This Week in Princeton History for May 1-7

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a plot against campus squirrels is uncovered, food services workers strike, and more.

May 1, 1871—Vassar College professor of elocution Minnie C. Swayze gives a lecture entitled “Women’s Abilities” to Princeton students in Albert S. Cook’s Hall on Chambers Street. She argues that women are equal to men. Princeton’s College World reports: “Though not ultra, her position is firm in maintaining woman’s intellectual equality with men, and in demanding for her sex equal, social and political privileges. … We prophesy for her a brilliant career.”

May 4, 1957—A Daily Princetonian investigation reveals that the mysterious deaths of dozens of campus squirrels can be traced to a group of students who have been killing them to stuff and sell to other students at women’s colleges.

May 5, 2001—Shirley Tilghman is named the 19th president of Princeton University. She is the first woman to fill this role.

Shirley Tilghman at her installation as president of Princeton University, 2001. Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 197.

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