12, 1841: Union Institute Academy receives a charter from the State of North Carolina, thus becoming a corporation.
28, 1851: Union Institute is re-chartered as Normal College, and its graduates are certified to teach in the public schools of North Carolina. In 19th century a "normal college" meant a school for training teachers.
21, 1891: The state amends the charter of Trinity College to permit its relocation to Durham.
4, 1911: The Washington Duke building, known as "Old Main," burns, becoming the only campus building ever lost to fire.
8, 1929: Benjamin Newton Duke, the older brother of James B. Duke, dies. "Mr. Ben" had been a trustee of Trinity since 1889, and was responsible for managing the Duke family's philanthropic activities.
1, 1942: Due to wartime fears, the Rose Bowl game is at first canceled, but then is rescheduled and played in Duke Stadium on New Year's Day. Durham is the only city other than Pasadena to have hosted the Rose Bowl.
17, 1984: Duke President "Uncle Terry" Sanford pens his "Avuncular Letter" to the Cameron Crazies calling for an end to obscene chants and vulgar behavior at basketball games: "I hate for us to have the reputation of being stupid."
14, 1842: Braxton Craven was made a teacher at Union Institute, and then principal of the school. He would serve as the institution's leader until his death in 1882.
16, 1859: Normal College was re-chartered as Trinity College and the institution formally affiliated with the Methodist Church. The 1859 charter forbade the presence "any tippling-house establishment or place for the sale of wine..." or "any public billiard table .. at which games of chance.. may be played" within two miles of the college.
28, 1903: Trinity College received a new charter and new bylaws. When Duke University was created in 1924, the only change that was made was to replace "Trinity College" with "Duke University." The first article in the 1903 bylaws, "The Aims of Duke University," is reproduced on the plaque in the middle of the main quad on West.
1, 1910: In an early instance of a blowout, the Trinity basketball team defeated the Furman team by the score of 84 (or 85; sources differ) to 5. A home game with Wake Forest that year had to be canceled because the Trinity team wouldn't agree to play according to Wake's rules. Obviously, this was before the NCAA was established.
12-18, 1950: The Dead Sea Scrolls are exhibited in Duke Chapel. Duke was one of only three sites in the US where the scrolls were displayed. Duke professor W. H. Brownlee played a role in their discovery and identification.
1952: Senator Joseph McCarthy threatened legal action against the University if it did not suppress a faculty member's study of his Senate hearings about communists in the US State Department. The study, "McCarthy versus the State Department," was conducted by Dr. Hornell Hart, of the Sociology Department, and was critical of McCarthy's methods. Duke maintained its traditional support for academic freedom. President Edens replied to the threat that "It is axiomatic in the University circles that a professor has the right to pursue research investigations of his choice."
24, 1954: Allen Building was dedicated. It completes the main quad on West and is named for George G. Allen, a close associate of James B. Duke.
16, 1960: President Arthur Hollis Edens submitted his resignation to the University's Board of Trustees. The following month, the Trustees removed Prof. Paul M. Gross from his position as the university's chief academic officer. The "Gross-Edens Affair" was a major administrative crisis that made public different groups' competing visions for the future of the university.
13, 1969: The Allen Building Takeover. Students from Duke's Afro-American Society occupy the Registrar's Central Records Office to call attention to their unmet demands.
1973: Plans for a new University student center are unveiled. However, due to funding problems, the Bryan Center would not be completed until nine years later. It would be dedicated February, 26-27 1982
29, 1920: The Trinity College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was officially installed.
1924: Alice Mary Baldwin took up her role as Dean of Women at Trinity College, becoming the senior female administrator and the first woman to hold a faculty appointment here. As Dean of Women, and later, Dean of the Woman's College of Duke University, Baldwin would guide generations of women students until her retirement in 1947.
1955: The Carnegie Corporation awarded Duke a grant of $350,000 to establish a program for research about the nations of the British Commonwealth. Over the next twenty-five years, the Commonwealth Studies Center would serve as a focus for Duke's interdisciplinary and international research efforts.
1958: The basketball team ranked seventh nationally after defeating number one ranked West Virginia earlier in the season. The team would finish 18-7 overall, and first in the ACC with an 11-3 record.
8, 1961: Duke desegregates. The Board of Trustees voted that "Qualified applicants may be admitted to degree programs in the graduate and professional schools of the university effective September 1, 1961 without regard to race, creed or national origin." The vote to desegregate the undergraduate colleges would come in June, 1962.
1970: The Registrar's Office began work on a calendar to eliminate Saturday classes. The five-day course schedule went into effect that Fall.
1974: Researchers affiliated with the Duke Marine Lab announced their discovery of the wreckage of the Civil War ironclad U.S.S. Monitor, off North Carolina's Outer Banks. The wreckage site was discovered the previous August, and the ship's identity confirmed after several months of study.
19, 1980: "Krzyzewski: this is not a typo" was the headline in The Chronicle. The previous evening, Athletic Director Tom Butters had announced the appointment of Mike Krzyzewski as Duke's head basketball coach.
5, 1887: The Trinity College Board of Trustees elects John Franklin Crowell, Yale Class of 1883, as president of the school. In his honor, the students select Yale's blue and white as Trinity's colors.
4, 1892: The Trinity College Historical Society holds its first meeting.
22, 1907: President Theodore Roosevelt receives members of the Trinity College baseball team at the White House. The group was in Washington as part of its annual Spring tour, a series a six away games.
21, 1939: Dedication of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. About the Gardens, a child is said to have remarked "I think God lives near here."
21-23, 1939: Duke University celebrates the centennial of its founding as an educational institution. Delegates from nearly four hundred colleges and scholarly societies attended. Speakers included the Presidents of Princeton and Brown Universities. The highlight of the celebration was an address by Eduard Benes, the exiled president of Czechoslovakia, who spoke about European politics on the very eve of World War II
1954: William J. Griffith, Trinity '50 is named director of the new student union. Over the next four decades Bill Griffith (known as "VPG" after being named Vice President for Student Affairs) would be one of the University's most dedicated staff, and a friend and mentor to generations of Duke students.
5, 1968: The start of The Duke Vigil, a silent demonstration in protest of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For up to a week, as many as a thousand students stood silently on the quad in support of higher wages for Dining Services and Housekeeping employees.
1969: The University Libraries acquire their 2 millionth volume, Historia Naturalis, by Plinius Secundus, printed in 1476
2, 1970: Terry Sanford's first day as Duke's President; he said he didn't want to start on April Fool's Day.
15-16 1970: Dedication of Perkins Library, named for William R. Perkins, personal counsel to James B. Duke, and author of the indenture that created The Duke Endowment.
1, 1991: The men's basketball team wins the NCAA championship.
6, 1992: Ditto.
7, 1889: The Board of Trustees votes to move Trinity College to "some prominent center" in the state.
1956: Over a period of two weeks, Dave Sime (AB, '58, MD, '62), "the world's fastest human" twice equalled and twice broke world records in three track events. At one time in his career, he held nine world track records.
3, 1986: The Board of Trustees votes to divest in companies doing business in South Africa.
22, 1858: The Alumni Association is organized with 41 alumni of record.
1878: The Giles sisters - Mary, Perisis and Theresa -- become the first women to receive degrees from the institution.
5, 1928: The cornerstone of West Campus is set in the West Campus Union by Doris Duke, the only child of James B. Duke. The stone was moved across the quad to the General Library tower shortly after, as it had been cut too large for the West Campus Union space.
1853: First B.A. degrees awarded.
3, 1892: The Board of Trustees votes to admit women to classes.
1963: Five students enrolled as Duke's first African-American undergraduates.
13, 1896: Booker T. Washington speaks on campus.
3, 1901: Founders' Day was first celebrated--although it was called Benefactor's Day then. It was established in honor of Washington Duke.
1905: U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt visited Trinity College and spoke in praise of the school for its stand on academic freedom in the 1903 Bassett Affair.
1920: After being banned since 1896, intercollegiate football play resumed at Trinity College. In this first game back, Trinity beat Guilford 20-6.
4, 1922: The first use we've found of The Chronicle using the nickname Blue Devils.
5, 1929: The Blue Devil mascot made its first appearance at the Duke-Pittsburgh game. This date also marks first use of a West Campus facility: the new football stadium (now Wallace Wade Stadium). Students were bussed over from what is now East Campus. Pittsburgh beat Duke, 52 to 7.
22, 1930: The cornerstone of Duke Chapel was set. Representative university publications, photographs, and other records were placed in a copper strongbox fitted into the cornerstone.
1970: Terry Sanford was inaugurated as the president of Duke University.
1993: Nannerl O. Keohane was inaugurated as the president of Duke University.
1994: The women's soccer team beat Carolina 3-2 in Chapel Hill. This was a major upset and the Tarheels' first-ever home loss after compiling a record of 139-0-2.
1851: Normal College was authorized to award degrees by the State of North Carolina.
Thanksgiving Day, 1887: Trinity College defeated the University of North Carolina 16 to 0 in one of the first modern football games played in the South.
1887: Our literary journal, The Archive, was first issued. It is one of the oldest collegiate literary magazines still being published.
9, 1910: William Preston Few was inaugurated as President of Trinity College. It was one of the most elaborate ceremonies ever held here, with representatives in attendance from colleges and universities all over the United States.
1938: Duke was admitted to the Association of American Universities.
1962: A student-run symposium on national defense policy drew former CIA head Allen Dulles to Duke as the keynote speaker. The Duke Symposium series ran for eleven years and was ranked among most topical and significant public affairs programs in American universities.
13, 1967: Thirty-five students from Duke's Afro-American Society held a sit-in in the Allen Building appealing President Knight to ban the use of segregated facilities by University organizations.
18, 1984: The New York Times Magazine ran a cover story titled "Hot Colleges and How They Got That Way." Duke was featured on the cover, evidence of the university's rise to national prominence.
1903: After an all-night debate that began on December first, the Trinity College Board of Trustees refused to accept John Spencer Bassett's resignation, and on December 2 issued a statement in support of academic freedom.
19, 1905: Volume 1, number 1 of The Chronicle was issued. The newspaper was published by Trinity College's two literary clubs, the Columbian Society and the Hesperian Society.
11, 1924: James B. Duke signed the Duke Indenture establishing The Duke Endowment, a private charitable trust. On December 29 of that year the Trinity College Board of Trustees accepted the provisions of the Indenture that created Duke University with Trinity as its undergraduate men's college On December 30, a new charter was issued. (The 29th is considered the University's birthday; if we go with the charter date, we'd have to go with 1841 as the founding year).
10, 1933: The tradition of performing Handel's Messiah in Duke Chapel began.
13, 1969: The Board of Trustees elected former North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford as President of Duke.
1972: The University Tree Lighting Ceremony was begun by the University Union.
13, 1986: The men's soccer team defeated Akron in the finals of the NCAA tournament, bringing home Duke's first NCAA championship trophy.
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