All predictions of Orwell seem to come true eventually so it shouldn't surprise us that consigning various historical persons to the unperson bin has happened.  What is a bit disappointing is that educational institutions seem to be taking the lead.  Robert Millikan was Caltech's first Nobel Prize winner and the person most responsible for turning it into one of the world's most prestigious universities.  The tallest building on campus used to be called the Millikan Library, but Millikan has had his name deleted from all the major campus features.  It seems that he had subscribed to and promoted some popular eugenic ideas back in the day.  Not sure if his picture and grotto in the Athenaeum (faculty club) have been deleted, or if his works have been scrubbed from the library that used to bear his name.

Meanwhile, San Francisco has changed the names of schools named after notorious racists like Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington.  More locally, the high school my sons attended, formerly named after Juan de Onate, New Mexico pioneer and brutal suppressor of an Indian revolt, has been changed to that of some anodyne geographic feature.

I look forward to outraged Harvard students finding a pretext to drag John H's statue to the river and dropping it in.


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