This Week in Princeton History for June 22-28

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, James McCosh expresses concerns about youth wasted in the gymnasium, the Princeton Rocket inspires Williams College, and more.

June 22, 1874—In his report to the Board of Trustees, College president James McCosh expresses concerns about students spending excessive time in the gym preparing for gymnastic competitions: “I have seen all along that there must be some limit to set to them, lest they so excite a portion of our students as to lead them to waste upon them their best energies, and thus waste their youth.”

Equipment in Princeton’s Bonner-Marquand Gymnasium, 1870s. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP47.

June 23, 1926—The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is offered experimentally for the first time, though Princeton, like other colleges, will still have its own entrance exam until 1942.

June 24, 1868—Williams College, impressed by the Princeton Rocket, decides they need college cheers at their sporting events, too.

June 27, 1979—A gasoline shortage has led to a spike of bicycle theft in town, including on the University campus.

Student biking for groceries at Princeton University, ca. 1975. Admission Office Records (AC152), Box 1.

 

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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