Harvard’s First Rebellion Involved Butter

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Look out for flying crockery.
Look out for flying crockery.

The Harvard Gazette reflects upon the university’s long tradition of rebellion, beginning with a butter uprising: "Harvard’s era of dissent began with the Great Butter Rebellion of 1766. It was the first known student protest on an American campus and for a time led to half the student body being suspended. Asa Dunbar, Henry David Thoreau’s grandfather, was the first to protest that College butter"…ahem…"stinketh."

Look out for flying crockery.
Look out for flying crockery.

Later, in 1818, a wild food fight broke out and was chronicled in rhyme by clever scholar Augustus Peirce in Rebelliad:

“And thus arose a fearful battle,”
The coffee cups and saucers rattle;
The bread-bowls fly at woful rate,
And break many a learned pate.”

Earlier that year, a violent brawl involving crockery also occurred. Apparently dorm food was crap, even then!

Harvard’s Long Ago Student Risings [Gazette]