This Week in Princeton History for October 29-November 4

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Art Museum reopens in a modernized environment, the football team’s stunning victory over Penn sparks a riot, and more.

October 29, 1966—The Princeton University Art Museum reopens in its new home in a new McCormick Hall.

The new McCormick Hall was built on the site of the old McCormick Hall and Art Museum extension. The 1880 building, pictured here, was advanced for the 19th century but no longer a suitable home for Princeton’s collections. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box SP05, Image No. 1216.

October 31, 1849—Richard Sears McCulloh (Class of 1836) is named chair of Natural Philosophy.

McCulloh later achieved notoriety as a traitor to the Union when he fled from his new post at Columbia College to Virginia in 1863 to help the Confederacy with the manufacture of new incendiary devices using his skills as a chemist. Richard Sears McColloh, ca. 1850s. Historical Photograph Collection, Faculty Photographs Series (AC067), Box FACLP03.

November 2, 1946—Princeton’s football team defeats Penn (ranked third nationally) in a 17-14 victory the New York Times refers to as the “Upset of the Decade.” When Philadelphia’s police attempt to prevent Princeton’s fans from tearing down the wooden goalposts, a riot ensues. Joe Trimble of the New York Daily News will write that their actions are “about as nauseating a demonstration of police stupidity as one could imagine.”

Athletic Programs Collection (AC042), Box 5, Folder 2.

November 3, 1992—Princeton Pro-Choice hands out blue ribbons for students who support legal access to abortion to wear on their backpacks as a get-out-the-vote initiative.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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