This Week in Princeton History for March 30-April 5

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the campus tries to help mitigate the AIDS crisis, locals descend upon Nassau Hall in spontaneous celebration of a Civil War victory for the Union, and more.

March 30, 1933—The owner of Students Hand Laundry is arrested following his disappearance two weeks before, having been paid $20 each by approximately 600 Princeton students for the term’s laundry service. Campus police find 250 bags of students’ dirty laundry in his abandoned shop.

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Ad from the Daily Princetonian.


March 31, 1988—The “Lean on Me” campaign raises approximately $4,200 for AIDS charities in New York, about a thousand more than organizers at Princeton anticipated. The campaign is one of many AIDS-related events on campus in 1988, as the spread of the disease sparks national alarm.

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Ad from the Daily Princetonian.

April 3, 1920—F. Scott Fitzgerald (Class of 1917) marries Zelda Sayre in Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s portrait from the Class of 1917 Nassau Herald.

April 4, 1865—Upon receiving word that Richmond has fallen to Union troops, the people of Princeton hold spontaneous celebrations in Nassau Hall. The Trenton State Gazette will report: “Such immense joy and enthusiastic rejoicing and congratulation, has not been witnessed for many years, as that which thrilled throughout Princeton when it was announced that ‘Richmond is Ours!’”

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

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