This Week in Princeton History for March 16-22

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the town is raising money to pay for sprinkling the streets, Robert Goheen defends free speech on campus, and more.

March 18, 1991—On today’s episode of Sally Jesse Raphael, the Princeton University band surprises Brooke Shields ’87 with a rendition of “Cannon.”

March 19, 1886—The Princetonian reports on a fundraising effort in town to pay for sprinkling the streets.

Nassau Street, Princeton, New Jersey, 1881. Historical Photograph Collection (AC111), Box AD05, Image No. 8619. Sprinkling streets was a way of controlling dust in dry weather.

March 20, 1819—Erkuries Beatty writes to James Hunter Ewing, Class of 1818, to ask for help tracking down a runaway slave named Joseph, age 20.

March 21, 1972—Princeton University president Robert Goheen weighs in on the controversy surrounding R. J. Herrnstein backing out of an invitation to lecture on his research on the intelligence of pigeons (which has led to Herrnstein proposing a theory that racial disparities in IQ testing are based on genetic differences) because Princeton would not ban protesters from attending. In a letter to Herrnstein, Goheen says, “We do not here believe that academicians any more than anyone else have a right to claim total immunity to minor heckling (including placards).”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

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.

Continue reading