Harvard was founded in 1636, and a basic literacy law enacted in Massachusetts Bay colony in 1642. Connecticut in 1650 mandated that all towns of 50 households or more teach children to read and write. The Puritan emphasis on education was to thwart ''that old deluder Sathan'' who ''keepe men from the knowledge of the Scriptures."
Lawrence Goodheart, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut.
Source: (2005 September 6). The New York Times.