Mourning — and Celebrating — Abraham Lincoln’s Death

Martha Hodes *91

Martha Hodes *91

The president literally stopped the show when he walked into Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary, had arrived late to that night’s performance; the comedy Our American Cousin already had begun. As they took their seats in the dress circle, the actors onstage paused and the audience cheered. Lincoln bowed. Around 10:15 p.m., as Lincoln laughed at a line in the play, John Wilkes Booth shot him in the back of the head. The next morning, Lincoln was dead.

The nation’s seemingly universal reaction to the first presidential assassination is well documented in contemporary newspapers, in the formal expressions of condolences that followed, and in memoirs published in later decades. In Mourning Lincoln, Martha Hodes *91 asks: What were the “raw reactions” of people on the street, with their families, and by themselves when they heard the news? Some felt that “North and South are weeping together” but others thought the news was “glorious,” Hodes writes. She also explores how the aftermath of the assassination ultimately shaped the legacy of the Civil War. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Princeton Baseball

With the 2015 Princeton baseball team set to begin its Ivy League schedule this weekend, we turn back the clock to check out a pair of Tiger teams from the illustrious 150-year history of the “Nassau Nine.”

baseball_1870Above, the 1870 Tigers hold a special distinction as the first Princeton team to beat Yale. They topped the Elis in New Haven, 26-15, in a game that — despite the high score — lasted just over two hours, according to the official boxscore.

baseball_1941Seventy-one years later, the 1941 Tigers duplicated the 1870 poses in a photo for PAW. The ’41 squad also had Yale’s number, beating the rival Elis twice en route to Princeton’s first Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League championship.

NBA Commissioner Speaks About Activism in Pro Basketball

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told a Princeton audience that when a handful of the league’s stars wore “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts during warm-ups last year, following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, he appreciated their effort to express their point of view.

“Derrick Rose, I think, was the first player to wear the T-shirt,” Silver said. “Credit to him — he knew exactly what he was doing. He knew how much more effective that would be than making a statement to a reporter after a game.” But Silver cautioned that too many political statements on the court would be “a disservice to the fans, who come to see a basketball game.”

Steve Mills ’81, general manager of the New York Knicks, and Craig Robinson ’83, an ESPN commentator and former college coach, joined Silver for a March 24 discussion of “Political Expression and Activism in Today’s NBA,” moderated by Professor Eddie Glaude *97. The event was sponsored by the Center for African American Studies and the Department of Athletics. Continue reading

Tiger of the Week: Scott Clemons ’90, Sharing His Passion for Books

Scott Clemons ’90 (Courtesy Scott Clemons)

Scott Clemons ’90 (Courtesy Scott Clemons)

While most students’ bookshelves at Princeton are lined with dog-eared textbooks and hand-me-downs, Scott Clemons ’90 lined his shelves with something a little different: rare books.

Clemons, now president of the Grolier Club in Manhattan, co-organized an exhibition that opened at the club last month titled “Aldus Manutius: A Legacy More Lasting Than Bronze.” Aldus Manutius, who died 500 years ago this year, was a famous scholar-printer of the Italian Renaissance.

Gutenberg may have invented the movable-type printing press, but “anyone who has ever sat in a cafe, or in the bath, with a paperback owes a debt to Aldus and the small, cleanly designed editions of the secular classics he called libelli portatiles, or portable little books,” wrote The New York Times.

“It’s become a cliché to call them the forerunners of the Penguin Classics,” Clemons told the Times. “But the concept of personal reading is in some ways directly traceable to the innovations of Aldus’s portable library.” Continue reading

Names in the News: Cruz ’92 Announces Presidential Run, Author Lee Discusses His Work, and More

Sen. Ted Cruz ’92 (U.S. Senate portrait)

Sen. Ted Cruz ’92 (U.S. Senate portrait)

Shortly after midnight on Monday, Texas senator TED CRUZ ’92 announced on Twitter that he is running for president in 2016. He delivered a formal speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. on Monday and is the first candidate to officially enter the race. In an op-ed for CNN, professor of history and public affairs JULIAN ZELIZER analyzed Cruz’s chances by comparing his campaign to that of Barry Goldwater, the Republican senator from Arizona who ran against Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Johnson became president after defeating Goldwater, whose extremism “scared off” voters in solidly Republican states and helped Johnson win a landslide victory. MARC FISHER ’80 of The Washington Post also wrote about Cruz in a feature story that includes a look at the candidate’s Princeton years.

Creative writing professor CHANG-RAE LEE spoke at the annual Bookworm Literary Festival in Beijing, where he discussed his latest novel, On Such a Full Sea, with Edward Wong of the New York Times’ Sinosphere Blog. Lee answers questions about the dystopian nature of the novel, which is set in a future where Baltimore has become B-Mor, a city of transplanted Chinese laborers; his research trip to a factory in Shenzhen, China; and the roles that environmental issues and immigration play in his narrative. Continue reading

Women’s Basketball Falls to Maryland in NCAA Second Round

Blake Dietrick ’15 scored 26 points, but the Tigers couldn’t keep pace with the host Terrapins. (Beverly Schaefer)

Blake Dietrick ’15 scored 26 points, but the Tigers couldn’t keep pace with the host Terrapins. (Beverly Schaefer)

Princeton women’s basketball faced an unenviable challenge in its second-round NCAA Tournament game: a matchup against No. 4 Maryland on its home floor, where the Terrapins have not lost in nearly 14 months.

For the first 20 minutes, the Tigers were up to the task, keeping pace with a stellar offensive performance, particularly in the paint. Maryland led by just four at halftime, 42-38.

But after the break, Princeton’s fortunes turned. In one stretch, the Tigers missed six shots in a row while the Terrapins made all five of their attempts — plus two free-throws — and jumped ahead by 17.

Point guard Blake Dietrick ’15 did her best to will the Tigers back into contention, scoring 17 of her team-high 26 points after her team fell behind by double digits. But Maryland’s hot shooting never cooled. Princeton lost for the first time this season, 85-70. Continue reading