Uh-oh! A friend of mine who recently looked at the websites of the Departments of Linguistics at both the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania just pointed out to me that each of them claims to be the oldest department of linguistics in the USA. This is bad. Language Log is headquartered on a server at Penn. Now we don't know whether our home is the oldest department of linguistics in the USA or not.
We need some research on this. I appeal to you, the readers. I want to know the real answer, but I want to get the research done on the cheap, by crowdsourcing. Please state what adminstrative definition of "department of linguistics" you are assuming, what evidence you are using, what dates are involved, what documents you are citing, and so on. Don't just say "Go Penn!" or "Yay Chicago" or whatever; this isn't about shallow boosterism. [Go Brown! Yay Edinburgh!] Anyway, age is distinct from beauty.
Comments are open, for a while. Make me proud.