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 8-14

In this week’s installment of our returning series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the first female leader takes the helm of the Association of Black Collegians, the Princetonian takes issue with fashion choices in chapel, and more.

October 8, 1971—Princeton’s Association of Black Collegians has a new coordinator: Deborah Jackson ’74, the first woman to hold the organization’s top leadership role.

October 10, 1987—In response to the increasing spread of AIDS among heterosexuals, the Advisory Council to Princeton’s Health Services approves the sale of condoms at McCosh Health Center. Condoms were never previously available at the clinic, but Princeton is the last institution in the Ivy League not making them available to its students.

October 11, 1889—Since many Princeton students seem to be more lax about their clothing in Sunday chapel these days, the Princetonian notes that some attendees’ “sense of propriety has been severely shocked” and urges greater attention to apparel. “Nothing is too good for that occasion, and if a man’s own sense of decency is hardened to wearing sweaters and other such negligé everyday garments at Sunday chapel he should certainly have the good taste to refrain for the sake of others who may feel differently on the subject.”

October 12, 1933—A rally for the Communist candidate for mayor of Princeton, Thomas MacNally, turns violent when onlookers pelt speakers with eggs, cabbage, and other unidentified objects. The local police will insist that Princeton University students are responsible for throwing food, though others, including the University proctors, will deny this.

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 May 7-13

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Albert Einstein lectures on the Theory of Relativity, the track team competes in the first relay race, and more.

May 7, 1875—The Chicago Tribune editorializes in a comparison between Rutgers College and the College of New Jersey (Princeton), “Princeton is much better known. It is the only college in the country the President of which writes a book a week and thinks nothing of it.”

May 9, 1921—Albert Einstein accepts an honorary Doctor of Science and lectures on his theory of relativity in his native German in McCosh 50. Afterward, Professor E. P. Adams provides an English summary of the talk.

Ticket to lecture on the Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein, May 9, 1921. Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 310, Folder 4.

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