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The Harvard Bridge, Go Figure

The Harvard Bridge is one of the simplest and least adorned bridges over the Charles. It looks plain when compared to the Longfellow Bridge, which has the prows of Viking ships decorating its base, or the Anderson Bridge, with its entrance piers decorated with armor and mantling. The Harvard Bridge seems so anonymous that it is often called the wrong name and referred to as the MIT Bridge or the Mass. Ave Bridge. But the Harvard Bridge is great and its history is there for everyone to see, if they just look.

Harvard Square c. 1975

This c. 1975 postcard of Harvard Square was photographed by Alan Klein and produced by Klein Post Card Service. You can see the old MBTA headhouse, the old Out Of Town News Stand, and peaking out around the corner, the marquee of the Harvard Square Theater when it still faced out onto Mass. Ave. The theater was originally called the University Theater, but was renamed in 1961 and the entrance was shifted to Church Street in 1986.

MLK in Cambridge

Martin Luther King was in Cambridge a number of times. On April 23, 1967 he held a press conference in Cambridge to launch a campaign to end the war in Vietnam. According to a 1968 Harvard Crimson article recounting this visit, King said "It is time now, to meet the escalation of the war in Vietnam with an escalation of opposition. There can be no freedom without peace and no peace without justice."

First Printer

In case you were wondering about the meaning behind the name “First Printer,” a restaurant on Dunster Street in Harvard Square, there’s a very good explanation.  The first printing press in the British North America arrived in Cambridge, along with Reverend Joseph Glover, his family, and possessions, in 1638.  As was often the case back then during long, trans-Atlantic voyages, Joseph died aboard the John of London and did not reach the Colonies.

Alfreno, the high wire performer

101 years ago... The Cambridge Industrial Carnival was keeping Central Square on its toes:

Cambridge Industrial Carnival

A few months ago we were contacted by a Facebook fan who asked us if we knew anything about this banner from the Cambridge Industrial Carnival. We said we would look into it and we’d love to see the original. The fan generously donated it. With a little research we discovered that, 101 years ago today, the Industrial Carnival was all the rage. On October 14, 1911, the Cambridge Chronicle wrote:

CHS Proceedings go digital

We just finished scanning the Proceedings. The Proceedings was a journal printed by CHS betweeen 1906 and 1998. This represents 44 volumes or around 6,000 pages of Cambridge history, memories, and stories of local lore. Scanning all of this took close to three years and many volunteers. Ken Selnick finished the last pages today, but we also owe thanks to Richard Lingner, Chelsea Pellissier, Jeff Stevens, Levon Schpeiser, and Cindy Brennan. We hope to have the information searchable and on our website in the near future.