This Week in Princeton History for May 8-14

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) delights the campus with a surprise appearance, protests greet a segregationist governor’s visit, and more.

May 8, 1989—A freshman diagnosed with the measles is admitted to the McCosh Health Center, prompting approximately 500 students to get a booster vaccine to prevent an outbreak on campus.

May 9, 1901—Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) surprises students with an unadvertised appearance in Alexander Hall, where he gives a reading of his work and entertains the crowd with stories about his adventures in Nevada and his attempts to learn German.

This letter from Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), most likely to Stephen Van Rennseler Throwbridge, Class of 1902, dates from ca. 1901 and seems to accept an invitation to speak at Princeton “as long as one would only have to talk, & not have to talk long, nor make preparation.” Pyne-Henry Collection (AC125), Box 2, Folder 1.

May 11, 1967—Former Alabama Governor George Wallace speaks to an orderly but mostly unsympathetic crowd in Dillon Gymnasium as protesters make their feelings known across campus.

Clipping from the Princeton Alumni Weekly, 1967. Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 289, Folder 13.

May 13, 1884—Dr. M. Allen Starr, Class of 1876, is awarded the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons Alumni Association’s Prize of $500 for the best essay in medicine or surgery that shows original research.

M. Allen Starr, ca. 1876. Historical Photograph Collection, Alumni Photographs Series (AC058), Box SP4.

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.

2 thoughts on “This Week in Princeton History for May 8-14

  1. Pingback: This Week in Princeton History for May 22-28 | Mudd Manuscript Library Blog

  2. Pingback: This Week in Princeton History for May 15-21 | Mudd Manuscript Library Blog

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