This Week in Princeton History for July 5-11

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, staffing levels force the U-Store to close for one hour each day, the CIA notes payments have been sent to researchers involved in secret experiments, and more.

July 5, 1945—Due to “depleted staff,” the Princeton University Store will close for lunch from 1:00-2:00PM daily beginning on this date through September 10th.

Clipping from the Princeton Bulletin.

July 6, 1936—The Princeton Township Committee discusses the challenges they face as those employed at Princeton University’s eating clubs and other academic-year-only positions will require public aid to meet expenses “due to summer lay offs.”

July 7, 1922—Eva and Edward McEwen, who work at Dial Lodge and Cap and Gown Club, respectively, welcome the birth of their daughter, Eva Felica McEwen, who will later serve Princetonians at Rockefeller College and will tell students stories about the desegregation of all of the town’s educational institutions. “I can remember working for professors (at their homes) when I was only in high school who said they didn’t want ‘different ones’ there. … They knew they didn’t want Afro-Americans, they did not want Jewish people. I knew this because they told me. And I couldn’t understand that.”

July 9, 1958–As part of project MKULTRA, which is conducting secret experiments with LSD at 86 American colleges, the CIA notes it has made payments of more than $3,000 to two Princetonians through “an unwitting consultant” at Princeton University.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for June 4-10

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, ABC features the campus in a documentary about gay activism, a train passes through advertising the benefits of living in Florida, and more.

June 7, 1977—A discussion between gay activists and Princeton students is featured in a documentary on ABC.

June 8, 1990—DeNunzio Pool is set to be dedicated, but does not open on schedule. It will open in September 1990.

June 9, 1890—“Florida on Wheels,” a special train car, demonstrates what life in Florida might have to offer to Princeton residents.

Advertisement from Daily Princetonian.

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This Week in Princeton History for May 11-17

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Charles Lindbergh sneaks through campus, baseball makes its television debut, and more.

May 12, 1999—The Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Princeton University hold a memorial service in Firestone Plaza for three Chinese journalists killed in a NATO bombing on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.


Photo from the Daily Princetonian.

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The Challenge

This Reel Mudd highlights a 1955 television pilot known as The Challenge. Intended to be the start of a weekly series highlighting controversial social issues, this episode was co-produced by the Fund for the Republic and noted TV producer Worthington Miner. This pilot shows the story of a school bus driver who is fired from his job and brought before the school board to justify his refusal to sign a loyalty oath.

The program’s co-producer, the Fund for the Republic, was an organization spun-off from the Ford Foundation. The Fund issued grants, commissioned studies, and created original works seeking to explore social issues such as racial discrimination, blacklisting, academic freedom, and the legality and effectiveness of loyalty oaths. As part of these activities, the Fund created a variety of documentaries and shorts for radio and television aimed at helping educate the American public about these issues.

The Challenge’s exploration of loyalty oaths mirrors the arguments raised in Fund for the Republic studies of the issue. It questions whether loyalty oaths were effective in their efforts to prevent Communists from subverting American institutions, whether they were constitutional, and if they led to additional rights or ethics violations.

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