The New York Times reports on 2007 Commencement speeches.

Then, too, a number of speakers worried aloud that they might be going on too long. The presidential historian Michael Beschloss reminded graduates at Lafayette College that former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey was known for giving speeches that lasted as long as three hours.

“Once Humphrey did this, and even he knew he was overdoing it,” Mr. Beschloss said. “He yelled at the audience, ‘Anybody here got a watch?’ and someone yelled back, ‘How about a calendar?’ ”

Beschloss is class of 1977. The secret to a good Commencement address, as with any speech, is good jokes.

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