Chronicling a Century

One Hundred Years of Publishing: The Chronicle predates Duke University and, this fall, it commemorates a hundred years of publishing. In its news coverage and commentary, the student-run campus newspaper (now operating as an independent corporation) has provided a window into changes on campus--and in the wider culture. It has also served as a launching pad for innumerable professional journalists. (It's not just a longtime Duke clichè but also a demonstrable fact that The Chronicle has been Duke's version of a "journalism school.") These excerpts suggest the sweep of The Chronicle, and the life of a campus reckoning with issues including war, coeducation, economic depression, and desegregation.

Dr. Laprade Speaks to Students on War

April 4, 1917
Soldiers on campus

 Photo: University Archives


In an interesting and instructive lecture, Dr. W.T. Laprade, of the Department of History, last Thursday evening in the Y.M.C.A. hall outlined the policy of the United States in the impending war with Germany.

Dr. Laprade ... said only twice in its history had the nation been confronted with great crises, in 1776 when our liberty was at stake, and in 1861, the Civil War; but neither of these was as significant as the one that now threatens the welfare of the country.... According to Dr. Laprade, we are not going to war merely to protect our commerce or citizens, or to secure fair and just international law. But we are going to war because under present conditions, when one nation is so free to make war upon another, no nation is free from attack. Thus, we are entering the great struggles seeking to put an end to this inhuman practice. University Archives

Trinity Becomes a University

January 7, 1925
Trinity College trustees line up in favor of Duke University

Trinity College trustees line up in favor of Duke University. Photo:University Archives


On December 9, James B. Duke, multi-millionaire and industrial developer and capitalist, announced the creation of a trust fund totaling $40,000,000 for educational and charitable purposes, including the establishment and maintenance of a vast education institution in North Carolina to be known as Duke University. A fund of $6,000,000 will be made immediately available for the purpose of acquiring lands and equipping thereon buildings suitable and adequate for an institution of learning that in time will rival Yale or Harvard in prestige and universal educational facilities.

All his life James B. Duke has wanted to see North Carolina rise to the heights enjoyed by her sister states in the East and North because of such institutions as Yale and Harvard. He plans not only to build a university, but he has arranged the principal of the trust so that it will pay the estate 20 percent of its income until such additions have aggregated another $40,000,000. University Archives

Present Banking Crisis Explained in Student Meet

March 15, 1933

Dr. William H. Glasson, dean of the graduate school, explained the current economic distress in the regular Thursday assembly. Dr. Glasson explained first the usual methods of banking as pursued in this country, and then he made clear the causes of the present situation and whatever remedies have been proposed....

The present situation was primarily caused by the economic bugaboo, fear, probably engendered by the exposure of certain crooked dealings participated in by leading members of the banking world, and possibly by the use of the bank moratorium by the state of Michigan. There was a consequent unloading of securities on the New York exchanges, with the main purpose to get out of gold and currency. The result was the suspension of gold payments.

U.S. Built, Shall Now Destroy Modern Japan

By Sandy Rae December 9, 1941

"The Japanese attack on America is wholly characteristic of the island empire's species of arrant stupidity and calculated deceit," Dr. Paul M. A. Linebarger, famous Far-Eastern expert on the university political-science faculty, said today.

"For ten long years they have sought to obtain 'peace' between each step of their aggression, and have negotiated endlessly and dishonorably with us, with China, with the Soviet Union, and with Great Britain. Perhaps the Japanese leaders are now frantic enough to dream that they can defeat us locally in the Far East, and then offer us an apparently favorable 'peace' in the hope that we will sell out China or Britain, and leave ourselves to be disposed of at a later, more convenient moment," Linebarger said....

"Japan has injured us by opening the attack," he said. "She has done us a favor by uniting our nation, and by taking the whole blame herself. She now faces the biggest empire in the world--Britain; the richest nation in the world--America; and the largest nation in the world--China."

McCarthy Questions 'Red Smear Tactics' of Professor Hart

By Bill Howe February 1, 1952

Hornell Hart, sociology professor whose "factual analysis" of McCarthyism published in November brought threats from Senator Joseph McCarthy of legal action against the university if the reports were not suppressed, won a reaffirmation of academic freedom at Duke from President Hollis Edens this week.

The Duke president issued the following statement last Friday: "It is axiomatic in the university circles that a professor has the right to pursue research investigations of his choice."

Senator McCarthy, Republican from Wisconsin, had threatened a libel suit against the university as a result of the report published by Dr. Hart.... McCarthy has questioned what he called "typical Communist smear tactics" used by Dr. Hart in his publication.

University Slates Shelter Exercise

By Virginia Faulkner October 26, 1962

The university has scheduled fallout shelter rehearsals for all students, but "the date of rehearsals will depend on the urgency of the international situation," Dr. William Anlyan, professor of surgery and chairman of the fallout preparedness committee, stated.... "This new step in fallout preparedness is not related directly to the Cuban crisis, but events of the past few days have emphasized the need for continuing development of protective measures."

After a fallout preparedness com-mittee meets Monday, it will release specific shelter assignments for university students. The buildings designated as shelters, all on West Campus, are the Union, Flowers, Page, Chapel, Gray, Divinity School, Library, old Law School, Chemistry, Medical Center, and old Biology.

Dr. Anlyan explained, "We would expect a minimum of one hour's warning," which could give residents of East Campus enough time to walk to West Campus.

A Transformation in Three Weeks?

By Peter Applebome April 29, 1968

The news of Dr. King's death received a mixed reception at Duke. Most students were shocked and saddened by the news. Some, however, were visibly elated. At any rate, nobody expected the tragedy to have much effect on Duke. Perhaps, there would be a memorial service or perhaps Dr. Knight would make a statement condemning white racism, but no one expected anything more.

In fact, if someone had said on April 4 that within a week students would have sat in at the house of the president of the university or camped out on the quad, he would certainly have been considered a blithering idiot.

Duke has always had the well-deserved reputation of being a peaceful, quiet bastion of Christian morality tucked away in Durham, North Carolina. It has always been a pleasant, sheltered place inhabited by bright, but unconcerned people, where "nice kids" came for four years of beer, basketball games, and studying.

In short, Duke had been an anachronism. The activism of the modern universities had not hit Duke. That was before April 5. University Archives

Nixon Portrait Hangs in Law School Vault

August 31, 1974
The Nixons admire the portrait

 Photo: Unversity Archives


Former President Nixon's resignation and possible indictment for Watergate crimes has had no effect on the future of the Nixon portrait owned by Duke.

Walter Dellinger, acting dean of the law school, said yesterday: " We can't unmake Nixon's graduation from Duke Law School in 1937 or Watergate by taking it down."

The portrait, painted during Nixon's first year as president and acquired by Duke in 1969, hung in the law school Moot Courtroom until fall, when unidentified vandals absconded with it. It was found later, however, in the ceiling of the law school and has been sitting in a vault for safekeeping until Duke figures out how to keep it from being removed again. University Archives

Krzyzewski Optimistic about 1980-1 Season

December 5, 1980
Mike Kryzweski

Photo: University Archives


The following interview was conducted with head coach Mike Krzyzewski by Andy Rosen and Dave Fassett.

Chronicle: You've been at Duke for eight months now. What are your general impressions?

Krzyzewski: I really like Duke--I think it's a classy school. I like the fact that we're a good academic school and that we're different from a lot of other schools in that we have really high standards and we stick to them....

Chronicle: What would you consider a successful season?

Right now I feel it's been a successful season because I can see progress. I see us getting better. As long as I can see that, I'll consider it a good basketball season. I've never been a coach to predict wins--football picks are different. We want to make post-season play--that's one goal that we have. University Archives

Reagan Speech Receives Mixed Reactions from Undergraduates

By Craig Whitlock February 9, 1988
President Ronald Reagan

Photo: University Archives


Responses to President Reagan's speech in Cameron Indoor Stadium Monday came from both political supporters and opponents, but most of those interviewed immediately after the speech said their interest in going to the forum had more to do with simply seeing Reagan rather than hearing his message.

"I just came to see the president of the United States and figurehead of the position," said Trinity sophomore Andrea Radford, one of more than 2,500 students who attended the president's speech. "I didn't really think much about the issues."...

"I think he's a dude," said Trinity sophomore John Wiseman. "He inspires people in a way that this country hasn't seen in a leader in so long.... His character and style really draw and lure people to hear what he has to say." University Archives

Gulf War Divides Student Opinion

By Michael Saul January 17, 1991

As news of Operation Desert Storm swept across campus, university students quickly took sides and watched developments intently.

"One! Two! Three! Four! We don't want this bloody war! Five! Six! Seven! Eight! Negotiate! Negotiate!" screamed participants in a peace rally on the Chapel steps at 11 p.m. Wednesday night.

War supporters and protesters engaged in shouting matches at the hastily planned peace rally.

Members of the Duke Coalition for Peace in the Middle East chanted, "We shall live in peace," while supporters of Bush yowled, "U.S.A.! Support the troops! U.S.A.!"

The gathering was peaceful, despite simmering tensions and frequent screaming. Over 150 antiwar students and about fifty pro-Bush students were present.


Spirit Shines at Duke

Staff editorial September 13, 2001

Tragedies sometimes bring about the best in people, as the university has shown in the past two days. The terrorism struck deeply at people's emotions, evoking feelings from sadness over the loss of life to determination to make a difference.

The noon vigil in front of the Chapel exhibited everything that should happen in the aftermath of an event of this magnitude. A diverse group of speakers from several different faiths provided a reflective moment for an impressively large crowd.... On a college campus that sometimes exhibits apathy toward important causes, Wednesday's crowds were just one way people came together. The area has had blood shortages for the past two years, but now people are turning out in droves. So many have shown up to contribute to this life-saving cause that organizers have not had the capacity to handle everyone.... The resilient American spirit will survive; today is another day to move forward and work toward recovery.

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