Widgets Magazine

On this week in Stanford history: June 25 -June 30

The feature “On This Day in Stanford History” details unusual or humorous events that occurred on the same date or week in past years from the Daily archives.

On June 25 in . . .

1935: Paul J. Beard, a professor of sanitary sciences, lectured on “Bacteria and Food Poisoning” to dispel rumors and misconceptions about the seemingly mysterious topic. Beard claimed that metal cans posed no risk of contaminating food, that botulism was considered more harmful than trichinosis and that food poisoning was not real.

1942: Stanford students began their first week of war stamp sales and raised a total of $805 (about $12,500 today) for the war effort. However the head of the stamp committee, Nancy Schermerhorn, admitted that the group hadn’t met its goal of $900 ($14,000 today).

“Next week we hope to reach the $1000 mark; yet this can be done only if everyone cooperates again as they did this time,” Schermerhorn said.

1974: Pulitzer-winning author James A. Michener visited Stanford for a conference on “Communication in the Americas” along with 31 other American and Latin American editors. At the conference, he predicted that television would eventually educate “70 percent of society. . .while the other 30 will approach education with the more traditional “Socratic” method.” He also advised Latin American writers to form an “intellectual underground” to pressure American publications into publishing Latin American writing.

1985: A trial began for nine members of Stanford Out of South Africa (SOSA), who were arrested after protesting the University’s ties to companies that had business dealings with South Africa. The students were charged with “trespassing and failing to disperse when they remained in the Bursar’s Office in Old Union past closing time.”


On June 26 in . . .

1928: Stanford dormitories neared capacity as a record number of students enrolled in summer classes. The total number was estimated to be over 1,300 people, and the university even considered opening up an additional dormitory to accommodate all the students to ensure that, “all who desire to live there [at Stanford]  this summer can be cared for.”

1984: San Francisco held its 13th “Lesbian-Gay Freedom Day Parade” where an estimated 100,000 people marched to commemorate the Stonewall Rebellion and support gay and lesbian rights. The event was a “typical mixture of partying, politics and protest,” that was further inflamed by Archbishop John J. O’Connor’s refusal to sign a pledge against homosexual discrimination. New York’s mayor, Edward Koch, revealed that O’Connor’s refusal to sign the pledge “would cost the church about $76 million in city contracts,” or about $181 million today.


On June 27 in . . .

1933: Stanford students and other California residents voted to decide whether or not  to repeal the 18th Amendment, a Constitutional Amendment enacted in 1919 which banned the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol and established Prohibition. Strong supporters for the repeal of the 18th Amendment included those in the grape industry, who would have benefitted the most from legal sale of alcohol.

1966: Stanford announced the construction of its first co-ed dorms in the university’s history, expected to accommodate an additional 560 students. Although the rooms were still separated into sections based on gender, men and women shared “common dining, lounges and seminar rooms, and jointly [attended] a good many of their classes in the living units.”

1967: The Committee of 15 discovered discriminatory methods utilized in Stanford’s admissions practices, including “clear discrimination against women”. In response, the Committee of 15 suggested a review of the admissions policy to reduce favoritism towards legacies and eliminate de facto segregation against women applying to the university.


On June 28 in . . .

1927: Stanford students H. B. Butler and Hubert D. Swim leased the San Carlos Enquirer for a year, with the hopes of acquiring more subscribers and advertisers. At the time, the Enquirer was known for being the only paper to carry legal advertisements. Although Swim was not involved in journalism at Stanford, he was an editor of a paper in Idaho, and Butler was a member of the Stanford Daily.

1932: A simple event article covering a political science professor’s lecture led one reporter to uncover a dead skunk in a manhole. No word on whether the reporter was able to get the quotes he needed for his story.


On June 29 in . . .

1928: One additional course was added to the list of classes offered: golf. The classes were intended for “anyone desiring to learn the rudiments of golf, or any golfer who wishes to improve his game.” Male students and faculty members were invited to join the class from 1:30 to 3:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Clubs were provided for those who did not have their own, but each participant was required to bring their own golf balls.

1989: Fifty one students were arrested and sentenced to 75 hours of community service each for the May 15 occupation of University President Donald Kennedy’s office. The students stormed the office to protest the lack of ethnic studies classes and full-time ethnic community deans. The students were also placed on a year-long probation for violating Stanford’s Campus Disruption policy.


On June 30 in . . .

1972: The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to ban the death penalty, citing a violation of the 8th Amendment. The California State Supreme Court had outlawed the practice in February of that year. These rulings saved an estimated 600 people on death row. Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment “does not exempt reporters from the obligation to respond to a grand jury subpoena in a criminal investigation.”

2011: Angela Exson became Stanford’s first dean for sexual assault and relationship abuse in response to complaints about a culture of sexual abuse on campus. Exson had previously worked with the Women’s Leadership & Resource Center, as well as the Campus Advocacy Network at the University of Illinois.


Contact Maya Homan at mthwriter16 ‘at’ gmail.com.