This Week in Princeton History for October 21-27

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a guest speaker urges his audience to hold men and women to the same moral standards, the Princetonian urges smokers not to inhale, and more.

October 21, 1976—Randall Kennedy ’77, one of six students who made presentations on minority life to the Board of Trustees, says of the experience that Bill Bowen was the only encouragement he found. “He was the only hopeful glimmer in the whole thing. He seemed to be one of the few people listening.”

October 23, 1913—Clifford G. Roe, author of Horrors of the White Slave Trade, speaks in Alexander Hall on the problem of human trafficking in Chicago, urging students hold both men and women to the same moral standards.

October 24, 1879—The Princetonian warns students who must smoke to at least avoid inhaling. “College is the place to lay foundations for steady nerves, sound limbs, and strong lungs, as well as active brains, but this cannot be done by outraging every law of nature and common sense.”

Princeton Class of 1878 corn cob pipes. Memorabilia Collection (AC053), Box A30. Photo by April C. Armstrong. 

October 26, 1984—Charles Huber ’51 pens an editorial urging a return to Princeton’s white Protestant past, provoking strong opposition from faculty, students, administrators, alumni, those outside the Princeton community, and Huber’s own son. Huber’s editorial reads, in part, “The current administration doesn’t just hate our guts—it hates our genes. … If a balance is struck at 15 per cent Jews and 3 per cent minorities, justice will have been served.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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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.

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

This Week in Princeton History for October 7-13

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the first mass-market personal computer is sparking discussion on campus, administrators warn of insufficient funds to pay the faculty, and more.

October 8, 1985—Macintosh puts on a microcomputer fair, “Applefest,” in the Engineering Quadrangle to promote the new Apple Macintosh, the first mass-market personal computer. Some students, like Carlo Cannell ’86, are not impressed, especially considering their price tag of roughly $2,000 (close to $5,000 in 2019). “A Macintosh is certainly a nifty typewriter, but is it really that much better than a 35 dollar used Sears manual?”

This ad from the October 8, 1985 Daily Princetonian was one of many similar ads that appeared in the paper in the fall of 1985. (Click to enlarge.)

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This Week in Princeton History for September 30-October 6

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, new abortion funding policies draw protest, the Navy is moving in, and more.

September 30, 1840—At Commencement, Samuel Reese Frierson of the graduating class speaks on the “Rights of Women.”

October 1, 1989—About 100 Princeton students join a rally of approximately 4,000 people in solidarity with the democracy movement in China to mourn those lost in the  Tiananmen Square Massacre. The group march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Chinese Embassy with a replica of the Chinese protestors’ Goddess of Liberty.

October 4, 1979—A group of 27 students, saying that Princeton University “has violated our right to freedom of conscience in forcing us to pay for something which we consider to be morally reprehensible,” proposes a rebate for students opposed to abortion for the portion of student health fees that would be used to fund them.

In the 1978-1979 academic year, 36 undergraduates and eight graduate students obtained abortions using the insurance plan provided through mandatory student health fees. Previously, University Health Services (UHS) helped students obtain abortions through other means. The rebates were never approved, but in 1981, the Board of Trustees voted to fund abortion coverage from the endowment earmarked for UHS rather than from sources that included student health fees. Coverage was maintained as part of the student health plan. Concerned Alumni of Princeton pamphlet, 1981. Office of the Executive Vice President Records (AC271), Box 25.

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This Week in Princeton History for September 23-29

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Princetonian complains about a change in staffing, a new kiosk is under construction, and more.

September 24, 1899—Today’s issue of Nature refers to the “Libbey Deep” off the shores of Newfoundland, newly named in honor of physical geography professor William Libbey, Class of 1877.

September 25, 1765—The Board of Trustees orders the buttery to provide bread, butter, candles, and small beer for sale to students, but prohibits sales to students of anything else.

September 26, 1878—The Princetonian complains about a change in staffing: “The men servants who last year did good service in the entries of the various dormitories, and proved such real comfort to the students, have been dismissed, and we are left to have all our work done by a few superannuated Irish women, who are required to do an immense amount of work in so short a time that they necessarily do it in a careless, partial manner, which is worse than absolute neglect.”

September 27, 1988—A new kiosk, designed by Robert Venturi ’47 to better blend in with surrounding architecture, is under construction at Princeton University’s Nassau Street entrance.

Artist’s rendering of Princeton University’s Nassau Street kiosk, found in Handbook of Information for the Administrative Staff, 1971, Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 241, Folder 6.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for September 16-22

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a longstanding but dangerous tradition comes to an end, a sophomore writes to his mother about attending Aaron Burr’s funeral, and more.

September 19, 1990—Students nab the Nassau Hall clapper for the last time.

It’s unclear exactly when the tradition of stealing the clapper began, but documentation indicates it was sometime in the 1860s. More than merely a nuisance to staff who had to keep replacing the clapper, scaling the bell tower was a dangerous feat that occasionally resulted in injuries when students fell from the tower and then off the roof onto the ground. In 1991, administrators decided to remove the clapper indefinitely. Today, Nassau Hall’s bell rings only on special occasions, such as Commencement, after which the clapper is again removed. The students pictured above were members of the Class of 1952 who stole the clapper in 1948. Historical Photograph Collection (AC112), Box MP199, Image No. 5278.

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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.