively read of the Crimson's various supplements has been the Crimson's Confidential Guide for Freshmen. First compiled in 1925 by Crimson editors who had personal impressions of each course, the Confy Guide sought to draw attention to the importance of elementary courses in whetting Freshman interest for the whole Harvard curriculum. Modern technique has substituted a system of polling the preceding Yardlings for reliance on editors' private judgments alone.


Next fall, a Crimson Telephone Directory will be printed as usual. The board in 1936 claimed to be pioneers in this project, but research has revealed that phone numbers were run in the regular Crimson columns in the early 20's, including that of the Crime itself: Cambridge 2811 and 2812, changed under the dial system to the same numbers in the Kirkland exchange.

"Crime" Is Official Nickname

The nickname "Crime," by the way, apparently originated with a little pun with which the Advocate used to amuse itself. "Crime's Own" was supposed to sound like "Crime-on." Anyway, Crimeds adopted the tag, and have used it as a heading for newshreaks garnished with appropriate ed notes.

Most of the history of the "feud" with the Ibisters, the Birdmen, (occasionally called the Funnymen), more vulgarly referred to as Lampoon editors, has passed on with the times, or else was pure imagination to start with. Year after year, a perusal of springtime Crimsons reveals, the Poon was mortgaged or sold or taken over by their trustees or by the Crimson. For no less than 24 years, the 'Poon has been unable to vary their losing score in the annual baseball game from the inevitable 23 to 2.

But Lampooners have found plenty of trouble (and publicity) for themselves in their long string of semi-intentional faux pas, and when, in 1933, they made off with the Sacred Cod from the State House on Beacon Hill, the Crimson had this to say:

"Indulgent parents built the Lam-14LAMPY'S CARTOONIST looks in on the Crime in 1902 when the paper's ledgers began to be written in black.