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This Week in Princeton History for June 20-26

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the first collegiate track contest is held on campus, Japanese visitors ceremonially forgive scientists for their role in the development of the atomic bomb, and more.

June 20, 1779—William Richardson Davie (Class of 1776) leads a charge against the British at the Battle of Stono Ferry. He is wounded and falls off his horse, but evades capture.

June 21, 1873—The first collegiate track contest in the United States is held at the College of New Jersey (Princeton).

Program from Caledonian Games, College of New Jersey (Princeton), June 21, 1873. Athletic Programs Collection (AC042), Box 17, Folder 1.

June 23, 1857—The Board of Trustees hears a report on a gift from Silas Holmes, which will become the College of New Jersey (Princeton)’s first endowed professorship.

Minutes of the Board of Trustees of the College of New Jersey, June 23, 1857. Board of Trustees Records (AC120), Vol. 4.

June 24, 1998—A group of Japanese visitors come to the University on what the Princeton Weekly Bulletin terms “a personal mission of peace and forgiveness for the role of Princeton scientists in the development of the atom bomb.” They perform a ceremony in the Institute Woods “for the release of the spirit of Robert Oppenheimer,” which includes, among other things, 1,000 rainbow-colored paper cranes.

Mrs. Sho PrincetonBulletin_1998-09-13_v88_n001_0001
One of the Japanese visitors to Princeton University, June 24, 1998, identified as Mrs. Sho. Photo from Princeton Weekly Bulletin.

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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