This Week in Princeton History for July 15-21

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the rowing crew enters its first intercollegiate regatta, a professor’s connections come in handy, and more.

July 15, 1874—The College of New Jersey enters its first intercollegiate regatta. The freshman crew wins the contest against Brown and Yale.

Ticket to the intercollegiate regatta at Saratoga Lake, July 15-16, 1874. Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 139, Folder 4.

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This Week in Princeton History for January 21-27

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Indiana University’s new song is found to be plagiarized from “The Orange and the Black,” students take the first unproctored final exams, and more.

January 21, 1905—The Princeton Alumni Weekly publishes evidence that Frances Morgan Swain has plagiarized Princeton’s song, “The Orange and the Black,” for Indiana University’s “The Crimson and the White.”

Compare the lyrics to “The Orange and the Black,” as printed in the 1905 edition of the Carmina Princetonia and first copyrighted in 1894 (Princeton Music Collection (AC056), Box 2), to this excerpt from “The Crimson and the White” below:
Although Yale has always favored
The violets dark and blue
And the gentle sons of Harvard
To the crimson rose are true
We will own the modest May flower,
With its colors fair and bright
And pledge our love forever
To the Crimson and the White
Notably, this is not the only such example we’ve seen. Knox College used strikingly similar lyrics in 1902’s “The Purple and the Gold.”

January 23, 2003—Maurice Cohill Jr. ’51 wins a Jefferson Award for his work with the National Center for Juvenile Justice, which he founded.

Maurice Cohill ’51. Photo from the Class of 1951’s 50th reunion book, 2001.

January 24, 1936—A memorial service is held in Princeton University Chapel for King George V of England.

January 26, 1893—At the first exam given under the Honor Code, H. G. Murray observes a change in his classmates: “Upon entering, the difference was at once noticeable and the men instead of taking the back seats as was the custom in those days all rushed to the front of the room. … To my knowledge, this was also the first examination at which men smoked openly and I recall the relief which I experienced from lighting my pipe at that time. The nervous strain was naturally very great but several men handed in papers which they knew could not pass, without the slightest regret.”

This is H. G. Murray’s English Literature exam from January 26, 1893. Historical Subject Files (Ac109), Box 5, Folder 20.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for June 18-24

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, seniors warn underclassmen not to encroach on their singing territory, the School of Science is dedicated, and more.

June 18, 1930—Charles H. Rogers, Curator of the Princeton Museum of Zoology, catches a ride with the crew of a banana ship from New Orleans to Veracruz as the only passenger. He will collect bird and insect specimens on his summer trip through Mexico.

Charles H. Rogers, undated. Historical Photograph Collection, Faculty Photographs Series (AC067), Box FAC81.

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This Week in Princeton History for January 25-31

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a dissertation defense occurs 46 years late, Robert Frost gives a poetry reading, and more.

January 25, 1992—75-year-old professor emeritus Milton Babbitt earns his Ph.D. in musicology 46 years after he initially submitted his dissertation for review, having passed a surprise oral exam. Though viewed as impressive, groundbreaking work, his thesis on the mathematics of the 12-tone system was rejected in 1946 because Princeton University’s Department of Music then only offered a Ph.D. in historical musicology, not theory and composition. At that time, the music faculty deemed his work “unreadable” despite praise from his outside reader in the mathematics department, professor John W. Tukey. Colleagues felt he deserved a second opportunity to complete the degree and resubmitted his dissertation for review without his knowledge.

Babbitt_card_AC105_1

Milton Byron Babbitt’s Princeton University Graduate School scholastic card, Graduate Alumni Records (AC105), Box 50. Note the “degree granted” date in the lower right corner.

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