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This Week in Princeton History for April 17-23

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, protesters demand changes to the curriculum, a Dean’s List is instituted, and more.

April 18, 1878—The Princetonian urges the College to allow the Librarian to install gas lights in the library so that it may be kept open after dark.

Chancellor Green Library, 1873. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP26, Image No. 609.

April 19, 1861—The Seventh New York Regiment comes through Princeton by train, cheering their “rocket” cheer: “ssss-boom-ahhh!” Students quickly adopt this as their own, incorporating it into the “Tiger-skyrocket”: “Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Tiger! Ssss-boom-ahhh!”

April 20, 1995—A multiracial group of 17 students begins a 36-hour sit-in at Nassau Hall to protest the lack of diversity in the curriculum at Princeton University. Their demands include the hiring of faculty to teach Asian-American and Latino Studies and establishing a Center for Ethnic Studies.

Ethnic Studies sit in, April 1995. Photo from 1995 Bric-a-Brac.

April 23, 1963—Dean of the College J. Merrill Knapp announces that for the first time in its history, Princeton University will institute a Dean’s List to honor students receiving an average of 2.0 or higher on the 1-7 grading scale. It will be discontinued in 1970, shortly after the grading scale changes to A-F.

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

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