Today in 1806, The Literary Cabinet, an eight-page biweekly, was first published at Yale, with the goal of raising money to assist self-supporting students. It lasted only until October 1807 but it may have been the first college magazine in the U.S.
Which brings me to a promise I made in a previous post to use the endangered word historiaster (i.e., contemptible historian). Unfortunately, my fellow “this day in history” writers often slip into historiastercity (to coin a new – soon to be widely-used – term). Today, for example, many day-by-day historians call the publication “The Yale Literary Government.” Huh?
All I can say is, please don’t be a historiaster, especially now that good (even great) history is available at your fingertips. It took me a few minutes to find out the real name of the publication in (the fully scanned) Yale: A History by Brooks Mather Kelley.
Reading good history books not only helps resist the temptation to make up history, but could also elevate the spirit. Consider another important Yale event in 1806: The establishment, by the students, of the (elected) office of the College Bully, to lead them in their violent disagreements with the people of New Haven (see page 126).