This Week in Princeton History for November 21-27

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, an unusual Thanksgiving storm brings heavy snow to the area, a Scottish newspaper remarks on the racial composition of the town, and more.

November 22, 1967—Joshua Rifkin *70 is at work on two projects: a thesis on an early 16th-century Flemish manuscript, and arranging and conducting the album “Wildflowers” for singer Judy Collins, with whom he has recently also worked on the album “In My Life.”

November 24, 1938—An unusual early snowstorm brings nearly 9 inches of snow to Princeton—more than the entire annual snowfall during the previous winter—beginning around the time most locals are beginning to eat Thanksgiving dinner.

November 25, 1985—James Currier ’89 laments a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision that Princeton’s eating clubs are not legally permitted to bar women from admission.

Women at Princeton who might want to join the all-male eating clubs do so because they like them better than the other clubs—these clubs have something that the girls would consider special. But having girls in the clubs will change them; they will lose this ‘something special.’ The women can’t be a part of the clubs now, obviously, because they’re all-male; but by joining they would change the essence of the all-male clubs, and they…wouldn’t be a part of what is special. So why ruin [them] for the guys?

November 26, 1877—An article in The Scotsman describes Princeton: “The township is small, containing some 3000 inhabitants, a considerable proportion of whom are black, externally.”

Unidentified residents of Princeton photographed by William Roe Howell, 1869. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP75, Image No. 3005.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for January 17-23

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, heavy snow holds up the mail, the McCosh family host a party for students, and more.

January 17, 1995—Paul Muldoon, director of the Creative Writing Program, wins the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.

January 18, 1796—Israel Crane (Class of 1797) complains to the faculty that “Mr. Harvey of the same class” “laid a nuisance at his door last Saturday night.” The faculty agree to investigate.

January 19, 1836—The Boston Traveler reports that it took 10 horses and 10 men four hours to get from Kingston to Princeton to deliver the mail (about 3 miles) because of the heavy snow.

January 23, 1879—Isabella and James McCosh have the senior class over to their new house. Local women, as well as some from out of town, assist with hosting the reception. The students are especially impressed with the mansion’s library.

Home of Isabella and James McCosh, ca. 1880s. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC111), Box SP05, Image 1240.

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 February 3-9

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the last winter Commencement is held, a woman successfully bickers an Eating Club for the first time, and more.

February 3, 1949—Princeton holds its sixth and last winter Commencement, presenting 274 degrees. Frank Osborn, Class of 1910, tells the assembled graduates, “we are forced to realize that the world is a dangerous place to live in. That’s a new idea for my generation. We don’t like it.”

Frank Osborn with Harold Dodds at Princeton University’s Feburary 2, 1949 Winter Commencement. Photo from Princeton Alumni Weekly, March 19, 1949. Osborn’s speech can be found in the Princeton University Commencement Records (AC115).

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This Week in Princeton History for December 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 shipment of coal mitigates a fuel shortage, the Triangle Club performs for Eleanor Roosevelt, and more.

December 17, 1917—A new shipment of coal just after the last bit available ran out means there will be enough fuel on hand to last the winter, bringing relief to concerned Princetonians. Measures will still need to be taken to preserve it.

Clipping from the Daily Princetonian, December 19, 1917.

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