This Week in Princeton History for December 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 typing class is starting, reform-minded undergraduates organize, and more.

December 9, 1958—Registration is underway for an undergraduate typing course. For six dollars, students will learn how to type about 20-30 words per minute.

A variety of options were available to students who wanted to hire typists. This was one of several ads for typing services that ran in the Daily Princetonian in 1958.

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This Week in Princeton History for December 2-8

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, campus proctors nab serial burglars, a comedian gives an ominous warning, and more.

December 2, 1942—Charles Bagley III ’44 writes to the Daily Princetonian in response to a November 30 editorial that, among other things, called for African Americans to have equality under the law. “Did [the author] choose to ignore the question of states’ rights is concerned[?] On second thought, has he ever heard of states’ rights?”

December 3, 1920—Campus proctors arrest two men accused of burglarizing dormitories at Princeton for two years by brazenly going into students’ rooms while they were out and filing the students’ suitcases with whatever they wanted, then walking out with the suitcases in broad daylight.

Campus proctor William Coans (“Bill Coons”), ca. 1920. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series (AC067), Box 1.

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This Week in Princeton History for November 25-December 1

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the football team defeats Dartmouth in hurricane force winds, a student writes home to complain about the food, and more.

November 25, 1950—Despite 108-mile winds at kickoff, Princeton and Dartmouth still play their championship game in Princeton’s Palmer Stadium. About 5,000 fans attempt to watch the game in person, but an estimated 25,000 ticket holders simply stay home to wait out the storm. Most of those who do attend seek refuge in the dormitories.

The 1951 Bric-a-Brac‘s report on the 1950 Princeton-Dartmouth football game.

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This Week in Princeton History for November 18-24

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, undergraduates are urged not to embarrass women on campus, Clio defeats Whig in a debate over companionate marriage, and more.

November 20, 1891—A letter to the editor of the Princetonian urges Princeton students not to embarrass the women with applause and cheering when their peers from Evelyn College appear on campus in the future, condemning their conduct toward them earlier in the week.

Evelyn College students walking across the Princeton campus, ca. 1890s. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box AD25.

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This Week in Princeton History for November 11-17

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Princetonian suggests students start making their own beds on Sundays, a new highway cuts Nassau Street’s traffic in half, and more.

November 12, 1941—Noting that the staff is not being paid well and will not be given any raises while the University is operating at a loss, the Princetonian suggests students start making their own beds on Sundays so the janitors can begin to have one full day off per week.

Fritz (no last name recorded), a janitor in Laughlin Hall, 1931. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series (AC067), Box 1. According to mid-20th century policies, janitors worked seven days per week and were required to turn out the lights in dormitories every night and make the beds every morning. They had a standard work week of 57 hours. In the 1930s, students began debating the fairness of making their own beds. Janitors unionized in 1942, demanding higher pay and fewer hours, including one full day off per week.

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This Week in Princeton History for November 4-10

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, two members of the Class of 1998 write about how avoiding pork can ease religious division, the student health plan is covering only some gynecological services, and more.

November 5, 1834—The original twelve members of the Class of 1838 assemble for their first recitations in Greek in the basement of Nassau Hall. By the end of the academic year, there will be 24 members of the class.

November 7, 1997—Roben Farzad ’98 and Adeel Qalbani ’98 team up in a tongue-in-cheek editorial calling for pork-free meals at Charter Club, “because pork, or rather our mutual disregard for the nefarious meat, is the link that binds us. … Jews and Muslims stand on the brink of something that promises a new dawn of understanding and coexistence, shattering old dogmas and yaying the many nay-sayers. It’s powerful. It’s pungent. It’s parasite-laden. It’s pork. And we’re living testaments to its unprecedented potential to solve an age-old conflict.”

November 8, 1877—Henry Ward Beecher’s visit to Princeton stirs controversy.

November 10, 1970—Gynecological services are now available free of charge to Princeton students, but the student health plan still does not cover any prescriptions gynecologists might write.

Advertisement for Ovulen, a birth control pill, 1968, found in a promotional booklet for the drug distributed by Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer Area (which served Princeton University students). Click to enlarge. Marsha Rosenthal Course Materials and Student Activism Materials (AC409), Box 2.

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 28-November 3

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, sophomores organize a battle against freshmen for canes for the first time, the ACLU urges Princetonians to support the impeachment of Richard Nixon, and more.

October 28, 1983—Princeton’s Director of the Center for Visitor and Conference Services, Bill O’Brien, receives a call from his section chief in the Army Reserves letting him know he will be on active duty soon. He will spend three weeks in Grenada.

The United States invaded Grenada on October 25, 1983 after a military coup removed the island’s leadership. The U.S. invasion drew international condemnation, but most Americans supported it. Bill O’Brien’s duties included the distribution of aid to civilians and helping to restore their tourism industry. O’Brien thought it was important that their flag be restored, so he joined with others to canvas the island for the original flag to use as a model to construct others. In the photo above, O’Brien showed the flag to Jacquelyn Kneen, a writer for the Princeton Weekly Bulletin. Photo by Robert Matthews, 1983, Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 225.

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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.

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 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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