As an Upper Valley local, taking Dartmouth for granted is easy- after all, it’s right in our backyard and seems so familiar. But, there are a few things that you may not know about Dartmouth. For instance:
- The Bells of Baker Tower ring on the hour and half hour and students and faculty can request a song to be played by blitzing “Bells”. Some current favorites are Barbie Girl, My Old Kentucky Home, Pomp and Circumstance, Tired of Being Alone, Happy Birthday, Hey Jude, Hi Ho Hi Ho, In Your Eyes, Indiana Jones Theme, Jeopardy Theme, Lean on Me, Lullabye, Maria, Smurfs, Stand by Me, Yellow Submarine, You are My Sunshine, Bright Sunshiny Day, Feeling Groovy.
- The Big Green Bus is a biodiesel-powered bus that travels across the country each summer with 12 Dartmouth students. This student run environmental advocacy group stops at 25 locations hosting events focused on facilitating discussion, sharing stories, and learning about sustainability.
- Robert Smith, Class of 1902, was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
- In 1993, Reese Schonfeld ’53 and Trygve Myrhen ’58, Tu ’59 founded the Food Network.
- Dartmouth students began the nationwide trend of wearing shorts in 1930 after a series of editorials were published by The Dartmouth calling for “freedom of the knees.”
- Dr. Suess’ first manuscript was rejected 17 times before a being published. A chance meeting on a NY street with his friend and fellow Dartmouth alum, Mike McClintock, changed the course of his life. McClintock had( that very morning) started a job as an editor in the Vanguard Press children’s section. Within hours, the men signed a contract, and in 1937 Vanguard Press published “And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and the rest…is history.
- Dartmouth was the only Ivy League school that did not close during the Revolutionary War.
- In 1816, the New Hampshire legislature attempted to change Dartmouth College— a privately funded institution–into a state university. That attempt failed.
- Paul Darrow, son of renowned attorney Clarence Darrow, attended Dartmouth College in 1904. While Paul was a student, the horse he was riding kicked a young boy resulting in the boy’s death. He then sent the boy’s mother a letter promising help from the Darrow family should they ever need it. Twenty three years later, Clarence Darrow was at Dartmouth giving a lecture regarding his opposition to capital punishment and the mother approached him for help for her nephew, John Winters. Winters had been convicted of the murder of Cecelia Gullivan and was ironically facing the possibility of capital punishment. Darrow’s accepted the case and he was able to cast enough doubt about the way the evidence was omitted and handled that eventually Winters was convicted, but sentenced to life in prison rather than death by electrocution.
- A list of Dartmouth Alums who have appeared in TV and movies and who are involved in the entertainment industry can be found at http://dartmouthentertainment.org/.
I hope you enjoyed this incomplete list of Dartmouth trivia. If you dig around a bit, you will find more interesting tales of Dartmouth. You may even discover that certain Dartmouth residence halls are also said to be inhabited by ghosts. Hey, when you have been around since 1769, there’s bound to be a few skeletons lying around!