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On this week in Stanford history…


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.

According to The Stanford Daily archives, during the week of July 24-30 on…

July 24, 1919: Lieutenant Colonel Jens Bugge, commandant of the United States Military Academy and professor of military science and tactics, passed away, according to a telegram from Mrs. Bugge to Ray Lymon Wilbur, President of Stanford University. During his lifetime, Major Bugge was accredited for training the R.O.T.C., preparing more than a thousand Stanford men for the army after the U.S. entered World War I in 1917. Major Bugge was also involved with  the purchase of the national colors and regimental flag dedicated to the military service, which still reside in the Memorial Church today as symbols of honor. For his academic achievement and military service, Major Bugge was deeply admired and made a lasting impact at Stanford and the world at large.

July 28, 1932: A piece entitled “WE ARE REBUKED,” voiced the frustration of summer session students with the declining quality of The Daily during the summer term. Emotional students denounced The Daily’s editorials as“strident,” “uninspired and thoroughly dilettante.” In addition, students questioned The Daily’s meager list of social activities during the summer months and claimed that the renowned Bull Session, a Daily tradition, had “deteriorated into jumble of sordid and morbid and withal very jerky opinions of this and that.” Given the financial support that students provide for The Daily, Lorrill Palm, author of the opinion piece, reasons, “Why should they not be given sincere and selective judgment from their editors, and reasonably intelligent and pleasing columnists?”

July 25, 1935: An article detailed the nomination of Stanford’s football coach at the time, Tiny Thornhill, for coach of the Collegiate All-Star Team, composed of exceptional college players throughout the U.S. selected by a nation-wide poll. During his years as a line coach and two years as head coach, Thornhill led the Cardinals to an impressive season score of 17 wins, three losses and two ties and developed numerous stars, all of whom were all-Americans. He won the Pacific Coast Conference during both his years as head coach and gained the respect of many alumni, campus supporters and local merchants. The article concluded with this statement: “Accompanying this story is a ballot which, when filled out and sent to the Sports Department of the San Francisco Chronicle, will cast a vote for ‘Our Coach Tiny.’”

Former Stanford track star PattiSue Plumer ’85 BS, ’89 JD was an NCAA champion in the 5,000 meters and a two-time Olympian. Now she is an assistant coach for the varsity track team. (THE STANFORD DAILY ARCHIVES)

July 25, 1940: It was reported that Doctors P. J. Hanzlik, A. J. Lehman and W. Van Winkle Jr. of the School of Medicine had found a method of oral prevention of the sexually transmitted disease syphilis. The element bismuth is known to have “curative properties in the treatment of syphilis,” and so the scientists developed a pill made of a synthetic compound called sobisminol, which had been discovered in the Stanford lab four years ago as “a new form of bismuth that could be taken by mouth.” Experiments on animals had been proven 100 percent effective in any stage of the disease, and, at the time the article was published, were under way on human beings. Nowadays, syphilis is treated with penicillin.

July 26, 2012: In this appropriately Olympic-themed issue preceding the London Games, The Daily pridefully acknowledged Stanford’s historical involvement and approaching dedication of  37 Stanford-affiliated athletes and five then-student-athletes representing the U.S. in the 2012 global competition. The issue includes a feature on assistant coach and former Olympian Pattisue Plumer, who credited her success as an athlete to her experience at Stanford; a memoir depicting one student’s experience as a volunteer at the beach volleyball tournament in London; and an article providing an overview of events in which Stanford students will partake in, such as Elle Logan ’10 in women’s rowing, Markus Rogan ’04 in men’s swimming and Kerri Walsh ’00 in women’s volleyball.


Contact Karen Ma at karems2000 ‘at’