Widgets Magazine

On this day in Stanford history…

The Daily is reviving “On This Day in Stanford History,” a feature which details unusual or humorous events on the same date in past years from the Daily archives. 

According to the Stanford Daily archives, on May 16 in…

1893: Kappa Kappa Gamma hosted an Oakland party the previous Saturday at one Mr. Chapman’s residence, in which “spacious grounds surrounding a large, brilliantly lighted residence profusely decorated with roses and other flowers” gave way to a “most enjoyable affair.”

1894: The student body president, E.R. Zion, called for a meeting of all students to discuss the creation of a third literary journal, which he called a “matter of grave concern to all.”

1919: The Women’s Club set a date for the Women’s Vocational Conference on May 24, as “Stanford women have long felt the need of expert advice on all lines of work, which women may enter.” An angry student decried “syllabus fees,” which no longer exist, as a “mystery, annoyance and financial disappointment … that we cannot understand.”

1935: A column called “Campus Figures” featured then-junior Bobby Grayson of Portland, Oregon, who had lettered in football and planned to spend the summer in Hawaii to follow a “dark-haired Stanford graduate.” Grayson’s nicknames included Boomer and Greyhound.

1940: The “Farm Firemen,” a group of 13 firefighters who lived in a co-op house designed to balance their firefighting duties with studying, planned to hold an exhibition and open house in the fire station the following Friday. The firefighters slept in one large room above the station and had cultivated “an enviable record in campus activities” from intramural football to their creative Big Game float.

Meanwhile, the Nazis had broken through the Allies’ Meuse River line of defense, and a woman named Janice Logan was named “The Best Undressed Woman of 1940” by the N.Y. Art Students League.

1945: An article about women studying math began by asking, “No life for a lady is this, unless the lady is also a mathematical beaver (and what lady would admit it?)”

1960: A Stanford undergraduate who was sentenced to six months in prison for breaking into an Omaha Intercontinental Ballistic Missile base led a “socialist caucus” on pacifism.

1966: The Daily interviewed Drs. James Paulsen and Edwin Lipinski, clinical psychiatrists at Santa Clara University’s health center, on the potential benefits and side effects of LSD. Paulsen concluded that it would be best to consult a doctor before an LSD “trip” to insure a “safe return.” When asked if he had any personal experience with LSD, Paulsen responded succinctly: “Yes.”

1972: A Daily staffer, feeling defensive, came up with 62 uses for The Stanford Daily including “Pin the Tail on the newspaper,” “use it to sop up spilled milk, or the tears you’ve cried over the spill” and “put it outside during a solar eclipse and see if it changes into a zucchini.”

1974: The ASSU Travel Service sponsored “back-to-school” charter flights from Chicago and New York for students returning from vacation. The flights cost $78 and $95.

In 1975, a Daily article discussed USC tennis player Butch Walts’ unparalleled looks. He went on to win four singles titles and 15 doubles titles (Ron Beck/THE STANFORD DAILY).

1975: An article called “USC sex symbol distracts bleacher creatures” detailed the good looks of Trojan tennis player Butch Walts. “But can he play?” asked a loyal Stanford fan, and several girls answered, “Who cares?”

1983: Off-campus renters watched their clothes burn inside an improperly-installed dryer. At this time, 40 percent of students were housed off campus, and according to the 1980 census, Palo Alto rent was $352 per month. “The good news,” The Daily wrote, “is that it’s cheaper to rent here than in New York. The bad news: it’s still expensive to rent here.”

1985: A comic called “The unit question” noted that “there is still a basic misunderstanding between techies and fuzzies” and included a choice quote from the then-associate dean of Student Affairs for engineering, who said that “engineering classes demand the correct amount of work for the units, whereas humanities classes don’t demand as much work.”

1989: The Black Student Union and others protested then-University President Donald Kennedy by blocking the entrance to his office, and Stanford police subsequently arrested 55 students. Meanwhile, “after months of gathering dust,” eight fountains would begin to flow “in full glory.”

2000: On the 52nd anniversary of Israel’s independence, the Muslim Students Awareness Network erected a banner reading “Palestine: 52 Years of Oppression” along with a number of tombstones in White Plaza. The exhibit was quickly removed, causing controversy on campus.

2006: A Daily columnist expressed his love from afar for a student in a column titled “My casually indifferent lover.” Of the object of his affections, he wrote, “I loved her so completely that the only time we ever spoke was under the veneer of Dodgeball. ‘You hit me in the head!” she said. ‘I was aiming for your heart,’ I whispered.”

 

Contact Fiona Kelliher at fionak ‘at’ stanford.edu and Neel Ramachandran at neelr ‘at’ stanford.edu.