Peking Man

What a surprise it was to read the two pieces on Peking Man in last autumn’s issue of USC Trojan Family Magazine. Two years ago I retired from teaching anthropology at Palomar Community College after 30 years, and had taught about Peking Man there and elsewhere for almost 35 years. I thought that I might shed a little light upon a few basic facts that went unmentioned.
Peking Man was originally named Sinanthropus pekinensis or “Oriental Man from Peking” (now Beijing, of course). It wasn’t until the mid-1960s that the name was changed to Homo erectus pekinensis, when it was finally recognized that these fossils belonged to a widely dispersed group in the Old World called Homo erectus, or “Man Who Stands Erect.” In 1927 the original finds were made by Davidson Black, a Canadian medical doctor who was teaching anatomy at Peking Union Medical College. When Black died in 1933, the work was taken over by Franz Weidenreich and Wen-Chung Pei, who made most of the finds throughout the 1930s.
It was amazing to read about the newer, more sophisticated dating method yielding a date of about 400,000 years old because the older, rougher stratigraphic dates from many textbooks as far back as the early 1960s, if not a bit earlier, mainly mention dates of 400,000-450,000 for this fossil man. I don’t know where the previous dates of 200,000 to 300,000 years come from, unless they are from the original work in the 1930s.

Abe Gruber M.S., M.Ed. ’59
San Diego, CA

While earlier stratigraphic work certainly established that Peking Man lived 400,000 years ago or earlier, radiometric dating of the strata at Zhoukoudian in the 1980s indicated that he may have survived down to as recently as 230,000 years ago. It was this recent end of the spectrum that was ruled out by the work of USC geochronologist Richard Ku and his collaborators.

Cyber Terror

Neil Miller’s “It’s Not Your Father’s Library” [Autumn 1996] is fascinating and informative, but it delivers echoes to make a book reader quake. During my USC years, 1947-1951, the library, filled with books, journals, and what seemed an infinity of hard copies, was my favorite place. I had a part-time library job and patrolled the glorious book and periodical stacks with the pride, gratitude and confidence of Robin Hood at Sherwood Forest. I hope the Leavey Library offers an equivalent sanctuary and fount of wisdom to present and future generations; but I can’t see it happening when the emphasis is on screens rather than books. Somehow I doubt Melville could have written Moby Dick if the first line that came to him was “Call me E-mail.”

Roy Meador ’51
Ann Arbor, MI

Whose Treasure?

Pardon me if I don’t shed any tears over Germany’s loss of Heinrich Schliemann’s treasures from ancient Troy [“A Trojan Treasure,” Autumn 1996]. If Klaus Gold-mann and Judith Francine Owyang ’69 would spend as much time helping to restore to their rightful owners the art treasures and heirlooms plundered from the tragic victims of German Nazism I might be a bit more sympathetic to their quest, but not much. As things now stand, I hope the Russians do not return the ancient Trojan artifacts, at least until there is a full accounting to the surviving families of the Holocaust.
But even then, while “stealing may be stealing,” just who was stealing from whom? By present-day international standards, Schliemann had no right to remove these artifacts from the jurisdiction of the Otto-man Empire. My hope is that if the Russians do release them they will be sent to the place from which they were improperly taken to begin with: Turkey.

Harvey L. Zuckman ’56
Washington, D.C.

The article “A Trojan Treasure” urges the return of the Schliemann gold to Germany.
It is difficult to evoke sympathy for a nation which perpetrated the worst genocide in human history, to say nothing of the destruction visited upon national treasures throughout occupied Europe.
Germany “ripped off” the lives of uncounted millions. This Trojan gold is but paltry indemnity for unspeakable crimes beyond reparation or absolution. Let Russia keep this token!

Jerome Starr, Ph.D. ’46
New York, N.y.

Heinrich Schliemann smuggled the Trojan gold out of Turkey, but the Turkish government agreed on a settlement: the then-princely sum of £2,000. The deal has been cited ever since by German authorities to vindicate their refusal to return the treasure to Turkey. Schliemann was so rich from his business dealings that he actually sent five times the amount.

On Design

Congrats on your new format but pooh on your choice of typeset. I find it nearly impossible to read without a magnifying glass. You could go down one size and make it impossible for a 73-year-old alum like me to read your magazine.
Your print also appears to be brown instead of black in many cases. Give us old retired alums a break!

V. Vasu ’59
Los Angeles

Sorry! We’ve tried to enlarge and darken the type a bit in this issue


Being a docent at the Gamble House has brought me into the USC family somewhat – through the pages of your informative USC Trojan Family Magazine. I learn much with each issue, so am delighted to receive it, and wished to tell you of my appreciation.

Barbara Dahn
Pasadena, CA

And a correction

Your last issue was great, especially the articles on the Gamble House and the planned construction.
I am enclosing the artist’s rendering from page 54 which, I believe, is inverted. Maybe I’m wrong, but in comparing it to the other pictures and based on my knowledge of the campus, I’m pretty sure it is backwards.
Just thought you’d like to know.

Steven O. Spelman, Jr., M.B.A. ’84
Laguna Niguel, CA

Thanks to this sharp-eyed reader for noting that we had gotten this photo backwards. See left for the correct view.

Trojan Memories

I always enjoy the Trojan Family magazine. Thank you. I just wanted to let you know that Harry Porter, loyal Trojan of the Class of 1932, has passed away. He has been living with me for the past four years. We go back to fall of 1929, when we were fraternity brothers of Phi Sigma Kappa, then at 854 West Adams. Nate Barragar and Ernie Smith were frat brothers also.
When I saw the NBA basketball game on TV played in Tokyo, I really had memories of 1933 and 1935, when there were no indoor gyms in Japan like that. Jack Gardner, captain of USC basketball in 1932, took me with him on a trip to Japan in the spring of 1933. At the invitation of the Tokyo Basketball Association, we gave lectures and clinics at a dozen Japanese cities on the fundamentals of basketball. Two years later, I was able to get a Japanese newspaper to sponsor an American all-star team chosen by me to come to Japan and play 12 games in 12 different cities. All the games were played on outdoor courts. We were too big and too good, so we won all 12 games easily. I was thrilled to see the difference in court conditions from 1933 and ’35 to 1996.
I have been honored by the Osaka Basketball Association and the Kansai Collegiate Basketball Federation with a medal. Tsugu Hamatani was one of the players who played against me in 1935, and we still keep in contact. He was president of the Kansai Basketball Federation, and I visited him in Osaka a few months ago.
Incidentally, we paid our own way to Japan, both times.

Sunny Anderson ’33, Ed. ’38
Granite Bay, CA

In Memoriam

Nowhere in the Autumn 1996 issue of USC Trojan Family Magazine did I find an “In Memoriam” article for William “Bill” Conrad White, who passed away on August 25, 1996.
His 45 years of service as a faculty member to and for USC (not only for the School of Theatre) truly deserves honor and acknowledgement as justly as those in the pictures, those named in bold-face type and those dollar-signed amounts in “In Support.”
I will look forward to reading your tribute to Bill in the Spring 1997 issue.

James A. Brewer ’62
Richfield springs, N.Y.

See page 70. Unfortunately, our quarterly publishing schedule and long production time often means we cannot be as timely as we would wish to be in reporting news.

Oldest Living Alum?

Having been born in 1901, would that make me the oldest alum of the School of Social Work?
I got my A.B. in 1927, my M.A. from the School of Social Work in 1928, and was ordained as a rabbi at Hebrew Union College in 1932. I was a Naval Chaplain in World War II from 1943-46 in the Aleutians and Camp Farragut; became National Chaplain of the American Legion in 1962; served a congregation in South Bend, IN, until 1967; started a congregation in Longboat Key, FL, in 1979; and have practiced social work throughout my career. I am also the author of two books, Religious Heritage of America (1986) and Gateway to Judaism (1970).

Rabbi Albert M. Shulman ’27

We encourage alumni to send us items for the Alumni News column. Mail them to Neil Miller, USC Trojan Family Magazine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2538.

Notice Board

Hello, I am trying to get in touch with anyone who would know about whether or not there is a USC “screen saver” available for an IBM computer. Any news you supply will be greatly appreciated.

Susan Gaytan
Malvern, PA

The USC Bookstore Catalog offers a USC-licensed screen saver for IBM-compatible computers, manufactured and marketed by Hunter Media, an alumnus-owned company. For price and ordering information, call

I am chairman of the USC Dental Class of 1952’s 45-year Reunion, to be held Saturday, April 19, at the Inn At The Park Hotel in Anaheim. Please contact me at (818) 222-7448 for details.

Robert L. West ’52, DDS ’52
Calabasas, CA

The Silicon Valley (formerly Santa Clara Valley) Alumni Club invites all local Trojans to join us at our social gathering, the second Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m., at Sports City Cafe, 10745 North DeAnza Blvd., Cupertino, CA (408-253-2233).
For more information, call Dick Meyers at (415) 326-3252. See you there!

Dick Meyers ’65
Palo Alto, CA

I enjoy reading your mailbag section. Every once in a while you have inquiries about teachers. My 11-year-old daughter is in the sixth grade and their studies of ancient world history brings back fond memories of Dr. Barry. Does anyone have any information on his whereabouts? He used to take summer tours to the Holy Land, which I really regret never participating in.

Sherman Simmons ’67
Las Vegas, NV

Did you attend USC between 1950 and 1970 and take a sociology course with Dr. James Peterson, for which you wrote an autobiography? If so, I’d like to be in touch with you.
Dr. Susan McFadden (of the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh) and I have launched a project in which we’re trying to locate people who wrote autobiographies for Dr. Peterson’s classes. Dr. Peterson saved the autobiographies and quoted from them in his book, Education for Marriage (also the title of one of his courses). After his death, his daughter gave them to me, as she knew of my long-standing interest in autobiography.
Most of the 575 autobiographies are anonymous. However, over 100 students wrote their names on their papers, and we’re now attempting to find current addresses for these people. Unfortunately, USC’s data-base does not have the women cross-referenced by their married and maiden names.
Therefore, we’re appealing to you to contact us if you think you might have written one of these autobiographies. We are asking participants in our project to complete a short survey and to answer seven questions about how their lives have unfolded since their USC days. We are also returning copies of the original autobiographies to participants!
We’d love to hear from you. You can write to me at the Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191, or call at (310) 794-0676. Thank you!

James E. Birren
Emeritus Professor of
Psychology and Gerontology

As part of the USC History Project, the General Alumni Association encourages alumni and other friends of the University to donate their USC “archives” back to the University. It is our goal to display some of the more interesting items in the Widney Alumni House on a permanent basis.
If you have any such material (such as yearbooks, programs, pictures) that you would like to donate, please contact Margaret Doss at the Alumni House at (213) 740-2300.

Gerald S. Papazian ’77
Past President
USC Alumni Association



Previous Last Word Answers
We welcome letters from readers, although we do reserve the right to select and edit for space. Send letters to:

Mailbag, c/o USC Trojan Family Magazine, University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2538, fax: (213) 821-1100

And of course, by e-mail at

In our story “More Olympic Gold for ‘Team USC’ ” [Autumn 1996], the photo we identified as sprinter Inger Miller ’95 was actually her teammate Chryste Gaines. Here is the full photo of the U.S. women’s 4 x 100-meter relay team after their gold-medal performance. They are, left to right, Gwen Torrance, Inger Miller, Gail Devers and Chryste Gaines. We apologize for the error.

Plans for USC’s future
Looking toward Exposition Boulevard, Widney Alumni House is in the foreground, with the new Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (School of Urban Planning and Development) on the right, and the new Jane Hoffman Popovich and J. Kristoffer Popovich Hall (School of Business Administration) on the left.

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