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The most remarkable banquet in the world By Deborah Douglas

A unique assemblage of aero luminaries sets the stage for a century of MIT achievement

Remarkable, indeed, for the 1,500 MIT alumni and guests (the Post claimed 3,000) that had squished into Symphony Hall the previous evening, while thousands of others listened across the United States by telephone. The newspapers noted the presence at MIT’s now famous “Telephone Banquet” of prominent figures in Massachusetts politics and education, accompanied by luminaries and aviation giants Alexander Graham Bell and Orville Wright. It was the capstone event of a multi-day extravaganza marking the Institute’s triumphant move from Boston to Cambridge. For most banquet attendees, dining elbow-to-elbow on medallion of Penobscot salmon, larded filet of beef, sweetbreads glace, and roast jumbo squab, the past two days had marked their first glimpse of the Institute’s spectacular new campus, and the buzz was all about the “The most remarkable banquet in the world” is the caption for a sketch that appeared on the front page announcement of the nearly $2.7 million dollars that had been raised of June 16, 1916 Boston Post. just that very day (about $58 million in 2014 dollars). The boisterous cheers and songs of those present were punctuated with greetings from alumni clubs in 34 cities, linked to Symphony Hall by a unique intercity telephone network created specifically for the event. Professor Robert Rogers could hardly contain himself when writing a few weeks later for Technology Review. It was, he said, a “magnificent and orgulous celebration.”

The most remarkable banquet in the world

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Aeroastro magazine 2013 14  
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