Category Archives: Throwback Thursday

#ThrowbackThursday: Princeton’s Role in the Birth of Thanksgiving Football

Princeton and Yale played their first Thanksgiving Day game in 1876. (Athletics at Princeton — A History)

Princeton and Yale played their first Thanksgiving Day game in 1876. (Athletics at Princeton — A History)

Detroit and Dallas may have cornered the market for pro football’s Thanksgiving Day games, but the holiday’s gridiron tradition began well before the creation of the NFL.

On Nov. 30, 1876, Princeton and Yale faced off in Hoboken, N.J., playing what would best be described as an 11-on-11 form of rugby. Princeton entered the game with a 3-0 record and a fresh set of uniforms — black tights and jerseys with an orange P on the chest — but the Elis prevailed, two goals to none. The Princetonian, then in its first year of publication, questioned a few key calls by the referee, noting that he was “a Yale man.”

The Princeton-Yale game would eventually move to New York’s Manhattan Field, where it briefly became a Thanksgiving phenomenon. In 1893, some 40,000 spectators turned out to see the Tigers win a showdown of two unbeaten teams, 6-0. Richard Harding Davis of Harper’s Weekly described the stream of fans heading north before the game: Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: The New Wawa, 1974

Princeton's Wawa in 1974. (PAW Archives)

Princeton’s Wawa in 1974. (PAW Archives)

In September 1974, PAW reported on a few summer changes around the campus — renovations at Frick Laboratory, an expansion of the Third World Center, a reorganization of Witherspoon Hall, and the opening of a new Wawa Food Store in a former warehouse on University Place. The Wawa’s home was described in the story as “dilapidated” (before the new tenant’s arrival) and “Alamoesque” (after). Operating until midnight seven days a week, the store was an immediate hit among residents of Spelman and Princeton Inn College (later Forbes).

In the years to come, it would pick up a nickname, “The Wa,” and a broad group of fans, including future TV star Ellie Kemper ’02, who penned an “Ode to Wawa” for PAW’s Humor Issue in January 2011. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Cycling to New Haven, 1958

The Ivy five failed in their attempt to cycle to the Yale game, but that didn’t stop them from taking a victory lap. (PAW Archives)

The Ivy five failed in their attempt to cycle to the Yale game, but that didn’t stop them from taking a victory lap. (PAW Archives)

Richard Puffer ’59, a Cottage Club member, had been basking in the spotlight for weeks as campus gossip revolved around his plans to bicycle the 130 miles to Yale for the Princeton-Yale football game.

Disgruntled, five Ivy Club men decided to “take the light off of Puffer,” as one of them recounted later to The Daily Princetonian. They rented an antique five-man tandem bicycle and declared that they, too, would take on the cycling challenge. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Armistice Day at Princeton

Students and soldiers read news of the end of World War I. (PAW Archives/Orren Jack Turner)

Students and soldiers read news of the end of World War I. (PAW Archives/Orren Jack Turner)

Lt. John E. Osmun 1916 was a lucky one: He lived to tell his tale. He was flying a bombing plane in France with his squadron during World War I when a huge, dense cloud enveloped him. He lost sight of his own wing tips, became caught in a spin, and soon started to hurtle rapidly towards the ground.

“Well, this is rather too bad, but it’s the end for yours truly,” he thought, as related in a letter to his father, excerpts of which were published in the Nov. 20, 1918, issue of PAW. “I wonder how soon the ground will come up and kill us.”

Frantically pulling at his controls, Osmun managed to come out of the spin. None of the other planes he had originally flown with was in sight, so he headed back to base.

It was then that he learned that the formation had encountered enemy planes, Osmun wrote. Fierce fighting had ensued, and only one other plane returned. The spin — which he had thought would be the end of him — had actually saved him. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Triangle Hits — And Misses

The 1970-71 Triangle Club show, Cracked Ice, featured a 40-member cast and a range of material, from Laugh-In-style one-liners to 20-minute theatrical pieces. (PAW Archives)

The 1970-71 Triangle Club show, Cracked Ice, featured a 40-member cast and a range of material, from Laugh-In-style one-liners to 20-minute theatrical pieces. (PAW Archives)

A scene from the 1969 Triangle show, Call a Spade A Shovel. (PAW Archives)

A scene from the 1969 Triangle show, Call a Spade a Shovel. (PAW Archives)

Since the late 1800s, student members of the Princeton Triangle Club have written, produced, and performed full-scale musical comedies that riff on topics specific to the campus as well as those of society at large. But the shows’ humor hasn’t always gone over well with audiences: The political satire of its 1969 show, Call a Spade a Shovel, caused many alumni to walk out “with clenched fists and gritted teeth” during the group’s 13-city December tour, PAW reported.

The next year, Triangle cancelled its tour and created a spring show that shifted the focus from campus activism and national political movements to something a little lighter. Titled Cracked Ice, the show aimed to be “an entertaining story with a moral — not a sermon or a demand,” according to Triangle president J. William Metzger ’71, who previewed the group’s Reunions performances in a story for PAW.

What might this year’s show entail? Find out when An Inconvenient Sleuth opens Nov. 14 at McCarter Theatre. The show will run through Nov. 16, with January intercession touring dates to be announced.

#ThrowbackThursday: 1964 Princeton Football

Coach Dick Colman, left, with Cosmo Iacavazzi ’65 in 1964. (PAW Archives)

Coach Dick Colman, left, with Cosmo Iacavazzi ’65 in 1964. (PAW Archives)

At halftime of this weekend’s Princeton-Harvard game, the University will honor the 1964 Tigers football team, which completed the program’s last perfect season 50 years ago this fall. The team included a trio of All-Americans — running back Cosmo Iacavazzi ’65, linebacker Stas Maliszewski ’66, and kicker Charlie Gogolak ’66 — as well as future College Football Hall of Fame coach Dick Colman.

Continue reading