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This Week in Princeton History for August 8-14

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a sophomore heads to Mississippi for Freedom Summer, a freshman meets Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office, and more.

August 9, 1850—After a journey of nearly three weeks from Maybank, Georgia, Charles C. Jones, Jr. (Class of 1852) and his brother, Joseph Jones (Class of 1853) arrive in Princeton. Charles writes to let their parents know they have had a safe journey: “There is no institution (West Point scarcely excepted) where there is so complete and full a course of mathematics, and one upon which so great importance is imposed upon this branch, as is here the case. It appears to be their pride to maintain the highest stand in this particular, and consequently all who apply must meet their fullest requirements to the letter.”

August 10, 1964—Philip Hocker ’67 arrives in Jackson, Mississippi volunteering as a civil rights activist. A week later, a white resident will club him with an axe handle, the first in a series of harrowing experiences he will have living and working among African Americans in Mississippi during Freedom Summer.

Philip Mackay Hocker, 1967 Nassau Herald.

August 12, 1945—The U.S. Department of War releases a 60,000-word report by Princeton University’s chair of its physics department, Henry DeWolf Smyth, detailing the development of the atomic bomb. It is entitled Atomic Energy for Military Purposes, but from now on, will be known simply as the “Smyth Report.”

Henry DeWolf Smyth, undated. Historical Photograph Collection, Faculty Photograph Series (AC059), Box FAC90.

August 13, 1986—Having been crowned America’s Junior Miss, Princeton University freshman Lori Jo Smith ’90 visits U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office.

Pages from Princetonian_1986-10-17_v110_n098_0001

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

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