This Week in Princeton History for September 9-15

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a winner of the Pepsi-Cola Scholarship chooses Princeton, the U-Store opens at 36 University Place, and more.

September 9, 1915—In The Nation, Princeton University philosophy professor Warner Fite warns of the pitfalls of public universities, especially the risk they pose to academic freedom: “Donors may sometimes be exacting, but at length they die, while the Legislature goes on forever.”

September 10, 1945—The Princeton Bulletin announces that one of the recipients of the new Pepsi-Cola Scholarship (“this latest advertising wrinkle”) chose Princeton and is now enrolled.

Edward House ’50, pictured here in the 1950 Nassau Herald, was one of the first recipients of Pepsi’s scholarship program, which lasted only a few years, 1945-1948. House appears to have been the student the Princeton Bulletin wrote about in 1945. A total of nine of the 489 winners of the full-tuition, 4-year scholarship chose Princeton. In addition to tuition, the program covered travel expenses and included a small stipend of $25/month. It made it possible for many students who would not otherwise have been able to afford to attend the college they wanted, or even college at all, to get an education.

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This Week in Princeton History for September 2-8

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Frist Campus Center opens, an alum writes to Princeton about surviving a major earthquake in Japan, and more.

September 2, 1973—An article in today’s Sunday magazine of the New York Times provokes contentious correspondence between Dean of the College Neil L. Rudenstine ’56 and the author, Harvard professor Martin Kilson. Kilson claims that Princeton, like many other institutions, has lowered its standards when increasing its admission of African Americans. Rudenstine insists Kilson’s portrayal of academic performance among African Americans at Princeton as subpar is inaccurate.

September 5, 2000—Frist Campus Center opens.

Frist Campus Center, September 2000. Image from negatives found in Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 197, Folder 14.

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This Week in Princeton History for August 26-September 1

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Chinese students come together, dogs are banned on campus, and more.

August 26, 1933—To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Continental Congress formally thanking George Washington for his conduct in the Revolutionary War, Nassau Hall is fully illuminated, a throwback to when students used to light each window with a candle to celebrate significant days.

August 27, 1779—The adjutant-general of the Continental Army authorizes Thomas Bradford, Deputy Commissary of Prisoners, to deliver “to the Reverend Dr. Witherspoon, two prisoners of war of the 71st British regiment, to labour for him at Princeton…”

August 30, 1911—The seventh annual conference of the Chinese Students’ Alliance of the Eastern States concludes its meetings at Princeton with words of encouragement from John Grier Hibben.

The 1910s brought many Chinese students to colleges in the United States, including Princeton University, as part of the Boxer Indemnity Fund’s scholarship program. Here, the Class of 1915 Eating Club pose for a group photo, including Kenyon Vanlee Dzung and Ken Wang in the front row, ca. 1914. By 1914, the Princetonian reported that there were seven Chinese students on campus. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box LP070, Image No. 4159.

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This Week in Princeton History for August 19-25

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a sophomore watches as the USSR invades Czechoslovakia, a junior unseats a 15-time golf champion, and more.

August 19, 1887—Princeton professor Charles Augustus Young is leading an expedition to Moscow to view a total solar eclipse.

August 20, 1968—Stephen Fuzesi ’70 watches from the balcony of the Hotel Intertourist in Uzsgorod, stunned, as Soviet tanks invade Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring.” Fuzesi will later write, “The realistic Czechs were now victims of an innocent but naïve interpretation of their own fate. However, we were naïve all over the world.”

August 23, 1958—The Winnipeg Tribune reports that a group of tourists, four young men from Princeton and Yale, have arrived in the Port of Churchill by canoeing from The Pas.

August 25, 1996—Mary Moan ’97 wins the Pennsylvania State Women’s Amateur Championship, beating former U.S. Women’s and British Amateur Open winner Carol Semple-Thompson for the title in a stunning upset. (Thompson has previously won the Pennsylvania competition 15 times.)

Mary Moan ’97. Undergraduate Alumni Files (AC198).

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

This Week in Princeton History for August 12-18

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a member of the Class of 1963 finds his music festival in upstate New York more popular than expected, a professor recaps the recent earthquake on campus, and more.

August 12, 1926—After a woman faints and falls into the Yukon River in Carcross, Alaska, George Seward of the Class of 1927 jumps in and rescues her.

August 15, 1969—The concert Joel Rosenman ’63 organized with his business partner, John Roberts, turns out to be more popular than initially expected, as an audience of more than 400,000 overwhelms the dairy farm in Bethel, New York where it takes place. As a result, Rosenman and Roberts will spend more than a decade working to repay debts they will incur in association with the three-day music festival best known as Woodstock, though Woodstock is 60 miles from Bethel.

Clipping from the Daily Princetonian, September 10, 1969.

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This Week in Princeton History for August 5-11

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Gleason’s Pictorial praises the institution’s influence, a Confederate flag is missing, and more.

August 6, 1853—Gleason’s Pictorial runs a front-page feature on the College of New Jersey, praising its campus resources (including its four buildings and 12,000-volume library). “This institution has ever taken higher ground, and its influence has been felt in all departments of professional life. Its sons are found in every State, occupying the pulpit, the bar and the forum.”

Illustration from the front page of Gleason’s Pictorial, August 6, 1853. Only a few years later, Nassau Hall would suffer extensive damages in a fire, and repairs in the latter part of the 1850s would enlarge the cupola and add towers to flank the structure on either end; many of these changes were reversed in the 20th century.

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This Week in Princeton History for July 29-August 4

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Navy is slated to take over three dormitories, an arsonist’s attack on campus seems to be welcomed, and more.

July 30, 1942—The chair of the Undergraduate Council announces that the Navy will be taking over Brown, Cuyler, and Patton Halls in September. The Council votes to urge those students forced to move to attempt to find roommates.

July 31, 1963—George F. Kennan (Class of 1925) resigns as U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia.

August 2, 1865—After a sick homeless man found sleeping in the campus gym dies of smallpox, someone burns it to the ground to prevent the spread of the disease. Although fire alarms sound, attempts to put out the blaze are half-hearted due to ongoing fears of infection. No one ever attempts to discover the identity of the arsonist because the town is so relieved the danger is gone.

The first gymnasium at the College of New Jersey (Princeton), ca. 1865, shown in the foreground of this campus scene with Nassau Hall in the distance. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP15, Image No. 351.

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This Week in Princeton History for July 22-28

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, public nudity is ruled to be legal, an alum warns his wife they may need to skip town to avoid a riot, and more.

July 22, 1754—The Board of Trustees of the College of New Jersey approve the construction of Nassau Hall.

Nassau Hall illustration in New American Magazine, 1760. Nassau Hall Iconography Collection (AC177), Box 1.

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This Week in Princeton History for July 15-21

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the rowing crew enters its first intercollegiate regatta, a professor’s connections come in handy, and more.

July 15, 1874—The College of New Jersey enters its first intercollegiate regatta. The freshman crew wins the contest against Brown and Yale.

Ticket to the intercollegiate regatta at Saratoga Lake, July 15-16, 1874. Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 139, Folder 4.

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This Week in Princeton History for July 8-14

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Princetonian reappears after an epidemic, Robert Goheen anticipates racial tension on campus, and more.

July 9, 1880—In an issue delayed for weeks due to an epidemic of typhoid, the Princetonian acknowledges that the abrupt breakup of the spring session meant that there had been no opportunity for the community to grieve the loss of the 10 students who died, and offers space in its future columns for testimonials about the lives lost.

July 12, 1950—Air Force Lt. Douglas Haag ’49 is probably the first Princeton alum to die in action in the Korean War, but his remains will not be identified until 2013.

July 13, 1970—The New York Times runs an article on a panel of college presidents discussing their institutions, quoting Princeton University’s Robert Goheen: “Under the general heading of student unrest, we think we’re going to have increasing problems in the current year with our blacks…It’s going to be a long time, I think, before we work out the modes of accommodations for blacks in our universities.”

Robert F. Goheen (center) with student attendees of “The Future of the Negro Undergraduate” conference, March 30, 1967. Office of the President Records (AC193), Box 456, Folder 7.

July 14, 1793—Town and gown celebrate Bastille Day with a ball and supper at the College Inn (later known as the Nassau Inn).

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.