This Week in Amherst History

One-hundred seven years ago, the College participated in Chicago’s World’s Fair, occupying a position in the south gallery of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building. According to The Amherst Student, Amherst’s display was “especially noticeable” in relation to similar displays of other colleges.

Representatives of the school included members of the Board of Trustees and the faculty, the Student Board, the Glee and banjo clubs and the baseball and football teams.

The presentation featured photographs of numerous college buildings, including a panoramic view from the Chapel Tower. The College also exhibited a bookcase full of “a collection of volumes written by Amherst men,” as well as a chart of class information by Dr. Hitchcock.

Smith College also had an exhibit at the fair, which was set up across the aisle from Amherst’s.


In an opinion article published 43 years ago this week, a student who identified himself as J.W.D. expressed annoyance at the school’s new “gentleman’s code” mandating that ties and tweed coats be worn at all Valentine dinners.

The author of the article, entitled “Crockery,” complained that the policy reinforced the control that the “powers-that-be” exerted over students, citing dress as a symbol of the administration’s ideological control.

The article pointed out that the ridiculous rule deserved an equally ridiculous response from disgruntled students. One such response, as experienced by other schools with similar regulations, involved rebellious youths who satisfied the dinner jacket requirement by writing “dinner” on their jackets while wearing “shorts, levis, tee shirts, and quite probably genuine hair shirts” which compromised the mealtime outfit.

The student also expressed concern for athletes who often needed to make a “last-minute dinner dash” and didn’t have time to change into the required dress.


Staff writers Patty Spencer and Maggie Hendricksen published an article in The Student 15 years ago this week covering an interview they had done with the ’80s band, The Untouchables.

The students had originally gone to UMass to watch UB40 perform, but in trying to meet them, had accidentally run into their opening band. The members of the Untouchables invited the two students into their tour bus, where they conversed over a cigarette and some corn on the cob.

Subsequently, Clyde, the guitarist, took them to the Towne-House Motor Lodge, where they continued the interview. Clyde listed Bob Marley and Bloodfire as major influences and talked about prominent bands for which they had opened, like the B-52s and the Psychadelic Furs.

Ironically, the group’s name parodies ’70s rock groups who were “not very accessible to their fans.”