In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the campus mourns the death of John F. Kennedy, the first classes are held in Nassau Hall, and more.
November 25, 1963—In observation of the National Day of Mourning for United States President and (briefly) former Princetonian John F. Kennedy, all classes are canceled and University offices are closed.
November 26, 1787—The Faculty of the College of New Jersey resolve that baseball, being “low and unbecoming gentlemen and students,” and “attended by great danger to the health,” must be prohibited, “inasmuch as there are many amusements both more honorable and more useful.” Baseball continues to be played anyway.
November 28, 1756—With carpenters and others still at work on the building the students attend the first day of classes at Nassau Hall.
November 30, 1770—Philip Vickers Fithian (Class of 1772) writes to his father about his experiences at the College of New Jersey. A standard schedule:
5:00 AM—Rising Bell
5:30 AM—Morning Prayers
9:00 AM-1:00 PM—Recitation
3:00-5:00 PM—Study Hours
5:00 PM—Evening Prayers
9:00 PM—Study Bell (to go to bed before this is “reproachful”)
Students who repeatedly miss morning prayers will receive “public Admonition in the Hall for Contempt of Authority.” Fithian feels the customs of the College are “exceedingly well formed to check & restrain the vicious, & to assist the studious, & to countenance & incourage (sic) the virtuous.” Read this letter and others here.
For last week’s installment in this series, click here.
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