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This Week in Princeton History for May 11-17

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Charles Lindbergh sneaks through campus, baseball makes its television debut, and more.

May 12, 1999—The Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Princeton University hold a memorial service in Firestone Plaza for three Chinese journalists killed in a NATO bombing on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

Photo from the Daily Princetonian.

May 13, 1981—An assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II bears eerie similarities to Princeton politics professor Walter F. Murphy’s novel, The Vicar of Christ. Murphy says he feels “horrible shock,” but that he does not believe the perpetrators used the 1979 novel as a how-to guide. Later, the Atlantic will draw parallels between Murphy’s fictional Pope Francesco and the 21st century’s Pope Francis.

May 14, 1928—Pioneer aviator Charles Lindbergh makes a secret 15-hour visit to Princeton, where University president John Grier Hibben takes him to watch workmen putting stained glass windows into the Chapel. By the time word gets out that he is in town, he will have already gone on to New York.

Headline from Princeton Alumni Weekly, May 18, 1928.

May 17, 1939—Princeton and Columbia play in the first televised baseball game; Princeton wins the game 2-1 in the tenth inning at Baker Field, New York. This is also the first televised sporting event of any kind in the United States.

Artist’s rendering of the May 17, 1939 Princeton-Columbia baseball game, the first televised sports event in the United States. Sports commentator Bill Stern makes his television debut here as well (see him below the platform at left). Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box MP101, Image No. 2107.

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

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

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