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This Week in Princeton History for November 30-December 6

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a dorm fire destroys a senior thesis, a football player wins the Heisman Trophy, and more.

November 30, 1834—On Princeton’s first astronomical expedition, Professor Stephen Alexander observes a solar eclipse in Georgia; his Fraunhofer telescope is the best refractor of its time.

December 3, 1969—A fire started by an unwatched candle in 114 Henry Hall destroys Willard Reynolds ‘70’s thesis and graduate school applications.

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Despite the setback, Willard Reynolds ’70 managed to complete his senior thesis. It is now a part of the Senior Thesis Collection (AC102).

December 4, 1951—Princeton University’s tailback, Richard W. Kazmaier ’52, wins the Heisman Memorial Trophy, setting the record for the largest margin of victory for the award yet, with 506 first place votes. The runner up has 45.

Richard Katzmaier poses for a photographer, ca. 1950. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box MP126, Image No. 3020.

December 6, 1919—Henry Clay Frick’s will is made public with Princeton University named as a beneficiary of $15,000,000 (well over $200,000,000 in 2015 dollars).

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

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