This Week in Princeton History for September 26-October 2

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a sitting U.S. president gets a warm welcome, women’s field hockey has its first game, and more.

September 26, 1879—The Princetonian reports, “We greet Murray Hall as it rises above ground.”

Murray_Hall_1879_AC112_Box_MP66_No2599

Murray Hall, 1879. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box MP66, Image No. 2599. Murray Hall was originally built to hold religious meetings for the Philadelphian Society, a student organization.

Continue reading

This Week in Princeton History for September 19-25

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Princeton Stadium has its first game, a court ruling allows dorm residents to register to vote, and more.

September 19, 1998—Princeton University beats Cornell 6-0 in the first football game ever played in the newly constructed Princeton Stadium.

Princeton_v_Cornell_1998_ticket_AC042_Box_18

Ticket from Princeton v. Cornell, September 19, 1998. Athletics Programs Collection (AC042), Box 18.

Continue reading

This Week in Princeton History for September 12-18

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, female employees tell their stories, Wilcox Hall opens, and more.

September 12, 1906—Italian immigrant Vincent R. Gregg, age 14, begins a 57-year career at Princeton University as a histiology technician. He will later explain that when circumstances had left him alone in Princeton, he “aspired to a job—any job at any wages—with Princeton University.”

September 13, 1990—The Princeton University Women’s Organization celebrates the publication of Women’s Voices, Women’s Work, a collection of poetry and essays by the school’s female employees about their experiences there.

Back_cover_of_Women's_Voices_Women's_Work

Back cover of Women’s Voices, Women’s Work (1990).

Continue reading

This Week in Princeton History for September 5-11

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, marriage poses risk of expulsion for a junior, George Washington’s nephew is asked to leave town, and more.

September 5, 1997—Just before Princeton University’s undergraduates return for classes, Woolworth’s closes its doors permanently. After 65 years of relying on the five-and-dime, students will have to find new places to buy dorm furnishings, school supplies, toiletries, and novelty decorations.

Woolworth shopping from Princetonian_1983-04-01_v107_n041_0001

One of many items available at Woolworth’s five-and-dime store was this inflatable Easter bunny in 1983. Photo from the Daily Princetonian.

Continue reading

This Week in Princeton History for August 29-September 4

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a basketball player goes pro, a sophomore finds artistic inspiration in town, and more.

August 29, 1930—M. Hartley Dodge, Jr. ‘30 dies in a car accident in France. His family will later donate both the Dodge Memorial Gateway and the Dodge Memorial Arch in his honor.

Dodge_gate_AC111_Box_MP15_Image_370

View of Blair Hall through the Dodge Memorial Gateway. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP15, Image No. 370.

Continue reading

This Week in Princeton History for August 22-28

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a 1906 postcard gives a weather update, a Canadian library honors a Princeton president, and more.

August 23, 1906—Someone writes and sends a postcard to let a friend know that “The day is hot and the locusts are singing” at Princeton.

Blair_Hall_Postcard_AC045_Box_3

Historical Postcard Collection (AC045), Box 3.

Continue reading

This Week in Princeton History for August 15-21

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, final exams ask about America’s future, a sophomore wins an unusual contest involving a bus, and more.

August 15, 1945—Future Dean of the Princeton University Chapel Ernest Gordon is freed after 40 months as a prisoner of war in the Japanese Kwai River camps.

Ernest_Gordon_undated_AC144_Box_35

Ernest Gordon, undated. Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel Records (AC144), Box 35.

Continue reading

This Week in Princeton History for August 8-14

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a sophomore heads to Mississippi for Freedom Summer, a freshman meets Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office, and more.

August 9, 1850—After a journey of nearly three weeks from Maybank, Georgia, Charles C. Jones, Jr. (Class of 1852) and his brother, Joseph Jones (Class of 1853) arrive in Princeton. Charles writes to let their parents know they have had a safe journey: “There is no institution (West Point scarcely excepted) where there is so complete and full a course of mathematics, and one upon which so great importance is imposed upon this branch, as is here the case. It appears to be their pride to maintain the highest stand in this particular, and consequently all who apply must meet their fullest requirements to the letter.”

August 10, 1964—Philip Hocker ’67 arrives in Jackson, Mississippi volunteering as a civil rights activist. A week later, a white resident will club him with an axe handle, the first in a series of harrowing experiences he will have living and working among African Americans in Mississippi during Freedom Summer.

Philip_Mackay_Hocker_Herald_1967

Philip Mackay Hocker, 1967 Nassau Herald.

Continue reading

This Week in Princeton History for August 1-7

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a movie featuring the campus premieres, the library implements a new security policy, and more.

August 1, 1944—Wilson, a biopic film about Woodrow Wilson of the Class of 1879 partially set and filmed on campus, premieres at Roxy Theatre in New York.

Wilson_ticket_MC168_Box_45_Folder_6

Ticket to the premiere of Wilson, August 1, 1944. Woodrow Wilson Collection (MC168), Box 45, Folder 6.

Continue reading

This Week in Princeton History for July 25-31

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Presbyterians worry about drinking, the campus operator has a bit less to do, and more.

July 27, 1937—William H. Smathers, who represents New Jersey in the U.S. Senate, writes a response to a letter from one of its professors, William Starr Myers, that makes headlines for its vitriol: “Your letter … convinces me that you are unfit to come in contact with youngsters and confirms my suspicion that ‘dear old Princeton’ would be a bad place to send my two boys who were born and raised in New Jersey. I would not want one of my sons to come under the influence of a mentality so small and so warped…” Myers wrote to Smathers to criticize him for voting in favor of expanding the Supreme Court to 15 justices as Franklin Delano Roosevelt had proposed.

July 29, 1897—The Prohibitionist New York Voice derides Princeton University for employing faculty who have signed a petition for a liquor license for the Princeton Inn, which they identify as the school’s “official grog shop”.

New York Voice headline

Headline from the New York Voice, July 29, 1897. Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 343, Folder 2.

Continue reading