Pres. William Howard Taft Visits Rice

Pres. William Howard Taft, an unknown person, and Edgar Odell Lovett

Pres. William Howard Taft, an unknown person, and Edgar Odell Lovett

On April 21-22, 1920, former Pres. William Howard Taft was invited to the Rice Institute. Along with meeting faculty, students, and prominent members of the Houston community, Pres. Taft gave the inaugural lecture for the Herbert Godwin Lectureship on Public Affairs.

Below is an invitation to Judge James L. Autrey to attend a luncheon with the President.

Invitation to meet Pres. William Howard Taft

Invitation to meet Pres. William Howard Taft

Texas City Disaster Photographs


Texas City disaster area, pre-explosion photographs, 1947

Texas City disaster area, post-explosion photographs, 1947

On  April 16, 1947, the Texas City disaster occurred when a French ship carrying fertilizer in Galveston Bay caught fire and exploded. The blast largely destroyed the nearby Monsanto Chemical Company and other petroleum refineries, homes, warehouses, ships, and buildings. At least 576 people died and 4,000 were injured.

The photographs above show what the waterfront looked like before and after the explosion.

In Honor of Spring Associate’s Night

Many of Rice University’s colleges are celebrating Spring Associate’s Night this week. Not only do the college’s associates come to have a special dinner with the undergraduates, but students and associates receive awards. The following are pictures of notable college associates, who also served as Resident Associates.

Dr. William L. "Bill" Wilson with students at Wiess College

Dr. William L. “Bill” Wilson, Wiess College

Dr. Linda Torczon, Brown College

Dr. Linda Torczon, Brown College

Dr. Gilbert M. Cuthbertson, Will Rice College

Dr. Gilbert M. Cuthbertson, Will Rice College

Dr. Lon Wilson, Sid Richardson College

Dr. Lon Wilson, Sid Richardson College

The Long History of Shakespeare at Rice

Thresher, April 24, 1963

Thresher, April 24, 1963

Before Baker College laid claim to Shakespeare, Rice had been celebrating the Bard for quite a few years. In 1953, the Rice Players started what they called “Shakespeare as You’ll Like It.” Rather than doing a complete play, the Players instead presented scenes from two plays. In 1954, they selected scenes from Richard II and Twelfth Night.

Shakespeare Festival poster, Baker College, 1972

Shakespeare Festival poster, Baker College, 1972

While the Rice Players focused much of their attention on Shakespeare in the 1950s and early 1960s, by the late 1960s, the theater group began to branch out. In the spring of 1970, with the help of Baker College Master Charles W. Philpott, Charles Becker and Ed Dickinson began Baker College’s yearly tradition, Baker Shakespeare or BakerShake as its more affectionately known.

Rehearsal of the Merry Wives of Windsor, Baker Shakespeare, 1983

Rehearsal of the Merry Wives of Windsor, Baker Shakespeare, 1983

Beeeer Biiiike

1st Inter-College Bicycle Race, 1957

1st Inter-College Bicycle Race, 1957

This Saturday the annual Beer Bike race takes place on Hackerman Field. Here’s a sampling of some of our online Beer Bike materials. For those interested in attending, the Rice Program Council has posted the event schedule.

Baker College students at Beer Bike water balloon fight and parade, 1997

Baker College students at Beer Bike water balloon fight and parade, 1997

Sid Richardson College Beer Bike Team Member, Keith Chappel, 1985

Sid Richardson College Beer Bike Team Member, Keith Chappel, 1985

Beer Bike Race starters, 1974

Beer Bike Race starters, 1974

Two riders on turn, 1999

Two riders on turn, 1999

Rice’s Annual TB Check

Johnny Nichols using Wright Peak Flow Meter

The Houston Harris County TB Association visited the campus on March 25, 1963 to give students chest X-Rays and test their lungs using the Wright Peak Flow Meter, as demonstrated above by the captain of the football team Johnny Nichols. Below is Nichols’ Rice Athletics Hall of Fame write-up.

Rice University Owls football player John Nichols

A revolution in cosmology features History of Science collection

Fondren Library intern Susan Kirby created an online exhibit featuring books from the Woodson Research Center’s History of Science book collection. Susan selected works from the collection, scanned pages, created metadata, researched the works and created the layout of the exhibit. The exhibit also includes an introduction by Dr. Albert Van Helden, Rice professor emeritus of history, who was instrumental in the acquisition of many of the books in the History of Science collection. The exhibit can be found online: http://exhibits.library.rice.edu/exhibits/show/historyscience

Newton, Sir Isaac (1642-1727). Philosophia Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687.

Newton, Sir Isaac (1642-1727). Philosophia Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687.

The History of Science collection includes important volumes of physics, mathematics, and astronomy tracing the history of science. The collection includes four rare astronomy books: Nicolaus Copernicus’ masterpiece, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (1566), which marks the dawn of modern science; Alessandro Piccolomini’s La Sfera del Mondo (1579), considered the first handbook for stargazers; Cornelius Gemma’s De Naturae Divinis Characterismis (1575) relating to the nova of 1572 and a comet in 1556; and Johannes Kepler’s Tabulae Rudolpinae (1675), the first English text of Kepler’s tables based on the laws of planetary motion.

Susan received her master’s degree in library science from Texas Woman’s University in December 2013.

Hevelius, Johannes (1576-1649). Johannis Hevelii Selenographia, 1647.

Hevelius, Johannes (1576-1649). Johannis Hevelii Selenographia, 1647.



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