When did people start referring to the College of New Jersey as Princeton?

Dear Mr. Mudd:

Q: From your FAQ website: “In 1896, when expanded program offerings brought the College university status, the College of New Jersey was officially renamed Princeton University in honor of its host community of Princeton.”

I am currently editing a novel that includes both Nassau Hall and Princeton; would the use of “Princeton” be anachronistic in 1818? Or was “Princeton” used informally, much as “Augusta” in reference to that city’s Masters Tournament?

Princeton College

A: While the college was informally called Princeton before its official name change in 1896, the earliest reference in that form that we have here in the University Archives dates from 1853 (within a publication entitled “College As It Is”). Our sources before 1853 are scanty, due to a paucity of things created (no student newspaper yet, no yearbooks, etc.). However, your question piqued my interest and so I did a search of the America’s Historical Newspapers database and found frequent references to “Princeton College” or “Princeton college” starting in 1772. For fun, I have attached a photo (above) of that first article from a Philadelphia newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet [page 1, issue 43, Publication Date: August 17, 1772].

Update, May 29, 2014: Additional research into this revealed that an October 18, 1756 newspaper ad used the phrase “Prince-town college.” This is notable not only for its earlier date, but also that this was about five weeks before the college actually started operations in Princeton (November 28, 1756). According to Princeton, 1746-1896, by Thomas J. Wertenbaker, it was during fall break that the college moved from Newark to Princeton, “although carpenters and plasterers were still working in Nassau Hall when the session began” (p.40). So it can be safely said that the institution was known as Princeton from the very start of its time in the town of Princeton.

New-York Mercury, page 4, iss. 219; October 18, 1756

New-York Mercury, page 4, issue 219; October 18, 1756

MYTHBUSTER — “I Love Lucy” and a lost Presidential election?!

Is there any truth to the story that a commercial for Adlai Stevenson’s campaign interrupted an episode of “I Love Lucy” and cost him the 1952 election?

StevensonforPres copy

This story has appeared in various books and articles, but none has a verifiable citation.
For example, in the book “Lucy A to Z: The Lucille Ball Encyclopedia” author Michael Karol asks the question “Is it possible the Democrats lost an election because of the (viewers) dedication? He writes that a Canadian website states that the Stevenson campaign was bombarded with hate mail when it bought a half hour campaign ad that preempted the popular show (p. 277). Another variation of the story has Stevenson receiving a telegram from a disgruntled Lucy fan that read: “I love Lucy, but I hate you.”

However, no Stevenson biography mentions this incident, nor is there any reportage of it in newspapers at the time. A search within the Adai Stevenson Papers held at Mudd Manuscript Library contains records documenting his 1952 radio and TV commercial purchases. They reveal that Stevenson’s campaign ran four types of ads: 20-second spots, 30 minute spots, five minute condensations, and 15 minute condensations. Presumably the condensations were reduced versions of the 30 minute spots. The evidence of this is found in multiple documents but the most succinct summary is in an undated telegram from Jay Sheridan to G. Rudiak found in Box 244, Folder 8. But the real stake in the heart for this myth is a listing of the campaigns media purchases for Fall 1952. While it shows a number of CBS-TV purchases on Monday nights, none were near the 8 p.m. time slot when “I Love Lucy” aired.

Given the lack of contemporary evidence (all the stories about the telegram date from well past the end of the campaign), and that the nature of the story fits with a common pattern in urban myths (smart guy gets his comeuppance for being ignorant about something commonly understood), we declare:

MYTH-BUSTED!!

Princeton and the Olympics

Dear Mr. Mudd,

What are the connections between Princeton and the Olympics?

With the upcoming 2012 Olympics on the horizon, this is a popular question. We have a blog entry from a few years ago concerning what Mudd has in its collections relating to the 1896 games.

Princeton University’s ties with the Olympics began at the revival of the Olympiad in 1896 when Dr. William Sloane, a Princeton professor, formed an American team for the games. On that team were four Princeton students. Robert Garrett, 1897 threw the discus 96 feet to defeat a Greek champion. Three other students participated in the Athens games: Herbert B. Jamison ’97 (second in the 400 meters), Francis A. Lane ’97 (second in the 100 meters), and Albert Clinton Tyler ’97 (second in pole-vault).

Photo courtesy: Princeton Alumni Weekly, Ricardo Barros

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1984 NBC-TV aired a miniseries entitled The First Olympics: Athens 1896. The following clip shows the discus throw of Garrett.

 

Also in the archives is a laurel branch that was awarded to Albert C. Tyler for his second in the pole vault a the 1896 games.

There are a number of alumni that have won gold medals in the Olympics, as cataloged by Princeton Alumni Weekly writer, Gregg Lange ’70.  Lange’s list and commentary includes:

• Karl Frederick ‘1903 is the only Tiger to win three gold medals, all in 1920 in Antwerp. One of the better-shooting Princeton lawyers of the post-Burr era, he won an individual gold in the 50-meter pistol and team golds in the same event and the 30-meter, too. He later pulled off an unlikely double, as president in turn of the National Rifle Association and the New York State Conservation Council.

• Herman “Swede” Whiton ’26 is the only Princetonian to win in two separate games and the first American yachtsman to win a race twice – the 6-meter sailing race at both the 1948 and 1952 Olympics in London and Helsinki with different crews.

• Nelson Diebel ’96 who was semi-rescued from weirdness by his Peddie swimming coach, then suffered chronic rotator-cuff inflammation, but put together an annus mirabilis after his Princeton freshman year in 1992 to win both the Olympic 100-meter breaststroke and the 4×100 medley relay gold in Barcelona.

• Four years after Garrett’s triumph in Athens, Frank Jarvis 1900 (a direct descendent of George Washington) won the 100-meter dash in 1900 in Paris. The first great Princeton sprinter, he already had won the national AAU title at 100 yards and two different Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) titles.

• Bill Stevenson ’22, an Illinois cousin of his famed classmate Adlai II ’22 and a Rhodes scholar, had won the national championship AAU title in the 440 yard race in 1921. He went to Paris for the 1924 games and ran on the U.S. gold-medal 4×400-meter relay team. He eventually became president of Oberlin, then ambassador to the Philippines.

• Jed Graef ’64, whose high school didn’t have a swimming team, swam for the great Bob Clotworthy in Dillon Pool and went on to win the 200-yard backstroke at the NCAA and U.S. championships. Then he set a world record winning gold in the 200 meters at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, beating two Americans who earlier had defeated him. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1988.

• Then came the rowers, products of the ever-burgeoning program down on Lake Carnegie. The first champion was Mike Evans ’81, whose gold medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics came, ironically, for Canada by 0.42 seconds over the United States, the first Princeton gold won for another country. It also was Canada’s first win in the featured men’s heavyweight eights, establishing a global stature that Canadians retain to this day. [Evans is now vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.]

• Chris Ahrens ’98 waited six years after stroking the Princeton heavyweight eight to national championships in 1996 and 1998 to win his gold in 2004 in the men’s eights in Athens, coming out of retirement in 2003 after a wrenching fifth-place finish in Sydney in 2000.

AP Images

 

Caroline Lind ’06, stroke and heart of the magnificent 2006 women’s undefeated – and practically unchallenged – national champion open crew, rowed the No. 7 oar for the gold-medal-winning women’s eight in Beijing, their first Olympic championship in 24 years. She’s the first alumna to grab gold for the Tigers.

 

 

A search of our Senior Thesis Database shows there are 16 theses that have been focused on the Olympics. All theses can be viewed in our reading room.

In 1935 a travel agency advertised tours in the Daily Princetonian: “The steamship agency “Adriatic Exchange Travel Bureau,” at 226 East 86th Street, New York City, specialists in German travel since 1918, announces a number of “Thrift Tours” for next year’s Olympics to be held in Berlin, Germany. These tours are reasonably priced and are organized to appeal to all students who are interested in athletics.” 

The Olympic Flame traveled through the Princeton campus in 1980 as a part of the Princeton Relays. Alison Carlson ’77 held the honor of holding the flame high.

The Princeton Alumni Weekly has put together a list of the Princetonians in the 2012 Olympics.

And from Princeton University Communications: 16 past and current Princeton students ready to compete for gold at Olympics in London

Most used Princeton theses

Dear Mr. Mudd, I was wondering what is the most popular/most requested senior thesis in the University Archives collection?

This is a perennial question and the short answer is that with the exception of celebrity alumni theses, there are few theses that are pulled with any regularity, yet the collection as a whole (totaling over 60,000 theses) is our most used collection within the University Archives. Last year over 1,000 theses were viewed by visitors–mostly Princeton undergraduates–to the Mudd Library, which accounted for about 1/4 of all Archives materials circulated.

Kopphoto
cainphoto

Wendy Kopp’s thesis is always among those requested by remote researchers–that is, those who do not visit the library in person, and whenever a Princetonian makes news or is on a hit show, their thesis is often requested.

In the past, this included Wentworth Miller III (when Prison Break was a hit), David Duchovny (for the X Files) and Dean Cain (Adventures of Lois and Clark), as well as all three now sitting Supreme Court Justices: Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.

The entire theses collection can be searched via this database, and Archives staff are working to make future senior theses available online to the Princeton community starting in 2013.

Johnny Sylvester ’37 and Babe Ruth

J_Sylvester_37
Baseball in October is often marked by premier teams, clutch plays, and memorable moments. One such moment came during Game Four of the 1926 World Series. In that game on Wednesday, October 6th, the St. Louis Cardinals hosted the New York Yankees and their great player Babe Ruth. Ruth would shine for the Yankees, hitting three home runs in a 10-5 victory. These home runs would be significant in the baseball world, but for one little boy, they appeared to be life-saving.
In 1926 Johnny Sylvester was an 11 year-old die hard Yankee fan living in Essex Fells, New Jersey. During the summer he was involved in a horseback riding accident in which he fell off his horse. The horse then kicked him in the head, leaving Sylvester with a bad infection that began to spread rapidly. Doctors feared he would not survive. While it is true that Sylvester was sick, there is some disagreement in the historical record as to how critically ill he actually was. Some think he had blood poisoning or a sinus condition or a back problem.
Soon telegrams reached the Yankees in St. Louis, notifying them of young Sylvester’s condition. There is some discrepancy in who initiated the contact—Sylvester himself or his father or uncle—but the end result was positive. Ruth responded by sending back two autographed balls (one from the Yankees, and one from the Cardinals). He also included a note to Johnny: “I’ll knock a homer for you on Wednesday.”
On Wednesday, October 6th, Ruth hit three home runs, ensuring a Yankee victory. Remarkably, Sylvester’s condition improved greatly after the game. He eventually made a complete turnaround, graduated from Princeton in 1937, served in the Navy during World War II, and was a successful businessman in Long Island City, New York.
While memorable and inspiring for Sylvester, when a year later Ruth was asked about the event, he reportedly said, “Who the hell is Johnny Sylvester?” The special home run message was not Sylvester’s last contact with Ruth. Sylvester visited Ruth at the opening game of the 1929 season at Yankee Stadium. And, while Ruth was in his declining years, Sylvester visited him at Ruth’s New York apartment.
A possibly apocryphal story about the Sylvester-Ruth connection revolves around the tradition of older classes carrying signs at P-rade. Though there is no proof of it extant in the Archives, Sylvester allegedly once carried a sign that read “Who the hell is Babe Ruth?” paying homage to the great slugger’s forgetful remark and Sylvester’s memorable connection to him.

–Kristen Turner

Syngman Rhee’s Time at Princeton

Dear Mr. Mudd,
What can you tell me about Syngman Rhee’s time at Princeton?

In South Korea, March 1 marks Independence Movement Day, a commemoration of the 1919 Declaration of Independence that marked the start of Korean resistance against the country’s Japanese occupation. One of the notable figures of that movement was Syngman Rhee *1910, who was named the President of the exile Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea that arose during this struggle. Rhee served this exile government, based in Shanghai, China, until his ouster in 1925, and later served as the first president of the Republic of Korea from 1948 until another acrimonious departure in 1960.
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Photograph of Syngman Rhee *1910 from the October 6, 1950 Daily Princetonian

Researchers curious about Rhee’s time at Princeton should know that the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library has a variety of information on him. Because Rhee was a graduate student, we have a Graduate Alumni File which provides a great deal of insight into his time at Princeton, as well as the dissertation he produced in completion of the degree. Researchers can also examine Daily Princetonian articles concerning Rhee’s later visits to Princeton, or view an information file compiled by the Office of Communications.

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s visits to Princeton

Dear Mr. Mudd,
What types of materials do you have concerning Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

The Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library’s Princeton University Archives and the Public Policy Papers each have a great deal of material regarding Dr. King, his visits to Princeton University, and his civil rights legacy.
MLK_web

King with Assistant Dean of the Chapel Reimers on the steps of Chancellor Green, March 1960. Also pictured: top right: Tom Garrett ’61, top middle: Jerry H. Shattuck ’61, top left: Daniel H. Jackson ‘1961, bottom right: John N. McConnel Jr. ’61. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series, box MP4

First, the Public Policy Papers contain information concerning King’s civil rights and organizing activities in the David Lawrence Papers, John Marshall Harlan Papers, Robert K. Massie Papers, George McGovern Papers, David E. Lilienthal Papers, Law Students Civil Rights Research Council Records, and in the Subject Files, Project Files, and Audiovisual materials series of the American Civil Liberties Union Records.

Secondly, the University Archives have substantial information concerning King’s 1960 and 1962 visits as part of the Student Christian Association’s Biennial Religious Conference, as well as a cancelled 1958 sermon. The University Archives collections also contain materials that document the University’s annual observations of the civil rights leader’s legacy. In addition, Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King received an honorary degree in 1970, information about which can also be found at Mudd.

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Bronze Memorial Stars

Dear Mr. Mudd:

What is the origin of the stars on Princeton University buildings? Is there any database listing the location of each star?

The bronze stars on window sills of Princeton University dormitories commemorate the University’s students and alumni who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and in the Vietnam War. An additional 13 bronze stars honoring those who died on September 11, 2001 are located in a memorial garden between East Pyne and Chancellor Green.

clawbronzestars

Letter from the Society of the Claw to members seeking funding for the initial stars.

The original 140 stars, honoring students who lost their lives in World War I, were placed in 1920. These stars were donated by members of the Society of the Claw, an organization of members of the Class of 1894 who, as a sign-on condition, promised to either attend the next five reunions or every reunion throughout their lives. The Society also inducted honorary members who had done an “unusual service” or “brought exceptional honor” to Princeton, such as Woodrow Wilson ’1879. The Society of the Claw raised $431.65 for these stars, which were then placed on the window sill of each dorm room last occupied by a Princeton student who lost his life in the war.

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From the Archives…Bob Bradley ’80

Long before he was coaching the US National Soccer Team at the World Cup, Bob Bradley ’80 was Princeton’s coach of twelve years. During this time, he led the Tigers to a pair of Ivy League titles and an appearance in the 1993 College Cup.

bradley_web

Bob Bradley as a freshman. Princeton University Archives: Undergraduate Alumni Records, 1921-2008

Before that, he was a Princeton student as well. A history major, Bradley wrote his senior thesis on “The History of Intercollegiate Athletics at Princeton,” and was joint top scorer on the 1979 team that was Princeton’s most successful up to that point. Bradley was also a varsity baseball player during his freshman year, and a broadcaster at WPRB as a junior and senior.

One of Bradley’s assistants, Jesse Marsch ’96 was also a Princeton student. Marsch was named All-American in 1995 while playing on Bradley’s team.

Marsch_photo_by_mcDermott

Jesse Marsch ’96, Photo by Greg McDermott, Princeton University Archives: Undergraduate Alumni Records, 1921-2008

-John DeLooper

Does Princeton Have a Mandatory Swim Test?

Dear Mr. Mudd,

Is it true that Princeton has a mandatory swim test for freshmen? Furthermore, was this test instituted after the drowning death of an alumnus, whose parents gave the university a pool on the condition that all students were trained to swim to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again?

New Students Card for William Humphreys ‘1928
Historical Subject File, Box 122, Folder 7

Princeton did indeed have a swim test, but this test was not instituted because of the death of an alumnus. It is, however, easy to see why this story would develop and create a lasting legend.

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