This Week in Princeton History for August 30-September 5

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, a professor finds a forgotten treasure trove of microfilm, a member of the Class of 1895 gives the Princeton University Library a collection of significant signatures, and more.

August 30, 1867—The Princeton Standard reports that the College now has 252 students, which is the highest enrollment has been since 1861.

August 31, 1989—Richard Challener, a history professor, finds 188 forgotten microfilm reels in a vault. The reels were deposited for safekeeping by the Secret Service in the early 1960s and contain materials related to John Foster Dulles’s tenure as Secretary of State. The reels will have to be reviewed to determine if they can be declassified, a process that will ultimately take a decade to complete.

September 1, 1943—The Princeton Bulletin announces that John W. Garrett (Class of 1895) has bequeathed his collection of autographs from 36 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence to the Princeton University Library.

Signature of Thomas Lynch, Jr. Signers of the Declaration of Independence Collection (C0197), Box 1, Folder 19.

September 4, 1854—At the meeting of Princeton’s Common Council, J. C. Burke announces that a new lamp has been installed at the corner of Nassau and Witherspoon Streets, but several of the town lamps have the glass broken out of them and need to be repaired.

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 July 6-12

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the rowing crew makes it to the top, a senior makes a major fossil discovery, and more.

July 8, 1956—Princeton’s Crew beats England’s Royal Air Force in the final round of the international Thames Cup race, earning Princeton the designation of the best lightweight rowing crew in the world.


Princeton competes in the Thames Cup race, July 1956. Princeton University Rowing Collection (AC223), Box 1.

July 9, 1776—The Declaration of Independence is read in Nassau Hall.

July 11, 1992—Princeton staffer Robert Lafond of Computing and Information Technology (now the Office of Information Technology/OIT) begins his seventh eight-day bike ride of 500 miles across five states to raise money for a shelter for abused children.

July 12, 1979—Princeton senior Fran A. Tannenbaum ’80 discovers fossilized dinosaur eggs on a paleontology expedition in Montana. They are the first nest of whole dinosaur eggs ever found in North America.


John R. “Jack” Horner, a geology department research assistant who led Princeton’s 1979 paleontology expedition in Montana, shows off the dinosaur eggs Fran A. Tannenbaum ’80 discovered. Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 145.

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.