This Week in Princeton History for September 6-12

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, the alum who chose Princeton’s colors passes away, a local quarantine is in place, and more.

September 6, 1927—William Libbey, Class of 1877, who was responsible for choosing orange and black as Princeton’s colors, was the first person to earn a doctorate from Princeton (in 1879), and taught geography at Princeton for 41 years, dies at the age of 72 after a long and surprisingly diverse career. In the world at large, he will also be remembered for winning a silver medal in the 1912 Olympics, serving in the Army during World War I, and serving a term as president of the National Rifle Association.

William Libbey, ca. 1880s. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series (AC067).

September 7, 1900—Due to a local outbreak of diphtheria, some residents of Princeton are in quarantine.

September 8, 1830—At the meeting of the Nassau Hall Temperance Society, a professor in the process of compiling an alumni directory said that “he had been astounded, and most deeply pained to find the ravages which intemperance had in a few years made among the graduates of the institution. In some instances, as many as one-fourth of large classes had fallen sacrifices to the devouring monster, and some of them under the most afflictive and heart-rending circumstances.”

September 10, 1792—Four students found to have played cards on the Sabbath are disciplined. They must confess their actions to the whole student body, return property won during the game, and “solemnly promise never to do the like again while at College.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for March 22-28

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the temperance movement finds support, A Beautiful Mind begins filming on campus, and more.

March 23, 1843—Princetonians are collecting data about the Great Comet passing by.

March 24, 1830—The Boston Recorder reports that a Temperance Society “on the plan of entire abstinence has been recently formed by the students of Nassau Hall, the majority of whom have attached themselves to it. One or two young gentlemen who had been in the habit of a pretty free use of ardent spirits, were among the first to attach their names to the constitution.”

March 25, 1986—The Korean Students Association meets with faculty in the East Asian Studies department to discuss a proposal to reinstate Korean language studies at Princeton. Korean classes have not been available to students since the 1960s.

March 27, 2001—A Beautiful Mind begins filming at Princeton University.

Russell Crowe and Ron Howard talk on the set of A Beautiful Mind, 2001. Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 198.

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.