In the winter of 1775, mere months after shots rang out in Lexington and Concord, the Cambridge regiment of the Continental Army took up shelter in Hollis Hall, on the Western edge of Harvard Yard. Using the Old Yard as a training field, this group of Massachusetts minutemen stood tall against British efforts to seize the Great Library of the New World.
Five years later, acknowledging that “[w]isdom, and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people” were necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties, the People of the Commonwealth dedicated Chapter V of their Constitution to the “University at Cambridge.”
The events of this past week have reminded us once again that our liberty is forever fragile; and that while we are blessed to be able to march through the Yard with books, not bayonets, we remain, as citizens of this great Nation, defenders of its fundamental values.
To this day, Harvard remains rightly proud of its contribution to our Nation’s revolutionary past. As an alumnus and a Bay-Stater, I call on the President and Fellows of Harvard College to at last grant appropriate honor to that history by joining the rest of our sister institutions in Boston and making Patriots Day a University holiday in 2014 and beyond.
Andrew L. Kalloch ’09 is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Law Record.
He lives and works in New York City and hails from Hamilton, Massachusetts.