This Week in Princeton History for September 5-11

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, the arrival of undergraduate women draws attention, a recent graduate reflects on the contrast between life as a student and life on a war’s front lines, and more.

September 6, 1969—Amid media fanfare and besieged by unsolicited attention from their male peers, undergraduate women arrive on campus.

Clay Fowler ‘72 helping his sister, Dee Dee Fowler ‘73, move in to her new dorm in September 1969. Dee Dee was one of the women who arrived during the first year Princeton University admitted female undergraduate degree candidates. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112).

September 8, 1875—Reflecting on the time he has spent in America, Princeton’s president, James McCosh, tells students, “Physiologists tell us that in seven years every particle of matter in the body is renewed. Now I have been seven years in this place, and I feel as if I had become thoroughly an American. During these seven years I have become identified out and out with Princeton College.”

September 9, 1917—Robert Lee Nourse, Jr., Class of 1917, writes to his parents from “The Front” in France.

And only four months ago I was living the idle, dreamy life of the student…During these four months I have lived two lives; I have experienced many times the content of the other twenty-one years. … I have found that in the ideals, the life and death of this great War, that which I had thought gone—has come to life in an almost unreal intensity, an intensity that must dim the “far off things.”

September 10, 1761—The planned drawing for the College of New Jersey Lottery to support Princeton does not take place today, because, as the Pennsylvania Gazette will report, the managers have “many of their Tickets in distant places,” and “are forced to postpone…”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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This Week in Princeton History for July 12-18

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, two juniors evacuate their summer program abroad when war breaks out, word is spreading about a ban on secret societies, and more.

July 13, 1895—Native Americans are rumored to have raided a party of Princeton students on a scientific expedition in the American west, but this will later prove false.

July 16, 2006—After days of uncertainty, Callie Lefevre ’09 and Emily Norris ’09 flee Beirut for Cyprus following the outbreak of war between Lebanon and Israel. “I felt like a first-class citizen on the Titanic,” Lefevre will later reflect.

Callie Lefevre ’09 reunites with her mother at Newark Airport, 2006. Clipping from the Daily Princetonian.

July 17, 1930—A bronze memorial tablet is dedicated in Pershing Hall in Paris, the first such memorial to be placed there. It contains the names of the Princeton alumni who died in World War I.

July 18, 1855—Virginia’s Alexandria Gazette reports that Princeton has banned secret societies and students will be required to sign a pledge not to join one. Any student found to be in a secret society will be promptly dismissed.

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 November 9-15

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a graduate student gets help from the FBI to track down stolen microscopic slides, the YWCA opens a Hostess House for Navy officers in training, and more.

Couple at Princeton, ca. 1950. Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 1, Folder 2.

November 9, 1959—A graduate student has gotten the help of the FBI and is offering a $100 reward to anyone with information that leads to the discovery of his 500 stolen microscopic slides, which represent 3 years of research.

November 11, 1949—Princeton’s debate team loses to Yale on the question of whether women should commit suicide to avoid premarital sex or rape. Princeton argues that they should. Yale’s winning dissent focuses on how men will suffer if women die to avoid “dishonor.” “Dishonor can be fun. … Princeton’s theory can only result in mass feminine suicide. Shall we deprive the world of a ravishing woman simply because she is in danger of being ravished?”

November 12, 1928—Wallace M. Sinclair, Class of 1904, survives the sinking of the SS Vestris off the coast of Virginia, which kills more than 100 people.

November 13, 1918—The Princeton Girls Patriotic League (later the YWCA) opens a Hostess House in Quadrangle Club for the men training to be Navy paymasters who are living at the Graduate College.

Princeton’s Girls Patriotic League is visible behind the women of the New Jersey Red Cross in this parade down Nassau Street to raise money for the Liberty Loan Fund in 1918. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box AD05, Image No. 8646.

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 13-19

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Princetonian takes over the function of the Bulletin Elm, the baseball team plays its first game, and more.

April 15, 1975—Two students receive a letter offering admission to Princeton in error on or about this day. Though the students were supposed to be rejected, Princeton will honor the acceptance if they choose to attend.

April 17, 1885—The Princetonian announces that it will begin assuming the function of the Bulletin Elm because the tree is dying.

Bulletin Elm, ca. 1885. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP07, Image No. 159.

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This Week in Princeton History for December 16-22

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, New Jersey’s governor pardons the marching band’s drum major, Jimmy Stewart’s singing gets positive reviews, and more.

December 16, 1981—Drum Major Stephen Teager ’82 will not appear in Princeton Municipal Court today as planned, thanks to an 11th-hour pardon by Gov. Brendan T. Byrne ’49. Teager would have faced charges of parading without a permit for causing congestion on Witherspoon Street when he led the marching band in a victory parade on November 23. “There’s no question I was guilty,” Teager says. The penalties could have earned Teager a fine of $1,100 and a jail sentence of up to 210 days.

Editorial cartoon depicting the arrest of Stephen Teager ’82, Princeton Alumni Weekly ,December 14, 1981.

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This Week in Princeton History for December 9-15

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a typing class is starting, reform-minded undergraduates organize, and more.

December 9, 1958—Registration is underway for an undergraduate typing course. For six dollars, students will learn how to type about 20-30 words per minute.

A variety of options were available to students who wanted to hire typists. This was one of several ads for typing services that ran in the Daily Princetonian in 1958.

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This Week in Princeton History for April 22-28

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Earth Day is observed for the first time, professors hold a rummage sale to raise money for the ambulance corps in France, and more.

April 22, 1970—Princeton Ecology Action leads the University’s first celebration of Earth Day.

Princeton Ecology Action’s 1970 Earth Day program. Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 26.

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This Week in Princeton History for April 8-14

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Board of Trustees bans dueling, the contract for construction of the infirmary is awarded, and more.

April 8, 1917—James Barnes of the Class of 1891 outlines a proposal for privately financing an aviation school to Princeton University’s Committee on Military Instruction.

April 10, 1799—In response to a faculty report about a growing trend of students engaging in duels with one another, the Board of Trustees establishes a new policy. They declare any student caught dueling or attempting to duel be subject to immediate expulsion, promising that they “will never fail to match every instance of this crime with the highest expression of their detestation and abhorrence and to subject the perpetrators to that just and pointed infamy which their aggravated guilt demands.”

The expulsion of Alfred Powell of the Class of 1799, pictured above, seems to have been the primary inspiration for the Board of Trustees imposing the penalty of expulsion for dueling. Powell, unlike other students involved, was unapologetic about challenging his peers to duels. Image from Undergraduate Alumni Records 1748-1920 (AC104).

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This Week in Princeton History for February 25-March 3

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Graduate College remains in control of the U.S. Navy following the end of World War I, the local pastors association prays for their colleagues involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and more.

February 27, 1981—Three students who won election to Undergraduate Student Government as members of the joke group “Antarctica Liberation Front” on a platform of “jihad” against the Hun School of Princeton resign after only one USG meeting.

Princeton University’s Antarctica Liberation Front, ca. 1981. Image from the Daily Princetonian.

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This Week in Princeton History for December 17-23

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a shipment of coal mitigates a fuel shortage, the Triangle Club performs for Eleanor Roosevelt, and more.

December 17, 1917—A new shipment of coal just after the last bit available ran out means there will be enough fuel on hand to last the winter, bringing relief to concerned Princetonians. Measures will still need to be taken to preserve it.

Clipping from the Daily Princetonian, December 19, 1917.

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