Posted by: midwestgirl2eastcoastaddress | September 29, 2009

Response Blog #2 – MidwestGirl Goes to Hahvahd!

HAHVAHD”…that is how people in Boston pronounce Harvard, as in Harvard University.

I recently took a trip to Boston, another prominent city on the east coast, filled with plenty of history and charm.  Just outside of Boston lies Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the campus of Harvard, or Hahvahd, University prominently stands.

If you plan on visiting the Boston area in the May to November timeframe, I would highly suggest making your way to Harvard, or the Harvard Square area, to take the unofficial tour of the campus.  Unofficial Tour, you ask?  Yes, take the Unofficial Tour which is a 70 minute walking tour that starts in the middle of Harvard Square.  This is different from the official tour.  The Unofficial Tours are given by a group of entertaining Harvard students.  There is no charge for the tour (tips are welcomed) and you learn much about the University and its many, many traditions.

Not to spoil the fun for those of you that will take this tour, but here are some interesting factoids that I learned:

Students only walk through the Johnston Gate twice: when they first arrive to campus as students and when they graduate.

– Harvard has produced eight US presidents: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama

– The John Harvard Statue is sometimes referred to as “the statue of three lies.”  Why? Despite what the plaque on the statue says, 1) Harvard didn’t actually found Harvard; 2) the school was started in 1636, not 1638; and 3) the statue is not actually of John Harvard! Harvard died portraitless.  There are several theories as to whom the statue represents.

These are just a few of the interesting and witty facts that I learned while on the Unofficial Tour of Hahvahd.

If you want to learn more about the Tour, check out their website.

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