Detail map of Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States Overview map of Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

A: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Foundation of Harvard College, the First Institution of Higher Learning in the U.S.

John Harvard statue

Statue of John Harvard in Harvard Yard. Tour guides tell visitors that statue is also known as "Statue of Three Lies". Lie # 1: This is not John Harvard's face; no picture or statue of John Harvard survived. Lie # 2: John Harvard was not founder of Harvard University; it was founded two years prior to being renamed Harvard in 1638. Lie # 3: The inscription says that Harvard was founded in 1638; in fact, it was founded two years earlier.

Harvard College, the first institution of higher learning in the United States, was established in 1636 at Cambridge, Massachusetts by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and named for its first benefactor, John Harvard. Harvard was a minister who left a few hundred books and half his estate to the new institution.

Timeline Themes