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This Week in Princeton History for September 21-27

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Halle Berry talks about women and race in film, a freshman struggles to adjust, and more.

September 21, 1970—The op-ed (opposite editorial) page, pioneered by editorial page editor John R. Oakes ’34, makes its debut in the New York Times. Its intense popularity will lead to its adoption by many other newspapers.

September 22, 2000—Halle Berry is the keynote speaker at a conference entitled, “Imitating Life: Women, Race, and Film, 1934-2000,” in McCosh 50. She tells the packed audience being asked to speak was personally significant: “That invitation reminded me who I was, and that I could be proud of that person because Princeton wanted me to come speak.”

Halle Berry speaking at the “Imitating Life: Women, Race, and Film, 1934-2000” conference, Princeton University, September 22, 2000. Photo from Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 203. The video recording of Berry’s speech is found in the Broadcast Center Recordings (AC362), Box 8.

September 24, 1886—The Daily Princetonian prints an excerpt from a freshman’s letter to his father: “I am getting along nicely and study like everything, I almost study all day, except when reciting. There is no picnic here for a Freshman.”

September 25, 1765—Jonathan Edwards, Jr., son of the famous minister and former president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton), receives his A.B. alongside 30 other Princeton classmates. He gives an oration in Latin at Commencement “On the evils to which a People is liable when involved in Debt.” The New Hampshire Gazette will report that Edwards did so “with great propriety and spirit.”

Board of Trustees minutes snip 1765
Excerpt from the Minutes of the Board of Trustees of the College of New Jersey (Princeton), September 25, 1765. Board of Trustees Records (AC102), Volume 1.

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

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