This Week in Princeton History for May 16-22

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, the administration bans automobiles on campus, a student writes to a friend to say being admitted to Princeton has not improved him, and more.

May 18, 1925—In response to student complaints, starting today, private automobiles, motorcycles, and carriages will no longer be permitted on Princeton’s campus, except if needed for business purposes. Students have expressed concerns about the way these vehicles tear up the grass and make it too noisy to study.

Three students with a car on campus, ca. 1920s. Historical Photograph Collection (AC112), Box SP14, Item No. 3412.

May 19, 1951—In observance of Armed Forces Day, local shops include military exhibits in their window displays.

May 20, 1877—James McCosh permits students to experiment with a “camp prayer-meeting,” holding the usual prayer service outdoors instead of indoors.

May 21, 1782—Ashbel Green writes to a friend, “I can assure you that I am not one inch taller, nor, that I know of, one whit the better for my admittance to Nassau Hall.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for March 14-20

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, students organize a Glee Club, betting on football makes the news, and more.

March 16, 1866—Students join with the community to observe a day of fasting, prayer, and confession. All business and schools are closed, and farmers have come in for miles to join in the services held at the First Church. In announcing the fast day, the Princeton Standard explained the intent: “It is hoped that the revival of religion in the College may be extended to the people of the town.”

March 17, 1885—Internationally acclaimed singer Emma Cecilia Thursby performs in University Hall. The Daily Princetonian will pronounce the concert “one of the best treats of the season.”

March 18, 1874—Noting that “the lack of one has been seriously felt during the past few years,” a group of students organize a Glee Club.

Program from Princeton College Glee Club concert, June 26, 1875. Music Performance at Princeton Collection (AC205), Box 3.

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This Week in Princeton History for February 14-20

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, Paul Pry insults New Jersey, student journalists interview the “sphinx of Watergate,” and more.

February 14, 1835—Anne Royall’s Paul Pry takes Princeton to task for attempting to raise $100,000 in support of expanding its influence into the American west and abroad: “These men cannot and dare not say this College is intended to disseminate knowledge—if so, why have they not improved the people of their own State?—they being decidedly the most ignorant people in the Union, excepting one. … Let those hypocrites deny if they dare, that the ignorance of the people of New Jersey is proverbial.” Royall believes Princeton is plotting to destroy Catholics.

February 17, 1981—G. Gordon Liddy (the “sphinx of Watergate”) tells three student reporters with the Daily Princetonian that killing people is not necessarily immoral, and explains the plans he had to kill journalist Jack Anderson. He still believes this would have been justifiable.

G. Gordon Liddy. Photo from Daily Princetonian.

February 18, 1911—The Princetonian complains of inadequate walking paths for pedestrians on campus, asserting, “Another spot on the lower campus which now makes an excellent habitat for mud turtles is between Dod and Edwards.” They suggest the construction of boardwalks.

February 19, 1930—Theodore Whitefield Hunt, Class of 1865, celebrates his 86th birthday. “I am beginning to feel a little old,” he says.

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.