Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Dartmouth Bubble

Front page of Dartmouth Log, August 10, 1945Students frequently complain about the Dartmouth Bubble, as they should. Sometimes the place is just a little too insular, and events of the world are merely background chatter washed over by the latest campus event. It is something students, staff and faculty have been fighting for well over a century.

The anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought us to the wartime version of The D, The Dartmouth Log. It was a weekly at the time, so the first issue after Hiroshima was August 10th. There is a substantial article on the front page authored by Professor Gordon Hull explaining the physics behind the blast, but it is overshadowed by a headline about the College being accused of anti-Semitism. A classic example of the local story beating out world news.

This did not go unnoticed by the editorial staff. Under the headline "The Pace that Kills," the editors say:
We looked hard for effects of the Atom bomb on the College and the town, but without too much success. We should have known that it take something a little bigger than a world-shaking invention to get a rise out of New England and its "unreconstructed American primitive" natives. Work, or the summer lethargy that is its reasonable facsimile, went on as usual, and aside from the technical discussions around the Navy quarters, all we heard was the occasional 'I'm dreaming of an honorable Discharge' with a not too enthusiastic parody to back it up.
The editors went on to note that everyone was talking about how the rain had canceled morning calisthenics three days running.

Editorial in Dartmouth Log, August 10, 1945
The Dartmouth Log is fascinating reading, not just to see how much campus changed during the war years, but also to see how much it stayed the same. You can find it on our open reference shelves in the Reading Room.

No comments :

Post a Comment