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Duke University

When a tiny schoolhouse in Randolph County, North Carolina opened in 1838, it launched an educational institution that grew to become today's Duke University. This timeline traces the history of the institution as it transformed from Brown's Schoolhouse to Duke University, and moved from Randolph County to Durham. Each day, Duke students, faculty, staff, and alumni make history in their own way and continue to write the story of Duke. The events showcased here represent just some of the most important events in Duke's history.

Timeline created by Maureen McCormick Harlow, 175th Anniversary Intern, and the Duke University Archives.

J. Walter Thompson Company

Founded in 1864 as the Carlton and Smith Agency, the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) grew to become one of the largest advertising agencies in the world and the first to develop a global footprint. Widely considered the flagship American advertising agency for most of the 20th century, JWT was a pioneer and innovator credited with the development and expansion of print, radio and television advertising; an early advocate of trademark and brand management; and famed for its attention to market research and demographic lifestyle trends. JWT's advertisements helped to turn a number of its clients' products into cultural icons: Kodak, Ford, RCA; Oscar Mayer; Kraft; the U.S. Marine Corps and many others.

This site features a timeline of JWT's 150-year history that highlights key personnel; long-standing client relationships; office openings and technical achievements and innovations. It includes a more in-depth overview of materials from the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives housed within the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at Duke's Rubenstein Library, along with links and brief descriptions of the agency's collections available for research.

Timeline created by Rick Collier.

You can also view the J. Walter Thomposon Company Timline in two parts:

Duke University Libraries

A desire for knowledge is found at the root of any library's beginnings. In the past 175 years, that desire has driven Duke University Libraries to grow to one of the top ten private university library systems in the nation. The Perkins Library, Bostock Library, and Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, joined with the Lilly, Music, and Pearse Memorial Libraries, form the center of knowledge and discovery on campus. Combined with four libraries separately administered by the Fuqua School of Business, School of Law, Divinity School, and School of Medicine, Duke boasts a network of ten facilities that create a solid foundation for learning and research. This timeline follows the history of Duke's libraries, from the earliest known record proposing the library's creation to today's newly renovated Rubenstein Library which marks the end of the fifteen year Perkins Project.

Timeline created by Jessica L. Serrao, King Intern for Digital Collections, and the Duke University Archives.

Duke University Presidents

Duke University traces its history back to a tiny schoolhouse in 1838. Since that time, the institution has been guided and changed by its leadership. As Duke inaugurates new president Vincent Price, this timeline offers a look back at the highs, lows, and extraordinary contributions of our presidents.

Silent Vigil Anniversary

The largest student demonstration in Duke's history, the "Silent Vigil" developed over the period from April 4 to 11, 1968. Begun as a response to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the protesters pushed for a role in Duke’s governance, calling upon the university to reexamine and improve working conditions for its non-academic employees.