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This Week in Princeton History for September 7-13

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, Firestone Library opens, the campus reels from domestic terrorism, and more.

September 7, 1948—With much of the interior construction not yet complete, Firestone Library opens to students and faculty for the first time.

Interior of Firestone Library, ca. 1948. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box AD04, Image No. 8223.

September 8, 1981—Residents of Holder Hall take advantage of a flash flood, going down into the basement in swimsuits for a late-night dip.

Photo from Daily Princetonian.

September 11, 2001—Students gather in various locations throughout the day for mutual support and prayer in the wake of terrorist attacks on the United States. At the end of the day, hundreds gather for a candlelight vigil and spontaneously begin singing “We Shall Overcome.”

List of Princeton University alumni who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Historical Subject Files Collection (AC109), Box 313, Folder 3.

September 12, 1927—The College of New Jersey (Princeton) Class of 1881 holds a birthday party for itself at the Nassau Club to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their arrival on campus. It appears 1881 marches to the beat of its own drum; they are the first (and perhaps the last) class to throw such a party.

First page of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) Class of 1881 birthday poem. Princeton University Class Records (AC130), Box 20.

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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