This year marks the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street. In between performances from the show’s beloved cast, Harvard affiliates recount what are, to many, little-known stories about the longstanding ties between Harvard and Sesame Street.
In 1971, a group of protestors occupied a Harvard-owned building on Memorial Drive. To them, the building stood as a symbol of the University's failure to listen to both its own community’s demands for a women’s center and the surrounding neighboring Riverside community’s need for affordable public housing.
Over 100 women took over this rarely used Harvard University Design School building on 888 Memorial Drive on International Women’s Day in March 1971. Their goal was to live collectively in a “Liberated Women’s Center” until the city of Cambridge met their demands to house the community’s first official women’s center.
William James is best known for his writings on philosophy and psychology, which frequently appear on the syllabi of Harvard courses. Yet his passion for psychical phenomena — occurrences and abilities that seemingly transcend the explanatory power of natural laws — is less widely acknowledged.
The year is 1978, and five women gather outside the office of Social Studies department chair Michael Walzer. As they wait, shoes tapping, they discuss the most recent Phillips Brooks House Association meeting and debate strategies for empowering marginalized groups. They are here to write their thesis — together, not alone.
One month into her freshman year, the notion that a group of freshmen could work on their very own theatrical production, without the interference of upperclassmen, intrigued Horn. At the time, she had been rejected from “literally every competitive creative organization,” she recalls.