Published: 01st February 2022
What happened on February 1: The start of St Stephen's College and why the first New English Dictionary ended with 'Ant'
St Stephen's College has an iconic campus and even more iconic is its legacy. Let's read about how it started and how the New English Dictionary was published
Konkana Sen Sharma
How about we begin the second month of the third year of the 2020 decade with some trivia! What do the aforementioned illustrious personalities have in common? The biggest clue we can offer here is the date itself, February 1. Well, they have all studied at the prestigious St Stephen's College of Delhi, which was started on February 1, 1881 — one of the oldest colleges of the national capital.
READ ALSO : What happened on January 3: Space wizard Dr Satish Dhawan passed away and the boy king of Egypt's coffin was discovered
Started by the Cambridge Mission to Delhi, St Stephen's College is currently affiliated with the University of Delhi and one of the three founding colleges of the university. It is situated in the North Campus, occupying 69 acres of the university. The red brick building around four spacious courts is as iconic as it gets. A word about its library too, it houses rare Persian and Sanskrit manuscripts.
Harmony is their annual fest and their cafeteria is called café, just so you know. There is actually a campus dog corner where resident dogs of the college can be found and the campus also has a Lover's Tree where, one imagines, many love stories must have begun. But one of the most notable points about the college is that at 6 pm every Sunday, a mass is conducted which is usually attended by all students.
Capture 'em words
It was the wish of the Philological Society of London back in 1857 that the language needed a proper dictionary. 22 years — that's how long it took for work on it to begin. This was after the society agreed that it would be the Oxford University Press who would publish it. The estimate was that in ten years and four volumes, their work should reach completion, but after five long years of labour, they only got as far as the word Ant. So, the first fascicle (fancy term for volume) was published on February 1, 1884. It was called New English Dictionary and it had 352 pages. It sold 4,000 copies!
The brightest star
USA's space-rated orbiter, Columbia, was on its way back to Earth after its 27th mission on February 1, 2003, but merely 61.170 metres away from Dallas, USA, the shuttle disintegrated and seven astronomers lost their lives. Among them was Kalpana Chawla, who was the first woman of Indian origin to travel to space. She continues to be a great inspiration for astronauts in India and abroad.