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The Pentagon Papers and the Unitarian Universalist Association:  How the UUA Was Almost Destroyed by the Decision to Publish

The Key Roles of a Unitarian Universalist Senator, Journalist, President, Publishing House and Congregation in One of the Most Important Civil Liberties Case in American History.

The December of 2017 release of the blockbuster Stephen Spielberg movie “The Post” has everyone taking about the Washington Post’s brave defiance of the Nixon administration with its decision to publish excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, the 7,000-page compilation of secret government documents pertaining to the war.  …

West, Robert Nelson (1929-2017)

By Tom Stites

(this article was originally published in the UU World on October 30, 2017; Harvard Square Library is grateful to Tom Stites and the UU World for permission to reprint it here.  The original article can be accessed here).…

The Greatest Showman:  The Complicated Legacy of P.T. Barnum

Hugh Jackman’s biopic of P.T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman,” was released late in 2017 to record breaking box office success.  And while no one expects complete factuality from a biopic, many critics have been rightly alarmed by how the show “whitewashes” Barnum’s troubling relationship with the human side show “curiosities” that made him famous.   …

On Thanksgiving Day, Remember Fast Day: a feature by Dean Grodzins


Americans have forgotten Fast Day, although it once was as important a holiday as Thanksgiving. In fact, it was paired with Thanksgiving and considered its necessary complement.

Thanksgiving and Fast Day originated together in colonial New England. Most Americans think Thanksgiving celebrations started in 1621, when Pilgrim settlers and Wampanoag Indians feasted at Plymouth.…

Forbes, John Perkins (1855-1910)

John Perkins Forbes was born in Middleboro, Massachusetts, March 25, 1855. He attended the public schools of Middleboro, and was, for a time, a pupil in Middleboro Academy. Later the family moved to Westboro, Massachusetts, and there he began the study of law.…

How The Universalists And Unitarians Invented Christmas; Plus An Anthology of Historical Unitarian Christmas Stories

Harvard Square is delighted to present our first ebook, which includes an account of the Universalist and Unitarian role in giving shape to the American Christmas celebrations we know today. It also includes five classic Christmas stories by Unitarian authors, including Rev.…

Unitarian Politicians and Other Oxymorons: Lessons from the Life and Times of Adlai Stevenson

The Harvard Square Library is excited to present in time for this election season a special collection of documents pertaining to Adlai Stevenson and his Unitarian faith.   These documents have been made available courtesy of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Illinois (Joan Banks and John Muirhead, congregational historians; the documents are all available in the “links” column at the bottom of this post).

Water Rituals and Ingatherings, Revitalized

On the cusp of fall, many Unitarian Universalist congregations plan Water Celebrations and/or Ingathering Services as a way of reconstituting community life after the more relaxed pace of summer.  But while these services are common, they are not always deep.  Many have indicated dissatisfaction with these services:  water rituals reduced to monologues about expensive travels; ingatherings that vaguely celebrate the restarting of a church season that possibly felt like it never ended.  …

Water Image

UUA General Assembly Original Bylaws — 1961

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UUA General Assembly Minutes 1992

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Notable in UU History
Jeremy Belknap

Belknap, Jeremy (1744-1798)

Jeremy Belknap, the eldest child of Joseph and Sarah (Byles) Belknap, was born in Boston, June ... Read More
Margaret Laurence

Laurence, Margaret (1926-1983)

Jean Margaret (Peggy) Wemyss was born in Neepawa, Manitoba, on July 18, 1926, to Robert Harrison ... Read More
Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice (1820-1905)

Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice (1820-1905)

Lived a long, productive life advocating for reform and women’s rights. She was born in Boston ... Read More
Maxine Kumin

Kumin, Maxine (1925-2014)

Biographical Introduction This Pulitzer Prize-winning poet raised horses on a 200-acre farm near Warner, New Hampshire ... Read More