This Week in Princeton History for April 4-10

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, students receive word that the U.S. president has died, a faculty member applies for admission as an undergraduate, and more.

April 5, 1841—Local residents receive word that United States President William Henry Harrison has died. In accordance with their usual custom, students will wear mourning badges for 30 days.

April 7, 1886—A bulletin posted on Nassau Street reads, “No base-ball game to-day. Humidity prevents.”

April 8, 1970—Helena Novakova, a visiting lecturer in Slavic languages and literatures who has already taught two courses, fills out a transfer application in the registrar’s office. She will be accepted as a junior Russian major in the Class of 1972, which will enable her to renew her visa and stay in the United States. It remains unsafe to return to Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion.

Helena Novakova ’72 with tennis coach Eve Craft, ca. 1972. As a Princeton University undergraduate, Novakova was captain of the undefeated women’s tennis team. Undergraduate Alumni Records (AC199).

April 10, 1912—Beginning with today’s game with Lehigh, at athletic events on campus the Bureau of Self-Help will sell new score cards that they have published. The 5-cent sales will be used to help the members of the Bureau pay their educational expenses.

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 April 12-18

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, women’s tennis plays its first game, violence breaks out over fashion, and more.

April 12, 1971—Women’s tennis plays its first game, defeating Penn 5-to-1.

Photos of women playing tennis from Princeton University’s 1971 Bric-a-Brac.

April 14, 1947—As the New Jersey telephone workers strike enters its second week, picketers are seen in town with signs reading “Neither Ma Bell or Pa Driscoll can enslave us.” Although the University switchboard operators are not involved, because they are employees of Princeton University rather than the telephone company, this does mean that no calls can be made to anyone off campus except in cases of emergency.

April 16, 1931—The Undergraduate Council unanimously condemns some students who have been seen wearing denim overalls, because they look too much like beer suits. “Yesterday’s spectacle of a few Juniors and a few Freshmen wearing light blue and dark blue overalls respectively…constituted an attempt to break down a privileged tradition of many years standing which belonged exclusively to the Senior Class.” Some of the underclassmen have also bought matching denim jackets. The store that sold the clothes to the students has been threatened, but owners vow to sell overalls and jackets to whomever they like in spite of the threats. Violence has broken out on campus, with seniors attacking underclassmen wearing denim on Prospect Street. The juniors are calling their outfits “Applejackets.”

This ad, which appeared in the April 16, 1931 issue of the Daily Princetonian, suggests how seriously the owners of the store that sold denim overalls to underclassmen took the threats they’d received from members of the Class of 1931.

April 17, 2001—Princeton president Harold Shapiro urges Chinese president Jiang Zemin to release Shaomin Li *88. Li was detained by Chinese security forces on February 25 and has not yet been charged with a crime.

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.