This Week in Princeton History for September 28-October 4

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a crisis delays dorm heating, a yellow fever epidemic has interrupted campus operations, and more.

September 28, 1819—A visitor to Princeton’s Junior Orations observes that during one of the student speeches, the audience was in tears. The student spoke of the eloquence of the recently deceased college president, Samuel Stanhope Smith.

September 30, 1976—Due to the energy crisis, the University announces that it will not turn on heat in the dorms until October 11, despite overnight temperatures below 50 degrees.

Students could be seen bundling up indoors in the mid-1970s. Photo from 1978 Bric-a-Brac.

October 1, 1767—Robert Ogden brings a sample fire bucket to the Board of Trustees for consideration. They authorize the purchase of 60 of the buckets at a total cost of £36.

October 4, 1793—Boston’s American Apollo updates readers on the situation in Princeton: “According to reports from the Jersies, the students have quitted the college at Princeton, through an apprehension of the yellow fever spreading to that place. It is added, that the commencement, which is held annually on the last Wednesday in September, is postponed.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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