Okay. So, according to her license plate, Sarah had something to do with the name “Welbeck Street” and had once asked if the Journal would consider using “Harvard Yard” in her name. Also according to her license plate, she thought “Kiss Me, Kate” was a rock opera. She had also attended a March For Women’s Lives march, in support of women’s rights. In addition, she was a “runner” for Congress in Rhode Island (taken from her license plate).
It appears that the name of “Harvard Yard” has been a veritable wasteland of wretchedness since Ms. Welbeck left it behind at the end of 1995.
*1922-26 – The Lawn, as it’s called today, was a street in the middle of Harvard Square. There were multiple houses on the street, but they were all a part of one big household. Each family had a public area where it would have been considered perfectly normal for an unmarried young person to entertain his or her lover in the middle of the day (old enough to drink, but not quite legal, yet – at least, not without the consent of the parents!).
*1926 – Thanks to the NCAA and the advice of a number of justices on the United States Supreme Court, the Alumni Association at Harvard established the legendary wooden bleachers that are scattered around the Yard today. The wood of the bleachers came from a ship that was wrecked by a hurricane off the coast of Haiti. A “founding father” of the bleachers was Charles John Porter, a Harvard College graduate who founded the C.J. Porter Company. At the time, Porter was probably the only one in the country with the ability to make the bleachers – and he did.
*1926 – The Eynsford Castle, as it is known today, was built at the corner of Bay State Road and Alford Avenue. Built in the midst of a terrible economic depression, it was and still is one of the most historic sites in all of Cambridge, if not all of New England. The building was originally part of the Parish of the Holy Family. According to legend, George Eliot (the author of Middlemarch) used to sneak her lover around to the Castle. Today, the Castle hosts weekly showings of “Mutiny On The Bounty.”
*1942 – The Cambridge City Council established a curfew in Cambridge for all students staying over on campus. The curfew at that time went from midnight to 6 a.m. Students would be permitted to leave campus during curfew, but they had to check in at a designated place where they would have to walk through the gauntlet of city watchmen. The Code was enforced strictly – there were only six or seven students who were able to escape the curfew enforcement.
*1949 – The mansion on the corner of Knollwood Street and Fairfield Avenue was demolished and was replaced by a four-story building (known as “West Grove”). It is the site of a fraternity called “Zeta Psi.”
*1954 – The Deeming Act passed. It extended voting rights to African Americans for the first time. This law was carried out by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was vehemently opposed by every single member of the Harvard administration. Cambridge was in a state of uproar as some students took to the streets in protest of the law. Mayor Ray Flynn, who, at the time, was a professor at the Harvard Medical School, held a meeting with the police commissioner, president of Harvard, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Together, they decided that Harvard would defy the law, but would send all its students home for the weekend so that the situation would not be nearly as tense as it would have been had all students stayed on campus. (It’s possible that Flynn was the only official at Harvard who could read English, though.) The weekend was the most peaceful in recent memory at Harvard.
:: 01.16.2021 ::