ON JANUARY 7, Theodore Roosevelt '80 died, and eulogies filled the Boston papers for weeks. He had been especially fond of the Harvard community and had served as on Overseer and President of the Alumni Association.
The Officers Material School left their mess hall on the second floor of the Union and the room was quickly reconverted to a living room. The Union advertised "the best board possible at the cost." It was run on the American plan, but "delicacies" could be ordered from an extra order list.
There were many other restaurants in Cambridge where the Class of 1919 ate regularly, including the Athens Cafe, which was probably the largest Greek restaurant in the country.
The Union operated as a club for Faculty and students, and elected officers planned the activities. The Class of 1919 missed its Junior Dance because of the war, and envied the one held by the Class of 1902 in the Union. Lowe's orchestra thrilled everyone with such hits as "Rainy Day Blues," "Hindustan," and "On the Level You're a Little Devil."
The Class of 1919 did have its April smoker, however, with long rows of wooden tables on the second floor of the Union and plates of cheese and pretzels. The Class Committee showed Douglas Fairbanks' "He comes Up Smiling" on a wrinkled white sheet hung at the end of the living room. Sendel's Jazz Band rendered selections on request.
The class picnic, financed by the Freshman class, was held on Downer's Landing near Weymouth. Everyone dressed in overalls and class caps and brought along sand pails and shovels. Kannick's 12-piece brass band entertained on the yacht for the excursion.
In the April issue of Vanity Fair, John Hay Chapman complanied about the composition of the Harvard Corporation in an article titled "Harvard's Plight." He said that Harvard is run by State Street bankers and that they have caused a spirit of "commercialism" to pervade Harvard's formerly intellectual atmosphere.
Despite the sunny svring days, Seniors began wearing their caps and gowns on May 1, College tradition required them to wear the old student attire for the last six weeks of their senior year.
The CRIMSON hailed "The Passing of John Barleycorn" in an editorial on the day the requisite number of states ratified Probihition:
"John Barleycorn had a long life and served his purpose well--after his fashion. On cold nights he made us warm; on hot days he made use cool.
"But in spite of his many good qualities, we must acknowledge that his death is one of the greatest blessings ever bestowed upon this country. He was dangerous, not to be trifled with. To his door can be attributed the cause of more sorrow, misery, and disease than any other single factor in American life. The war only too clearly showed there is no place for him in a serious nation. By cutting out the heart of the cancer, only can the cancer be cured. The necessary operation has been performed."
They were serious, for as national agitation rose among the working class for repeal of the amendment before the first dry day, July 1, 1919, the CRIMSON made only the slight concession that light wines and beers should be removed from the ban.
In June, 10,000 representatives of organized labor paraded in Washington as a protest and Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, warned the Senate that nothing could do more to bring about the repetition of the conditions in Russia than keeping beer from the laboring man.
The demobilization of the Army and Navy flooded the country with unemployed, and many in the College realized that Prohibiton would throw many more out of work.
For the most part, however, the Class of 1919 continued to enjoy Boston's places and people. President and Mrs. Lowell held receptions for students every Sunday, except when he was away campaigning for the League. Al Jolson played "Sinbad" at the Boston Opera House and D. W. Griffith's "Broken Blossoms" had an exceptional run at the Colonial Theater.
The class was spread out all around Cambridge, for the class of 1920 was the first post-war class to enjoy the privilege of living together in the Yard during their senior year. The joint concerts of the Harvard and Radcliffe Glee, Banjo, and Mandolin Clubs served to unite most of the class at various times. Many spent hours at the Rialto, across the street from Widener, playing billiards at the six deluxe tables.
Late in the spring, the Harvard Magazine published the first copy of its literary review. Some well-meaning pranksters published a parody of the magazine on the day it first appeared, and caused the biggest uproar of the year. They were accused of being undemocratic and were warned by the local press not to bring out another parody.
When the parodied the second issue of the magazine, the response was so unfavorable that the Lampoon parody of the Boston Transcript passed almost unnoticed in the tumult.
FIFTY YEARS bring changes. But when things seem just the same. Perhaps it is part of the great cycle. At any rate, the class of 1919 is back