In life, David L. Halberstam ’55 cherished his days as a student writer for The Harvard Crimson, a gig that jump-started his legendary career as an investigative journalist whose efforts eventually won the Pulitzer Prize. Now, the late Halberstam has been memorialized near his former Plympton Street stomping grounds with the unveiling of the new Halberstam Square at the intersection of Linden, Bow, and Mount Auburn streets.Rain deterred the Oct. 6 outdoor festivity, which would have involved installing the official Halberstam Square plaque. Instead, Cambridge Mayor David P. Maher hosted the public dedication inside The Harvard Crimson, where alumni, city councilors, and Halberstam’s many admirers packed the house.“Halberstam used his education and narrative skill to expose state-sanctioned injustice and to challenge untruths coming from powerful people. His relentless questioning of individuals and institutions took immense personal courage,” said Maher, who applauded Halberstam’s lasting legacy in the Cambridge community.At Harvard, Halberstam was a sports editor and managing editor of The Crimson. Though he was a history concentrator, “David majored in the Crimson … it was his life,” said classmate Stanley Katz ’55, Ph.D. ’61.Halberstam’s daughter Julia said that, faced with a lack of an engagement ring, her father proposed to her mother instead with his Crimson medal. “The Crimson was where he learned to take the kind of risks that shaped the rest of his career,” she said.After leaving Harvard, Halberstam took a post at the Daily Times Leader in West Point, Miss., where, said Katz, Halberstam was a reporter, a photographer, and even sold advertising. There he covered the Emmett Till murder trial, and later, at The Tennessean in Nashville, wrote about the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement. The New York Times later recruited Halberstam, who, at the age of 30, won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Vietnam War.Harvard Crimson President Peter Zhu ’11 said Halberstam “stands out as someone to whom we can all aspire towards.”The author of more than 20 books, including “The Children” and “The Best and the Brightest,” Halberstam was an avid sports lover, and also wrote books on Michael Jordan and the NFL. He died in a 2007 car crash in Menlo Park, Calif.Halberstam’s daughter read an excerpt from the lecture on journalism he gave at the University of California, Berkeley, the night before he was killed. “There is, I think, craft. I think you can keep learning for those of you who are starting out. How do you do it? Knowing where to look. Knowing how to build steam. Knowing how to sustain a narrative drive. How to keep a reader interested, this is a real challenge. You have to make it accurate, then you have to learn how to dramatize it, to bring it alive, to find the people and the events to make it real. So you’re not just a reporter, and you’re not just a historian. You’re a playwright, too. You’ve got to bring the drama. Impress on people why they need to know it.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Jones Beach State Park is quickly regaining its appeal as the place to be to celebrate the holidays on Long Island.After bringing back the popular Jones Beach Holiday Lights Spectacular last year, New York State announced that the famous fireworks show at the iconic South Shore beach is also returning after a five-year hiatus. The July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, which once drew thousands of revelers from Long Island and around the region, will be on full display this Independence Day.“What better place to celebrate America’s birthday than at one of the most iconic and landmark state destinations,” said Rose Harvey, commissioner of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a statement announcing the event’s return, said his administration was “proud” to revive the tradition—once a staple event for LI families. Jones Beach last hosted the dazzling pyrotechnic event in 2009. The show was cancelled in 2010 due to monetary and staffing constraints.The announced revival comes days after Jones Beach held its annual Bethpage Air Show, which featured stunt pilots performing impressive aerobatic maneuvers as revelers looked on from the beach. Hundreds of thousands attended the two-day event.Astoria Bank will sponsor this year’s fireworks show, officials said.Jones Beach itself is in the middle of a multimillion-dollar revitalization project. New bathrooms in Field 6 were installed just in time for the air show and the central mall’s mosaic was refurbished for the first time in three decades. The show’s revival is part of a state plan to invest $900 million in the state parks system by 2020.The 30-minute fireworks show is scheduled for Saturday, July 4 at 9:30 p.m.