This Week in Princeton History for February 4-10

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, frozen pipes make bathing impossible, the campus celebrates the issuing of a new postage stamp for Chinese New Year, and more.

February 5, 1822—John Maclean, a tutor at the College of New Jersey, catches a student lighting the fuse of a bomb in an entry to Nassau Hall, stomps it out, and saves the building from damage.

February 6, 1919—Russell Conwell, founder of Temple University, gives his infamous “Acres of Diamonds” lecture at Princeton. (The full speech is available online.)

February 8, 1877—Because the gymnasium’s water pipes have frozen, using the campus’s only bathtubs will have to wait until the spring thaw.

Gymnasium at the College of New Jersey (later named Princeton University), ca. 1870s. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP47, Image No. 1544.

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New Year’s Greetings

By Xinxian Cynthia Zheng GS

In the first post in this two-part series about a file of 72 “Chinese New Year cards” I found in the Princeton University Library Records (AC 123), I wrote about the Christmas and New Year’s greetings sent by sent by missionaries and non-profit organizations to Dr. Nancy Lee Swann (1881–1966), one of the first female scholars of Chinese history who served as the curator of Princeton’s East Asian Library between 1931 and 1948. In this post, I will examine how scholars who sent cards to Swann appealed to shared literacy in Chinese historical anecdotes between senders and recipients to strengthen ties among colleagues.

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