Historians aren’t exactly sure what the founder of Harvard University looked like, so artist Daniel Chester French used one of his descendants as inspiration for this iconic statue. Although few locals can agree on whether he was solely responsible for the creation of the university, they can all agree that his image is among the most recognized in the city of Cambridge, even today.
The bronze statue, which sits at the center of Harvard Yard, is a frequently visited site for both travelers and prospective students, but it’s also been the target of dozens of pranks since its unveiling. Whether it’s covered in tar, paint or some other substance, John Harvard remains at the heart of this school.
The statue is located in Harvard Yard and was created in 1883. Tourists have been known to rub the left toe of the statue for good luck.