A Century at Stanford
A look at issues and events that shaped campus history
100 YEARS AGO (1896)
Jane Stanford granted permission for graduating seniors to place a bronze plate displaying their class numerals in the arcade directly in front of the planned Memorial Church. Soon, chagrined representatives of the Pioneer Class, who had installed a '95 plaque on a giant oak a year earlier, quietly and unceremoniously -- some say late at night -- laid a plaque next to that of '96, and the long line was on its way. (In 1900, seniors began depositing mementos in a metal box under their class plate.)
Women from Stanford and the University of California met for what is believed to be the first intercollegiate women's basketball game. Playing before the days of backboards and dribbling, Stanford won by a score of 2 to 1. Male spectators were banned in deference to the Berkeley women, who considered it improper for females to cavort in their gym suits before a co-ed crowd.
75 YEARS AGO (1921)
The faculty approved an Honor Code system after 1,750 students signed petitions demanding honesty in academic work. The new code called for students to monitor their own conduct as well as that of fellow students.
Sports enthusiasts were raising funds to build a 60,000-seat stadium for American or rugby football, surrounded by a quarter-mile track. Engineering professors C.D. Marx, W.F. Durand and C.B. Wing designed the structure. Stanford officials were determined to complete the stadium before rivals built one at the University of California.
50 YEARS AGO (1946)
President Donald B. Tresidder announced the creation of a student health service that would provide medical, surgical and hospital care for students for a fee of $10 per quarter.
A chapter of the American Veterans Committee was formed to encourage World War II vets to participate in campus life. Veterans made up almost one-third of Stanford's total enrollment of about 5,000 students.
The Women's Conference endorsed a decision by the dean of students to allow women's residences to remain open on Saturday nights until 1:30 a.m.
25 YEARS AGO (1971)
On April 9, police ended a 30-hour sit-in at the hospital administration office. They arrested more than 50 demonstrators who had caused $100,000 in damages during protests over the firing of a janitor. When police officers used a battering ram to break through heavy glass doors, demonstrators responded by turning fire hoses on them. Twenty people, mostly officers, were injured.
Three days after the hospital melee, Palo Alto police, armed with a search warrant, rummaged through the offices of the Stanford Daily seeking photographs that could be used to prosecute those arrested. Past practice had been for courts to subpoena such evidence; this was the first use in the United States of a search warrant in a newspaper office. A month later, the Daily filed a lawsuit, Daily v. Zurcher , against the Palo Alto police, but ultimately lost. (In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-3 vote, sided with the police.)
A bomb exploded in the president's office early in the morning of April 23, causing $25,000 in damages. A campus security guard on duty in the building escaped injury. Ending a tumultuous month, a fire of suspicious origin gutted the lounge of Wilbur Hall, which frequently was used by the Black Student Union.
Catherine Peck, '35, writes this column on behalf of the Stanford Historical Society.
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Data is from the past two weeks.