This Week in Princeton History for November 24-30

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the campus mourns the death of John F. Kennedy, the first classes are held in Nassau Hall, and more.

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John F. Kennedy speaks to the Whig-Cliosophic Society, April 26, 1954, Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box SP13, Item No. 3168.

November 25, 1963—In observation of the National Day of Mourning for United States President and (briefly) former Princetonian John F. Kennedy, all classes are canceled and University offices are closed.

November 26, 1787—The Faculty of the College of New Jersey resolve that baseball, being “low and unbecoming gentlemen and students,” and “attended by great danger to the health,” must be prohibited, “inasmuch as there are many amusements both more honorable and more useful.” Baseball continues to be played anyway.

November 28, 1756—With carpenters and others still at work on the building the students attend the first day of classes at Nassau Hall.

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Nassau Hall commemorative plate by Wedgwood, Memorabilia Collection (AC053), Box A2.

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Charcoal drawing of Philip Vickers Fithian, Class of 1772, by an unknown artist., ca. October 1776, Undergraduate Alumni Records 1748-1920 (AC104), Box 24.

November 30, 1770—Philip Vickers Fithian (Class of 1772) writes to his father about his experiences at the College of New Jersey. A standard schedule:

5:00 AM—Rising Bell
5:30 AM—Morning Prayers
8:00 AM—Breakfast
9:00 AM-1:00 PM—Recitation
1:00 PM—Dinner
1:00-3:00 PM—Recreation
3:00-5:00 PM—Study Hours
5:00 PM—Evening Prayers
7:00 PM—Supper
9:00 PM—Study Bell (to go to bed before this is “reproachful”)

Students who repeatedly miss morning prayers will receive “public Admonition in the Hall for Contempt of Authority.” Fithian feels the customs of the College are “exceedingly well formed to check & restrain the vicious, & to assist the studious, & to countenance & incourage (sic) the virtuous.” Read this letter and others here.

For last week’s installment in this series, click here.

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

Editing the world’s online encyclopedia: Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon Three

On October 19th, 2012 staff members of Mudd Manuscript Library once again opened the doors and archives for the purpose of composing and  editing Princeton University-related articles on Wikipedia.

For this third event of its kind, we decided to hold it during our normal business hours during volunteer weekend with the focus of enhancing Princeton athletics information.

We had a total of 11 attendees with 3 new user names created.

Here a new user learns how to create and edit articles from a Wikipedian

A number of articles were created and are still being edited.

  1. Princeton Cannon Song
  2. Class of 1952 Stadium
  3. User:Undead q/Karl Langlotz
  4. List of Princeton University Olympians
  5. Hollie Donan
  6. User:Lmd08/sandbox (Princeton Tiger Mascot)
In addition a number of articles were expanded.
  1. Lisa Brown-Miller Coaching details added
  2. The Princeton Tigers page gained the addition of:
  • Women’s Golf
  • Golf
  • First football game

Two photos from the editing were also added to Wikimedia Commons

We count this edit-a-thon as yet another success and plans are being made for future events that will include undergraduates in learning more about Wikipedia and editing.

Princeton Alumni Weekly writer Brett Tomlinson was a participant in our event and has also written here about his experience.