This Week in Princeton History for September 23-29

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Princetonian complains about a change in staffing, a new kiosk is under construction, and more.

September 24, 1899—Today’s issue of Nature refers to the “Libbey Deep” off the shores of Newfoundland, newly named in honor of physical geography professor William Libbey, Class of 1877.

September 25, 1765—The Board of Trustees orders the buttery to provide bread, butter, candles, and small beer for sale to students, but prohibits sales to students of anything else.

September 26, 1878—The Princetonian complains about a change in staffing: “The men servants who last year did good service in the entries of the various dormitories, and proved such real comfort to the students, have been dismissed, and we are left to have all our work done by a few superannuated Irish women, who are required to do an immense amount of work in so short a time that they necessarily do it in a careless, partial manner, which is worse than absolute neglect.”

September 27, 1988—A new kiosk, designed by Robert Venturi ’47 to better blend in with surrounding architecture, is under construction at Princeton University’s Nassau Street entrance.

Artist’s rendering of Princeton University’s Nassau Street kiosk, found in Handbook of Information for the Administrative Staff, 1971, Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 241, Folder 6.

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 June 17-23

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a gas shortage causes headaches in town, the baseball team begins a tour playing against New England colleges, and more.

June 18, 1882—Marquand Chapel is dedicated.

Marquand Chapel, ca. 1880s. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP29, Image No. 688.

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The Princeton Pullman’s “Filipino Boys”

We’ve previously told you about the Princeton Pullman, a specially-designed railroad car that took faculty and students across North America in the 1920s and 1930s to collect geological specimens and fossils. Today, we’d like to highlight one aspect of these journeys: the Filipino staff who attended to the practical needs of the travelers, one of whom had an impact far exceeding his apparent official role as head chef.

Staff in front of the Princeton Pullman, 1926. Department of Geosciences Records (AC139), Box 39.

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“Studying Is Fine, but Living Has Been Another Problem”: Mary Procter *71 and Coeducation at Princeton

Earlier this year, I began telling the story of the female graduate students who paved the way for undergraduate coeducation at Princeton University starting in 1961. This blog continues that story with a focus on Mary Procter *71 (often misspelled as Mary Proctor *71) and her unusually influential role while a Princeton graduate student.

Procter got then-Provost William Bowen’s attention with a 1968 letter to the Daily Princetonian that took campus men to task for their treatment of the few undergraduate women who were in Princeton classrooms at the time as exchange students in the Critical Languages Program. Procter made vague reference to the fact that the band had referred to these women as “cunning linguists” and made other crude jokes about them during the halftime show at the Princeton-Harvard game. Anonymously signing her letter as simply “Female Graduate Student,” Procter had written, “I had always thought that men’s universities produced men, lusty and bawdy if you will, but not sniggering sickly creatures, obsessed with double meanings which suggest that they are not interested in girls so much as lollipops or bits of mashed potato.” Procter later said she wrote in to the Prince because she was “furious” and felt “Princeton does not deserve to be coed.”

Jackie Johnson *70, Katie Marshall *69, and Mary Procter *71. Photo from the Princeton Alumni Weekly, May 13, 1969.

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This Week in Princeton History for January 23-29

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a drawing is held for room assignments in a new dorm, the basketball team plays its first game ever, and more.

January 23, 1767—Jonathan Baldwin secures an affidavit from Job Stockton to defend himself against accusations that he has defrauded the College of New Jersey of about 30 pounds of mutton. “Tho’ I have been employed ten years in buying and providing for the college, this is the first instance, in which I have been charged with this surprising facility, in being imposed upon in my bargains,” Baldwin writes.

January 24, 1898—Students participate in a drawing to secure lodging in the newly-built Blair Hall. Rents range from $200-$300 per year including meals.

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Blair Hall, ca. 1897. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP04, Image No. 69.

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African Americans and Princeton University

Dear Mr. Mudd:

Q. What information do you have about African Americans and Princeton University?

A. Until the twentieth century, Princeton’s history has mostly been dominated by white men, typically from prosperous backgrounds. Though decidedly pro-Union during the Civil War, the campus had strong Southern influences, and its reputation as the “northernmost university town of the [segregated] south” was not undeserved. Yet that is not to say that Princeton’s story can only be told in terms of its loudest voices. Here, we give a brief overview of some of the ways African Americans fit into Princeton’s past.

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Princeton University cheerleaders Holland Gary ’97 and Tiffany O’Brien ’97, 1995. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box SP9, Image No. 2484.

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