In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Liberty Bell is in town, the first woman earns a Princeton degree, and more.
June 13, 1878—A member of the Class of 1878 writes that he is disappointed by the College of New Jersey (Princeton)’s invitation to U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes to speak at Commencement, saying his appearance would dishonor the graduates and Commencement would be “made subservient to outsiders.” It is ultimately a moot point; Hayes declines the invitation.
College of New Jersey (Princeton) Commencement Program, 1878. Princeton University Commencement Records (AC115), Box 2, Folder 18.
Journalists and pundits are noting that Elena Kagan’s
confirmation to the Supreme Court last week marks the first time three women have served concurrently on
the high court. However, Kagan’s confirmation marks another historic
occasion — the first time in 168 years that three Princetonians have shared
While 2010’s trio consists of Samuel Alito ‘ 72, Sonia
Sotomayor ’76, and Elena Kagan ’81, the 1842 trio consisted of Smith Thompson
‘1788, Peter V. Daniel ‘1805, and James Moore Wayne ‘1808.
‘1788 (Undergraduate Alumni Records), Daniel ‘1805 (Dickinson University’s House Divided Project), and Wayne ‘1808 (Library of Congress).