This Week in Princeton History for September 15-21

For last week’s installment in our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its students and alumni, click here.

For the week of September 15-21:

Woodrow Wilson makes a move into politics, a new Pablo Picasso sculpture is under construction, and more.

September 15, 1910—The New Jersey Democratic Convention nominates Princeton University President Woodrow Wilson as its candidate for governor.

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Woodrow Wilson with his family, Woodrow Wilson Collection, MC168, Box 41.

September 17, 1787—The U.S. Constitution, largely written by James Madison of the Princeton Class of 1771, is signed in Philadelphia’s Constitution Hall.

September 18, 1971—Pablo Picasso’s “Head of a Woman” is under construction at the art museum.

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Pablo Picasso’s “Head of a Woman” being installed (1971), Historical Photographs Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series, AC111, Box MP81, Item #3305.

September 20, 1964—University President Robert F. Goheen formally announces the abolishment of the “Chapel Rule,” which had made chapel attendance mandatory for freshmen, during the University’s opening exercises.

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

This Week in Princeton History for September 1-7

For last week’s installment in our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its students and alumni, click here.

For the week of September 1-7:

The Princeton Bulletin marvels at the novelty of getting Labor Day off, a student competes in the Miss America pageant, and more.

September 1, 2010—The Carl A. Fields Papers are made available to researchers at Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Fields was the first African American to hold a high-ranking position at an Ivy League school.

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Carl A. Fields (1938-2009)

September 4, 1944—The Princeton Bulletin refers to the suspension of classes on this date for Labor Day as “one of those rare occurrences like Halley’s Comet, or the 17-year locusts or a total eclipse of the sun.”

September 5, 1843—The U.S.S. Princeton is launched in Philadelphia.

U.S.S. Princeton

Photo from Daily Princetonian.

September 6, 1999—Princeton junior Victoria Paige ’01 competes in the Miss America pageant, earning a spot in the top 10.

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Victoria A. Paige’s Nassau Herald photo (2001).

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

John F. Kennedy’s Princeton University undergraduate alumni file

Today marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  The Mudd Manuscript Library celebrated the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s election in 2010 with an exhibition and more than 30 Public Policy collections contain material related to Kennedy.

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Within the University Archives, his undergraduate alumni file contains his application to the University, details his brief time on campus and reasons for his departure, and some later correspondence with and about him.

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The first page of JFK’s Princeton Application

The file contains his application essay that is very similar to his Harvard essay, which was released in 2011. This digitized file is part of the Mudd Library’s ongoing digitization efforts.

by: Dan Linke

Alumni give 1836 Copybook to University Archives

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A wonderful end of the year gift came to the Princeton University Archives through the generosity of eight alumni who serve on the Princetoniana Committee. The item, a copybook from Class of 1836 graduate Samuel Humes Porter, was for sale on eBay. Dave Cleaves ’78, the organizer of “pBay”–a group of alumni who collect Princetoniana–noted the item’s availability on Sunday, December 16, and by week’s end, led by Sev Onyshkevych ’83 and joined by Steven Brown ’77, Cleaves, Scott Clemons ’90, Donald Farren ’58, Cynthia Penney ’83, Jonathan Sapan ’04, and Frank Sloat ’55, the copybook was on its way to the Archives.

Though small in size (3″ x 5.25″), the book’s importance is due to its scarcity. The University Archives has very little documentation prior to 1855 due to the Nassau Hall fire that year, and next to nothing that documents individual students’ work. University Archivist Dan Linke reports that this is the first copybook from that era. The book includes lines of poems from Coleridge, Sidney, Spenser and Pope, as well as translations from Latin and Greek, all written in an exceptionally crisp hand. Porter’s penmanship was so fine that he worked several government clerkships before becoming a lawyer.

Due to extended deterioration of its binding, the book is currently being treated by the Preservation Lab and is unavailable for review, but it should be available in the Spring.