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This Week in Princeton History for April 24-30

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a senior signs an NFL contract, Daylight Saving Time causes confusion, and more.

April 26, 1771—The New Jersey General Assembly passes “An Act to erect the District of Prince-Town into a Town by the name of Princeton.” The College of New Jersey, already referred to as “Prince-Town College” as early as its move to the area in 1756, will become well established colloquially as Princeton College until it officially changes its own name in 1896.

April 27, 1994—Keith Elias ’94 signs on to play professional football with the New York Giants.

Keith Elias ’94, ca. 1993. Undergraduate Alumni Records (AC199).

April 28, 1882—Pointing to the Class of 1881 Memorial Fountain which they say “lends grace to that hitherto graceless portion of our campus back of East [College]” as an example to emulate, the Princetonian laments that the Class of 1882 has yet to choose a class gift.

Class of 1881 Memorial Fountain near Murray Hall, ca. 1880s. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box SP03, Image No. 602.

April 30, 1920—The Mayor of the Borough of Princeton issues a proclamation ordering Daylight Saving Time to be observed despite its defeat in the New Jersey State Legislature. Because church clocks cannot be changed until Monday, it will go into effect on May 2. Princeton will be on the same time as Trenton, New Brunswick, and New York, but not Philadelphia or many other towns scattered throughout New Jersey. As a result, students will deal with complex train schedules.

Poster announcing the New York subway system’s switch to Daylight Saving Time, 1920. Ivy Ledbetter Lee Papers (MC085), Box 135.

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

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