This Week in Princeton History for January 30-February 5

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, students send egg rolls to a celebrity, an agricultural program is proposed, and more.

January 30, 1898—Princeton president Francis Patton urges students to join the Temperance Movement and accept college rules against drinking, even if their own consciences would permit them to drink.

I should be exceedingly sorry if the professional career of any one of you were blighted by habits contracted here. I should be sorry to see you start in the great race of life under the handicap of ill repute.

February 3, 1983—In honor of the first anniversary of The Late Show with David Letterman, the student staff of Princeton’s Tiger sends him 100 egg rolls.

Yes, David, here they are! 100 egg rolls to hail your landmark anniversary--100 because this is our centennial year; egg rolls because of our fond memories of the unforgettable human state vs. Szechuan U. delivery race and to express our sincere hope that you, Paul, the band, and the whole crew will just keep rolling along. With clapping paws and a great roar, HAPPY FIRST! From the Princeton Tiger Magazine.

Letter from Princeton Tiger staff to David Letterman, February 3, 1983. Princeton University Publications Collection (AC364), Box 9.

February 4, 1920—This week, Princetonians will consume 10 barrels of white flour, more than 6,000  pounds of meat, 42 barrels of potatoes, 4,500 quarts of milk, and 2,600 shredded wheat biscuits at a cost of $900 per day (approximately $13,500 in 2023 currency) in University dining halls.

February 5, 1864—A letter to the editor of the Princeton Standard argues in favor of Princeton establishing a program for the study of agriculture, noting its ideal location among extensive farmland.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for October 11-17

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, an alum makes an influential argument in favor of segregation, a controversial article about Jimmy Stewart ’32 appears, and more.

October 13, 1958—Carleton B. Putnam ’24 writes his infamous “Putnam Letter” to Dwight D. Eisenhower. He argues that segregation is so important that it must be preserved, even if a constitutional amendment is necessary, on the basis that people of African descent are inferior and Southern whites should have the right not to have to associate with them.

October 14, 1948—A controversial profile of Jimmy Stewart ’32 appears in Tiger Magazine. Its authors assert that Stewart is washed up and lacks social skills.

Jimmy Stewart ’32 in Tiger Magazine, October 14, 1948.

October 16, 1997—Blair Hall appears in an ad for AT&T in the New York Times promoting the use of wireless office phones.

October 17, 1875—The campus community attends the funeral of LaForest Dutton, Class of 1879, in the College Chapel, then follows the procession to the students’ lot in Princeton Cemetery for his burial. The Whig Society will wear mourning clothes for 30 days.

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 March 5-11

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, more than 150 people show up at a forum on sexual harassment, a Native American faculty member and an undergraduate support the occupation of Wounded Knee, and more.

March 5, 1987—The Women’s Center sponsors a forum to discuss an incident in which a male student physically attacked a female student at an eating club, following which both faced disciplinary action. The Discipline Committee gave her a warning for behavior that was deemed “hostile, unfriendly and provocative” and put her attacker on probation. Tensions remain high on campus as many feel this approach fails to address sexual harassment properly. More than 150 people show up, setting a record for the highest attendance ever at a forum of this kind.

March 7, 1882—Large posters mysteriously appear on campus reading “It will be let loose this Evening after Chapel. Admission, 25 cents.” Students and faculty alike are baffled until Tiger Magazine’s first issue comes out this evening.

The first issue of Princeton’s Tiger magazine, March 7, 1882.

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