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The 1929 Algol controversy

The Features section of the 1929 Algol was trouble right from its title: “The Alc’hol of 1929.” Prohibition was still in effect, after all, and Carleton’s campus was dry before and after alcohol was outlawed nationwide. The supplement began, “Entered in the postoffice of the U. S. A. as low-class…

The 1930 Guinea Pig Epidemic

In the early 1930s, Professor Roy A. Waggener became Chairman of Carleton’s new Zoology Department. Much of his research until the middle of that decade focused on the thyroid gland in canines. In fall 1936, Waggener procured guinea pigs from E. G. Steinhilber, of Wisconsin, whose letterhead said, “Dealer in…

Stanton Airfield: where Carls found their wings

World War II significantly disrupted life at Carleton, especially for men, most of whom left school to join the military. In April 1942, the college formed the Carleton Officers’ Training Corps, a reserves program to train students for future active military duty. Students could train to be either a ground…

A Christmas Tragedy: Willis Hall Burns

I wish to thank the Northfield Historical Society, whose Rice County Journal collection enhanced this week’s column. Christmas 1879 was a dreary holiday for Carleton students and faculty. On the morning of December 23, a north wind was blowing and snow was falling as a man bringing firewood to the…

Raiders of the Lost Archives: Early Days of Scoville Memorial Library

In anticipation of upcoming renovations to Scoville Hall, this week’s column looks back to the former library’s construction 120 years ago. The building was named for James W. Scoville, who met College President James W. Strong (1870-1903) while they both attended the Chicago Theological Seminary. Mr. Scoville expressed a desire…

Gould and red: a president’s favorite color

Laurence M. Gould, Antarctic explorer and Carleton’s fourth president, was regarded as personable, passionate, and an engaging public speaker. His outfits were eternally accented by flashy ties of one particular color. As Headley and Jarchow wrote in Carleton: The First Century:“Larry Gould proclaimed his liking for any color ‘so long…

Mudd to be demolished for new science building

Two years after the completion of Carleton’s Facilities Master Plan, construction is set to begin on a new science building to join Olin and Hulings Halls. Completed in 2014, the Master Plan envisioned a 30% space increase for science buildings, along with greater capacity for research and interdepartmental cooperation, proposing…

Lafayette Bliss: Pioneer of MN education

Author’s note: After a leave of absence during Winter Term, I’m happy to resume writing this column. I gave this week’s edition a personal twist: the piece’s subject was the Superintendent of Schools in Virginia, Minnesota, where I attended high school. Lafayette Bliss was born in Chicago in 1859. After…

This Week in Carleton History: November 6-13

In November 1905, workers graded the site of a new skating rink where James Hall now stands. The old rink had been on the site of Laird Science Hall, which was under construction in the fall of 1905. Prior to that rink, students had skated on the Cannon River and…

Ghosts of Halloweens Past

Early Carleton publications do not discuss Halloween in detail, but creepy quips are present nonetheless. For example, the Carletonian wrote in 1881, “The witches did not neglect us last Halloween. The festivities were very joyful to all except to a very few of a morose nature.” The 1892 Algol’s account…