This Week in Princeton History for May 30-June 5

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a conference defends the study of classics for all students regardless of major, a nineteenth-century alum envisions 2015 New York in a dystopian science fiction novel, and more.

June 1, 1761—The Board of Trustees vote to ban ball-playing against the College of New Jersey (Princeton) president’s house: “The Trustees having on their own view been made sensible of the Damages done to the President’s House by the Students playing at Ball against it, do hereby strictly forbid all & every of the Students, the Officers & all other Persons belonging to the College playing at Ball against the President’s House, under the Penalty of Five Shillings for every Offence to be levied on each Person who shall offend in the Premises.”

June 2, 1917—Academics, college administrators, business tycoons, politicians, and the general public gather at a “Classical Conference” at Princeton University to discuss the future of American education and defend traditional instruction in classics for all students regardless of their specializations or future careers.

Classical_Conference_AC112_Box_MP17_Image_435

Some notable attendees at the Princeton University’s “Classical Conference” pose for a photograph on June 2, 1917. Left to right: Princeton University president John Grier Hibben, Corinne Roosevelt Robinson (sister of Theodore Roosevelt), Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jenny Davidson Hibben (wife of John Grier Hibben), Andrew F. West (Princeton University dean of the Graduate School), Lawrence Eugene Sexton (a Harvard University overseer), Douglas Robinson (husband of Corinne Roosevelt Robinson), Allan Chester Johnson (Princeton University professor of classics), an unknown visitor, and Dr. Lewellys F. Barker (Physician-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins University and former President of the American Neurological Association). Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box MP17, Image No. 435.

Continue reading