This Week in Princeton History for December 4-10

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, dorm residents “grope their way in the darkness,” an epidemic halts the swim team, and more.

December 5, 1878—The Princetonian complains about the lack of lighting in Reunion Hall: “Another term is almost gone, and the students rooming in those entries are still compelled to grope their way in the darkness.”

Reunion Hall, undated. Historical Postcard Collection (AC045), Box 1.

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This Week in Princeton History for November 27-December 3

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, undergraduates protest the presence of African Americans in chapel, a computer virus is spreading all over campus, and more.

November 28, 1868—Students at the College of New Jersey (Princeton) begin circulating a petition to ban African Americans from chapel exercises after James McCosh allows a black student from Princeton Theological Seminary to attend his lectures on the life of Jesus, but few faculty are willing to sign it and McCosh remains unmoved.

Clipping from New York Tribune, December 8, 1868. The relevant portion reads as follows: “A young man (colored), of fine abilities and address, a graduate of a Western college, and at present a student of the Theological Seminary of this place, has dared to present himself at the College Chapel on Sunday afternoon for the purpose of listening to the President’s [McCosh’s] lectures without the permission of the sympathizers of the ‘Lost Cause,’ who feeling themselves deeply injured are now circulating a protest, which being duly signed, will be presented to the Faculty protesting against the further privilege of colored men entering the Chapel during any Chapel exercise. Thus far no movement has been made by the more liberal minded against this pernicious protest, for they have confidence in the good sense of the Faculty, and believe that such an article will be treated by them with contempt.”

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This Week in Princeton History for November 20-26

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a woman’s presence in class draws comment, new penalties for late library books are imposed, and more.

November 20, 1930—Princeton University has set a record for most student disappearances, with more missing persons than any other college or university.

November 21, 1878—Louisa Maclean’s attendance in Professor James Murray’s course in English Literature draws comments from students at the College of New Jersey (Princeton).

Louisa Maclean’s lecture notes from James Murray’s course in English Literature, College of New Jersey (Princeton), 1878-1879. Lecture Notes Collection (AC052), Box 44, Folder 8. The Princetonian said the course was only for women, but we think this is likely to have just been a tongue-in-cheek reference to Maclean’s presence in the classroom.

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This Week in Princeton History for November 13-19

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the first football season concludes, the Graduate Student Union holds its first meeting, and more.

November 13, 1869—The first college football season ever finishes with a game at Princeton, who defeats Rutgers 8 to 0. (A game planned for November 27 will not be played, because the faculty of both Princeton and Rutgers feel the contests are interfering too much with the students’ coursework.)

Early football at Princeton bore greater resemblance to soccer than rugby, including the use of a spherical ball rather than an oval, as seen in this College of New Jersey (Princeton) 1873 team photo. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box LP036, Image No. 2522.

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This Week in Princeton History for November 6-12

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a professor helps determine election results in 30 states, a donor’s generous gift allows for the building of a new dorm, and more.

November 7, 1972—Politics professor Edward R. Tufte is one of NBC’s 10 election specialists, helping to give up-to-the-minute updates in presidential, senatorial, and gubernatorial contests in 30 different states. The use of computers now allows the election specialists to predict the results of an election before the final tallies are available.

November 8, 1888—Princeton president Francis Patton reports to the Board of Trustees that he has received a gift of $50,000 from Susan D. Brown for the building of a new dorm.

Brown Hall, ca. 1900. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP07, Image No. 0147.

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This Week in Princeton History for October 30-November 5

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a letter provokes debate over race, undergraduates complain of excessive demands on their time, and more.

October 30, 1942—A. M. Shumate ’29’s letter to the editor of the Princeton Alumni Weekly takes Daily Princetonian editor Frank Broderick to task for advocating that Princeton change its admissions policies and allow African Americans to attend. “To admit negroes would be to cut off the stream of excellent material that has traditionally come to Princeton from the South. That loss in enrollment would presumably be made up with dusky gentry. A smart deal? If Broderick is really keen on mixing ’em up he might well be acceptable as a transfer student at one of the better-known negro colleges.” Shumate’s letter will result in weeks of alumni debate in the PAW.

October 31, 1932—Students gather with local Princeton residents in a group of 1,500 at Princeton Junction Station to cheer and express support for Herbert Hoover’s reelection campaign as Hoover passes through on his way to Newark.

November 1, 1872—Students are asking for relief from demands on their time that include Saturday recitations and lengthy chapel exercises on Sundays as well as their Monday-Friday classes and morning vespers, but the Board of Trustees is reluctant to grant even a half-day per week off from College responsibilities. They are expressing concern that students will abuse free time if it is granted to them, “by going to Trenton and other places, as well as running up and down the streets at night, breaking lamps and causing disturbance…”

“Old Chapel” at the College of New Jersey (Princeton), ca. 1860s. Princeton students were required to attend daily vespers in chapel each morning until 1882, as well as both morning and afternoon services on Sundays until 1902. Compulsory chapel attendance ended altogether in 1964. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP28, Image No. 651.

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This Week in Princeton History for October 23-29

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the World Series puts two former roommates at odds, a stolen item is recovered, and more.

October 24, 1947—In response to widespread criticism of the idea as not in keeping with the spirit of the nation’s food conservation program, the Princeton Tiger calls off its scheduled milk-drinking competition against the chorus girls of New York’s Copacabana Club.

October 25, 1888—Professor Allan Marquand invites “such graduate students as may desire to pursue a course of study in Greek Architecture” to his home this evening.

October 26, 1997—Game Seven of baseball’s World Series pits the employers of two former Princeton roommates against one another: Bob Reif ’89, Vice President of Integrated Marketing for Huizenga Properties (including the Florida Marlins), and Mark Shapiro ’89, Director of Player Development for the Cleveland Indians.

October 28, 1914—Two alumni find a page stolen from the Cleveland Memorial Tower visitor’s book in the front seat of a car in a garage in Trenton. The first signature is William Howard Taft’s from a previous visit to campus, and several members of the Cleveland family have also signed the page. A reward of one hundred dollars for information leading to the apprehension of the culprits is still outstanding.

The stolen first page of the Cleveland Memorial Tower Visitor Log, Vol. 1. If you look closely, you can see the seam where it was reattached to the book. Cleveland Memorial Tower Visitor Logs (AC303).

For last week’s 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 16-22

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Third World Center opens, Albert Einstein disappoints reporters, and more.

October 16, 1971—Four months after receiving approval from the Board of Trustees, the Third World Center opens with a “house warming.”

Original logo design for the Third World Center, ca. 1971. Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding Records (AC342), Box 4.

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This Week in Princeton History for October 9-15

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a professor wins the Nobel Prize for Medicine, the Princetonian complains about taking lecture notes, and more.

October 10, 1995—Molecular biology professor Eric Wieschaus has won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his genetic research with Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies). Seeming overwhelmed, Wieschaus tells reporters at a press conference, “The knowledge that I can go into a lab and do (experiments) and still have a reasonable success rate—that’s the greater pleasure for me than getting the award. It’s just being a scientist. …You will know something nobody else has ever known before, and that’s a great feeling.”

Eric Wieschaus at a press conference the day after winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine, October 10, 1995. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series (AC067), Box AD15, Folder 52.

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This Week in Princeton History for October 2-8

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, smoking in class comes to an end, a woman against female suffrage speaks in Alexander Hall, and more.

October 3, 1981—A hawk crashes through a window in Firestone Library, knocking a 6-inch hole in the glass. Startled students studying near the window capture the injured bird, which will ultimately be released near Lot 21.

October 4, 1960—Students protest a new rule against smoking in class.

Cartoon from the Daily Princetonian.

October 5, 1915—Minnie Bronson of the Princeton Branch of the New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage gives an address in Alexander Hall.

October 6, 1930—The Daily Princetonian receives a note in response to a subscription postcard from Wilson Aull of the Class of 1891 accusing the paper of being “a traitor to the U. S. Constitution” because of its stand on the Eighteenth Amendment (Prohibition). Aull declines to subscribe.

For last week’s installment in this series, click here.

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