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.

This Week in Princeton History for July 1-7

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Harriet van Ingen joins its geologists on a trip to Newfoundland, a fire means Commencement will have to find a new home, and more.

July 1, 1927—Princeton’s new “car rule,” which prohibits students from driving cars within the Borough of Princeton, takes effect.

July 3, 1913—Princeton geologists set sail for Newfoundland. Harriet Van Ingen, wife of professor Gilbert Van Ingen, is along to aid the expedition.

Harriet Van Ingen at the Princeton University geology expedition’s camp in Newfoundland, 1913. Department of Geosciences Records (AC139), Box 19.

July 4, 1937—Though fireworks-related deaths nationwide on this date reach a high of 563, a new statewide ban on private use of firecrackers is credited with preventing deaths in town.

July 6, 1835—Nassau Hall’s evening prayer service in the chapel is disrupted by a cry of “fire” from the street. Students flee, leaving College of New Jersey president James Carnahan standing at a pulpit in an empty room. It turns out that some leftover Independence Day fireworks have ignited at the nearby First Presbyterian Church, which is now engulfed in flames. The loss of the building is disruptive to college life, because it is typically used for Commencement and other events throughout the year.

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 June 24-30

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the sophomores conduct their annual end-of-year book burning ritual, women are enrolled in a course for the first time, and more.

June 25, 1980—Ernest Gordon, Dean of the Chapel since 1955, retires.

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

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This Week in Princeton History for June 17-23

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a gas shortage causes headaches in town, the baseball team begins a tour playing against New England colleges, and more.

June 18, 1882—Marquand Chapel is dedicated.

Marquand Chapel, ca. 1880s. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP29, Image No. 688.

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