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This Week in Princeton History for December 12-18

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the debate team wins its argument over football with Harvard, a yearbook cover change draws complaint, and more.

December 12, 1896—First Lady Frances Fulsom Cleveland draws student notice as she shops for a house in Princeton for her family to move into after Grover Cleveland finishes his presidency.

Frances Fulsom Cleveland. Grover Cleveland Collection (AC348), Box 1.

December 14, 1958—The Triangle Club appears on the Ed Sullivan Show for the seventh consecutive year.

The Triangle Club performed selections from “For Heaven’s Sake” on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Program, Triangle Club Records (AC122), Box 245.


December 15, 1905—In a debate with Harvard, Princeton argues that intercollegiate football is detrimental to college students and to American society in general. Princeton’s team wins the debate.

The Princeton and Harvard debate teams, 1905. Photos from Daily Princetonian.

December 17, 1886—The Princetonian notes that the Bric-a-Brac (activities yearbook) is now a hardback. They complain that this change from the previous softcover design makes the volume “a book in itself” which cannot be bound with other copies, as was the previously established tradition. Nonetheless, every subsequent edition of the Bric-a-Brac, save one nearly a century in the future, will have a hard cover.

The editors of the 1888 Bric-a-Brac explained their change in cover style within the volume.

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

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