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This Week in Princeton History for April 25-May 1

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, John F. Kennedy urges students to enter politics, the campus bids farewell to a landmark, and more.

April 25, 1957—Senator John F. Kennedy addresses the Class of 1957 in Dillon Gymnasium, urging their involvement in politics as “intellectuals…who deal with the truth, unlike politicians who deal in half-truths—in order to keep the voters’ interest.”

Photo from the Daily Princetonian.

April 26, 1997—Mike Beer *95 and Jason Rudy ’97 are the first same-sex couple to marry in Princeton University Chapel.

Editorial cartoon, Progressive Review, November 1997.

April 27, 1987—A “Communiversity” festival is held, uniting town and gown in Princeton. Over 7,000 attend, inspiring organizers to make it an annual event.

Communiversity, April 1987. Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 219.

May 1, 1888—The Bulletin Elm, long a beloved landmark at the College of New Jersey (Princeton), is chopped down due to decay. Students seize remains of the tree as souvenirs.

The Bulletin Elm, situated southeast of Nassau Hall near where Chancellor Green Hall stands today, had long been where students posted nearly all campus announcements. In this photo, a Glee Club event is advertised ca. 1880s. For some time after the tree’s demise, the Daily Princetonian printed announcements under the heading “Bulletin Elm,” but the tradition eventually faded from alumni memory. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box SP1, Item No. 108.

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

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