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1955 & The Phillips Brooks House Association











Notes and Photos from the Past


"1955 Freshman Union Committee"
How many names can you remember?
Contact your Class Secretary (renlittle@comcast.net) with your thoughts.We need the names for the Class archives.


Tom Lehrer: Fight Fiercely Harvard and more

Tom Lehrer: Poisoning Pigeons in the Park and ten more classics from our undergraduate days

(A "Blast from the Past," Posted by Roger Vaglia)

'55 Eleven Meets Brown Freshman Team Today at 2
Harvard Crimson
Published: Saturday, October 20, 1951
Coach Bob Margarita's Yardling football squad, hampered by injuries, will meet Brown's freshman team at 2 p.m. today on Soldiers Field.
Early in the week, the Crimson freshmen lost two linemen during a brief workout with the varsity eleven. Guard Herb Grossman and center Roger Vaglia both suffered broken ankles.
The freshmen, who have lost two straight, to Andover, 14 to 0, and against Worcester Academy, 13 to 0, have been concentrating on their offense in practice. The defensive line has continued to show strength, notably in a workout against the varsity.
Margarita plans to start Tim Anderson, newly-elected captain of the '55 team, at right guard. Phil Perera will open the game at left guard, and the rest of the line shapes up with Stan Pfahl and Bernie Kafka at tackles, Bob Corcoran and Joe Ross at the ends, and Bill Toohey, a defensive stand-out, at center. Paul Murphy will be the starting quarterback, with Frank White and Dave Bicks at the halfback positions, and Bob Albert at fullback.
So far, Margarita's policy of free substitution has failed to produce an effective attack. In two contests, the freshmen have not scored, due mainly to the lack of club speed and an effective pass combination.

Comments made in the year 1955! (Submitted by your Class Secretary)

I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $10.00.

Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $1,000.00 will only buy a used one.

If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. 20 cents a pack is ridiculous.

Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 7 cents just to mail a letter.

If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.

When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 25 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.

I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it.

I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas.

Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $50,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the President.

I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.

It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet..

It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.

I''m afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.

Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to government.

The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

There is no sense going on short trips anymore for a weekend, it costs nearly $2.00 a night to stay in a hotel.

No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $15.00 a day in the hospital, it's too rich for my blood.

If they think I'll pay 30 cents for a haircut, forget it.

04/06/10 (Copyright Harvard Crimson):

College Plans Normal Class of '55
Published: Friday, March 09, 1951

Draft fears have not caused the College to expand the size of next fall's freshman class, Richard M. Gummere, chairman of Committee on Admissions, announced yesterday.

Even though selective service is expected to cut down the number of upperclassmen in the College, Harvard only wants the usual 1,100 in the Class of 1955, Gummere added.

He said that because of the possible 18-year-old draft the admissions committee did not know yet how many additional acceptances would go out to insure that 1,100 freshmen register here in September.

Even in normal times the College accepts extra men in the spring to allow for shrinkage over the summer as men decide to go to other colleges or cannot come to college for personal reasons.

The Class of '52 was about 200 larger than normal when it entered in the fall of 1948 because the draft that year had not taken any students and prosperous times meant that fewer men had to withdraw for financial reasons.

Most Harvard applicants will hear from the College shortly after May 8, and those accepted will have until May 21 to notify Harvard whether they are coming in September.


Feltman Leads Dartmouth to 2-1 Victory Over '55 Baseball Team

Published by the Harvard Crimson On Thursday, May 08, 1952 12:00 AM


Bob Feltman, a 5 foot 11 inch righthander, completely overpowered the freshman baseball team yesterday afternoon at Soldiers Field as he struck out 21 Yardlings to lead the Dartmouth freshmen to a 2 to 1 win. Getting stronger as the day grew colder and the winds blew harder, Feltman pitched the last four innings, without giving up a hit, and striking out nine.

The Crimson jumped off to a 1 to 0 second inning lead when third baseman Jimmy Rahal opened with a single to left. Feltman walked rightfielder Paul Bivona and both runners advanced on a passed ball. Garr Cranney walked, loading the bases. Rahal scored when left fielder Ted Cooney hit into a force at second.

Dartmouth scored their two decisive runs in the fourth inning. Lead-off batter Bill Contini reached second when his grounder to second was thrown wildly to first by Joe Conzelman, and George MacDonald, backing up, threw wild to second. Contini scored on John Mansfield's long double to left center field. Mansfield went to third on a wild pitch and scored when shortstop Paul Murphy booted Scot Gerrish's grounder.

Andy Ward went all the way for the Yardlings, striking out nine and allowing only one earned run. Poor fielding and lack of clutch hitting hurt Ward's chances, the Crimson making five errors and stranding 13 men.



The IVY ORATION - 1955

The Ivy Orator, F.M. Kimball, first apologized to President Pusey and Dean McGeorge Bundy, Yale‘40, who were sitting near him, for not knowing what he was about to say. He held a sealed document that he said contained the results, just disgorged by the Mark II computer, of a 650 million dollar foundation grant to Harvard to find a way to preserve "the Dignity of Man on a Shrinking Planet in an Expanding Universe." The study had absorbed the attention of the entire university for four years and only the computer knew what had been learned. Kimball unsealed the envelope and read.

Widener Library fines .....................$ 5.85

Natural Science Field Trip, Revere Beach...$ 2.00

Board through end of term..................$174.50

This was not the Ivy Oration but someone’s term bill - the machines were used for everything. He found the correct document and started again.

The Dignity of Man and his degree of civilization varies directly as the cube root of the privacy of his bathrooms. The continued primacy of Harvard College depends upon her immediate attention to this matter. The dignity of her graduates and the intimacy of her johns are inseparable, just as the decay of the ancient Minoan civilization, with its first flush plumbing, was a harbinger of the decline of the Mediterranean empires. The Dark Ages are distinguished by the absence of plumbing fixtures which fostered Asceticism and soon people were being sewn permanently into their clothing, like the Eskimo, since there was nothing to do undressed. The Renaissance properly begins with Leonardo’s re-invention of the bathtub which accounts for water as a symbol of rejuvenation. People once again began to remove their clothes and soon occurred the inevitable flowering of Art.

Opponents of this interpretation argue that the Roman empire collapsed precisely because citizen-hedonists lolled in their baths instead of rushing to repulse the Hun at the door. This is an example of the abuse of the bathroom and is the most serious error a civilization can make. Consider our recent enemy, the Japanese, who abused the bath by filling it with Geisha girls, toy submarines and paper flowers that grow out of shells. Only ruin follows this sort of decadence.

The superiority of Harvard over her sister institutions is a result of sound toilet training. Barbarism in North America, unlike Europe, tends to increase toward the Equator. A cursory inspection of bathrooms at Princeton reveals an institution wholly abandoned to the odious Prussian doctrine of compulsory fraternization. Communal facilities located in dormitory basements are constructed without doors or shower curtains. The mortise marks of prior hinges on john stalls prove they were removed by President Wilson who, after he had tyrannized Princeton’s toilet habits with his doctrine of "open covenants openly arrived at," later attempted to create a foreign policy for this country from the same shoddy materials. Both applica-tions led to disaster and he died reviled. At present the only toilet with a door at Princeton is in the Firestone Library, their single compromise to the meditative life.

As we move north the situation moderates. At Yale each floor of a college dormitory has its own bathroom, enforcing the fraternity of only eight men over Princeton’s forty or more. Yale supplies doors and shower curtains and, in its middle of the road fashion, pretends to some enlightenment.

We do not need to be informed of the splendid provisions that obtain in the Harvard Houses, yet as Dr. Johnson advises, it is well we are reminded. Familiarity with the private bathrooms in each suite has bred contempt, rather than that jealous affection these facilities demand and deserve. It is the private john that has forged the dignity of the Harvard man: so quiet, aloof, somewhat diffident among company - he is an individual, given to that timeless brooding and creative reflection acquired only in the tranquillity of his own toilet, among his own books and bric a brac. Yet he is also a man of action, independent and resourceful, for he must purchase his own toilet paper, and thus learn, through doing, the economy that supports his repose. A private john is no ivory tower.

But are any of us surprised that this great institution is imperiled? The bedrock of dignity and individualism is under attack; conformism is creeping from the south. Sweeping reforms out of University Hall, the transparent sabotage of the Yaleman sitting to my right, have struck a near fatal blow. The traditional guardians of our bathrooms, the biddies, are being retired and replaced by crews of impersonal agents, disguised as student porters, who descend with converted flame-throwers to spray a noxious compound into our retreats, rendering them more odiferous and less hospitable than a subway lavatory. By the sheer stink of the cleaning, Harvard men are being flushed from their bathrooms and forced to meet their roommates. This is only the beginning, yet the terrible end is clearly in sight, for consider, if you can, that the incoming Class of 1959 will be holding its 25th reunion in 1984.


How many of the 1955 Harvard freshmen indoor track team can you identify?

Harvard 1955 Freshman Indoor Track Team

Back row: (L to R) Charlie Arena, Oliver Wadsworth, Bruce Dixon, Dimitri Nabokov, Sewell Hayes, "Blair" Clark, Roger Gratwick, David Ingle, Frank Nahigian
Standing: Bill McCurdy (Coach), Bill Chrisman, Carl Goldman, Al Rowlings, Bill Zwilling, "Sonny" Templeton,. Zeke Hicks, George Vaillant, Arnold Howe, Dudley Uphoff
Seated: Frank White, Peter Coker, Bob Rittenburg, Paul Grand, Alan Howe (Capt.), Renny Little, Herb Collins, John MacFarland, John Tilton
Front row: Bill Amory, Peter Rich, Jim Pates, Clio Harper, Bud Helfant, Bob Leary, Marsh Childs








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