This Week in Princeton History for October 25-31

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, a visitor is shocked by students expressing political views, faculty deny a petition to begin a college newspaper, and more.

October 25, 1797—In Newark’s Centinel of Freedom, an anonymous writer expresses shock and dismay at observed behavior of students in Princeton. “From students at college we expect a knowledge of the arts and sciences, and we do not expect to see school-boys mount the tribune, and declaim upon political topics. In attending such an exhibition, one does not know whether most to condemn the puerility of the composition, or ranting tone with which they are delivered.”

October 26, 1859—A member of the Class of 1802 reflects on his first classroom experience in college, saying that after it was over one of his classmates immediately “declared he could not get through that in a week, and home he would go although he knew his father would flog him,” took his trunk to the stagecoach office, and was never seen again.

October 28, 1873—Faculty deny students’ petition to start a new campus paper, “in view of the evils that have heretofore arisen in connection with the publication of a College newspaper…”

Princeton’s short-lived College World, begun in March 1871, was one of several controversial campus newspapers that preceded the Princetonian. There were ultimately only 10 issues ever published. Faculty were probably referring to the conflicts that arose between Whig and Clio Hall memberships over the paper in refusing to grant students’ petition to start a new publication.

October 29, 1979—Eleven students are arrested at the New York Stock Exchange with other protesters. The demonstrators chose the 50th anniversary of the Great Crash of 1929 to protest corporate investments in the nuclear industry.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for March 11-17

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Jacob Riis lectures on campus, four Princetonians are being held in the same German prison camp, and more.

March 12, 1925—The Jewish Student Congregation of Princeton University begins hosting a series of weekly lectures on aspects of Jewish history and religion. All are welcome to attend.

March 13, 1902—Jacob Riis, best known as the author of How the Other Half Lives, gives a lecture in Alexander Hall illustrated with stereopticon views of slums in New York.

March 15, 1871—The first issue of Princeton’s College World (precursor to the Princetonian) appears.

The first issue of Princeton’s College World, March 15, 1871.(Click to enlarge.) Princeton University Publications Collection (AC364), Box 36. College World was short-lived. The Princetonian explained in 1885: “It was doomed to an early grave, however, as its managing editors, both Whigs, unfortunately touched on Hall matters in a way unsatisfactory to Clio and to avoid trouble the College World was discontinued. ”

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