In 1946, the BSI Dinner witnessed the notable acceptance of membership in the Society, honoris causa, by President Harry S. Truman. “I commend your good sense in seeking escape from this troubled world into the happier and calmer world of Baker Street,” Edgar W. Smith’s minutes quotes from the 33rd President's note. “I had read all of the Holmes novels before...I was twelve years old.”
Sixty personages attended the Dinner, including Anthony Boucher, James Keddie, Jr., and Christopher Morley, Sr. and Jr. Mr. C.R. Andrew of the Scandalous Bohemians of Akron, Ohio presented the Dinner attendees with a quiz which required them to identify 15 canonical characters with their associated story. Mr. Benjamin Clark of the Five Orange Pips of Westchester County took first place in the contest, winning a rare edition of S.C. Roberts' pamphlet Doctor Watson. Professor Herbert W. Starr of Lafayette College in Easton, PA took second place, becoming the owner of a framed portrait of Sherlock Holmes drawn by the late, famed illustrator Fredric Dorr Steele. The quiz is subsequently reproduced in the April 1946 Baker Street Journal. Six scholarly addresses were presented, including “John and James” by Giles Playfair, which plumbed new facets of the issue of the two Watsons.
Dinner Details: January 11, 1946
Murray Hill Hotel, 112 Park Avenue at East 40th Street, New York, NY
Dinner Photo InformationClick on the above photo to see a larger version of it, and maximize your browser window to see the most detail.
Key to People in the 1946 BSI Dinner Photo (digitized image at Harvard)
BSI Honours ListInvestitures:
What is an Investiture?
Not awarded until 1962.
What is a Two-Shilling Award?
What is The Woman honour?
"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
None this year.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”
Not awarded until 1959.
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?
Reports on the Dinner1946 BSI Dinner Minutes (digitized image at Harvard)
List of 1946 BSI Dinner Attendees (digitized image at Harvard)
The Baker Street Irregulars, Irregular Proceedings of the Mid ‘Forties, ed. Jon L. Lellenberg, (New York: Fordham University Press, 1995)
RecordingsNone available online at this time.
Related Materials1946 BSI Dinner Menu (digitized image at Harvard)
Cover, interior, and back. Sequence 16-18.
Previous dinner: the 1945 BSI Dinner
Next dinner: the 1947 BSI Dinner
For an index to all BSI Dinners and photos, see our BSI Dinner Summary list.
The BSI Archive is located at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Archival material may be used by any qualified scholar, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the Library. For links to a detailed finding aid and related information, see our BSI Archive at Harvard page.
Page composed on 11/4/14 by Tamar Zeffren.
This page last updated 3/21/15 by Andy Solberg.