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This Week in Princeton History for July 18-24

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a group is disciplined for a bovine prank, an alumnus opens the Democratic National Convention, and more.

July 18, 1790—Three students are expelled and a fourth is disciplined for an incident the previous June 26 in which, following an evening of drinking at David Hamilton’s Tavern, they put a calf in the pulpit of Nassau Hall.

July 21, 1952—Adlai Stevenson ’22, governor of Illinois, opens the Democratic National Convention. Five days later, he will accept its nomination as United States president.

Democratic National Committee campaign handbook, 1952. Adlai Stevenson Papers (MC124), Box 226, Folder 5.

July 22, 1975—Major flooding in Princeton for the second time this month ends up having the University campus part of an officially declared federal disaster area. When they return to school for the fall semester, 148 students will file claims totaling more than $29,000 for property damage. The University will seek an additional $65,000 in federal disaster relief.

Memo to students regarding flood damage at Princeton University, 1975. Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students Records (AC136), Box 28.

July 23, 1770—James Madison (Class of 1771) writes to his father about an incident on campus: “We have no news but the base conduct of the merchants in New York in breaking through their spirited resolutions not to import; a distinct account of which I suppose will be in the ‘Virginia Gazette’ before this arrives. The letter to the merchants in Philadelphia requesting their concurrence, was lately burned by the students of this place in the college yard, all of them appearing in their black gowns, and the bell tolling.”

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

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