This Week in Princeton History for April 11-17

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, Shirley Chisholm speaks on campus, a lantern slide show is well-received, and more.

April 11, 1930—Theatre Intime teams up with the Varsity Club of Bryn Mawr to present “The Constant Nymph.”

April 14, 1972—Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to serve in the U.S. Congress and who is campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president, speaks at the Sickle Cell Cultural Festival sponsored by Princeton’s Association for Black Collegians. Chisholm says to the crowd in McCosh 50, “It may take a little Black woman to guide the ship of state for another four years.”

April 16, 1898—Lantern slides of Princeton’s campus are shown at Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey, where they are reportedly “enthusiastically received.”

Lantern slide of Princeton University’s School of Science, ca. 1890s. Lantern Slide Collection (AC378), Box 1.

April 17, 1995—Tom Grant ‘64 is quoted in the Daily Princetonian on being a gay student in the 1960s: “[I] had thoughts that were troublesome enough to motivate me to seek professional guidance, [but]…it was such a social impossibility to be openly gay that I was happy to be told ‘don’t worry about it’ (by the psychologist).”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for April 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 Board of Trustees bans dueling, the contract for construction of the infirmary is awarded, and more.

April 8, 1917—James Barnes of the Class of 1891 outlines a proposal for privately financing an aviation school to Princeton University’s Committee on Military Instruction.

April 10, 1799—In response to a faculty report about a growing trend of students engaging in duels with one another, the Board of Trustees establishes a new policy. They declare any student caught dueling or attempting to duel be subject to immediate expulsion, promising that they “will never fail to match every instance of this crime with the highest expression of their detestation and abhorrence and to subject the perpetrators to that just and pointed infamy which their aggravated guilt demands.”

The expulsion of Alfred Powell of the Class of 1799, pictured above, seems to have been the primary inspiration for the Board of Trustees imposing the penalty of expulsion for dueling. Powell, unlike other students involved, was unapologetic about challenging his peers to duels. Image from Undergraduate Alumni Records 1748-1920 (AC104).

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