This Week in Princeton History for October 14-20

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Native Americans speak out about Columbus Day, a dispute over voter registration sparks a long legal battle, and more.

October 14, 1971—Victor Masayesva ’74 of Americans Before Columbus writes to the Daily Princetonian regarding the destruction of a poster that “designated Columbus Day a day of mourning… We American Indian students at Princeton felt it absolutely necessary to show that this national holiday stinks of, reeks with racism!”

Princeton’s indigenous students have often faced isolation on campus, including Howard Edwards Gansworth of the Class of 1901, but active recruitment among native populations in the 1970s, particularly from reservations, brought numbers significant enough to form a community. This decade was the heyday of Native American representation on campus, during which they began take control of their own narrative at Princeton. Page from “Princeton: Our Perspective” showing Native American students ca. 1970s. Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 294, Folder 7.

October 16, 1940—Students and faculty age 21-35 register for the first peacetime draft in American history.

October 18, 1927—Local officials’ refusal to register Princeton students to vote on the basis that their time away during the summer has rendered them ineligible sparks a protracted legal battle.

October 20, 1988—The Daily Princetonian explains the multiple advertisements for different programs to address eating disorders in their issue today as a response to student pressure for more support in the face of rising rates of illnesses related to food, body image, and weight.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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3 thoughts on “This Week in Princeton History for October 14-20

  1. Pingback: This Week in Princeton History for October 21-27 | Mudd Manuscript Library Blog

  2. I believe the gentleman featured in the right hand photo is Roman Bitsuie, whose papers we have in the Public Policy Papers.

    • Thanks! Those papers document Bitsuie’s service on the Navajo Tax Commission, the Navajo Tribal Council and the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute Commission. The finding aid is available online. He is a member of the Class of 1978.

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