This Week in Princeton History for November 11-17

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Princetonian suggests students start making their own beds on Sundays, a new highway cuts Nassau Street’s traffic in half, and more.

November 12, 1941—Noting that the staff is not being paid well and will not be given any raises while the University is operating at a loss, the Princetonian suggests students start making their own beds on Sundays so the janitors can begin to have one full day off per week.

Fritz (no last name recorded), a janitor in Laughlin Hall, 1931. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series (AC067), Box 1. According to mid-20th century policies, janitors worked seven days per week and were required to turn out the lights in dormitories every night and make the beds every morning. They had a standard work week of 57 hours. In the 1930s, students began debating the fairness of making their own beds. Janitors unionized in 1942, demanding higher pay and fewer hours, including one full day off per week.

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