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This Week in Princeton History for February 16-22

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, James Brown performs, Jimmy Stewart ’32 reflects on his college days, and more.

February 16, 1996—James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” performs in Dillon Gymnasium.

Photo from Daily Princetonian.

February 17, 1801—James Ashton Bayard, College of New Jersey (Princeton University) Class of 1784, casts the tie-breaking vote in the U.S. Presidential elections, with the 36th ballot finally yielding a victory for Thomas Jefferson.

Portrait of James Ashton Bayard, Class of 1784, from Undergraduate Alumni Records 1748-1920 (AC104), Box 42.

February 18, 1961—Today’s issue of the Saturday Evening Post features Jimmy Stewart ’32’s reflections on his time at Princeton. In the article, “How I Became an Actor,” Stewart says, “In the end I was graduated in architecture with honors. I even won a scholarship, pointing toward a master’s degree in architecture if I wanted to accept. But my first Triangle show led me to another career.” Ultimately, Stewart will achieve 98 film credits and numerous awards, including an Oscar for Best Actor (Philadelphia Story, 1940).

James Stewart ’32 charms cross-dressing classmate H. H. Dunham ’32 in the Triangle Club’s The Tiger Smiles, 1930. Triangle Club Records (AC122), Box 163.

February 19, 1970—The Daily Princetonian reports that around 2,000 women have applied for 160 openings in the Class of 1974. Given how much more selective Princeton will be forced to be with female applicants, administrators express concern “about creating a situation like Harvard’s, where the Radcliffe girls are considered smarter than Harvard men.”

Female Princeton University student, ca. 1970s. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box SP13, Item No. 3261.

For last week’s installment in this series, click here.

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