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This Week in Princeton History for May 29-June 4

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the University Chapel is dedicated, a professor spirits a Chinese dissident to safety, and more.

May 30, 1928—The University Chapel, which replaces the destroyed Marquand Chapel, is dedicated in a Sunday morning service. It is the largest such chapel in the United States.

Princeton University Chapel, May 29, 1928. Associated Press photo. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP30, Image No. 744.

June 1, 1887—Following an investigation, the Princetonian reports that there is no evidence to support the claim that Walter Ridgley, a Texan who made national headlines for killing seven men near the Red River, ever attended Princeton, despite widespread reports in newspapers across America that he is a Princeton graduate.

June 2, 1791—Following a two-day holiday to commemorate the occasion, students celebrate the marriage of College of New Jersey (Princeton) president John Witherspoon, 68, to the widow of one of his former students, Ann Marshall Dill, 24, by lighting the campus with 600 candles, firing cannons, and performing an instrumental concert from the Nassau Hall bell tower.

Gazette of the United States, June 15, 1791.

June 3, 1989—Princeton University’s Perry Link, a professor in East Asian studies, spirits dissident Fang Lizhi to safety at the American Embassy in Beijing the day before the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Fang Lizhi. Photo from the Daily Princetonian.

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

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2 responses to “This Week in Princeton History for May 29-June 4”

  1. Interesting blog post- Princeton history always amazes me. I was working at The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1989, and remember with great clarity the secrecy surrounding the arrival of a “new” nameless professor who, upon arrival, was placed in the most modest and remote office in the West Building, no nameplate on the door… it was none other than Fang Lizhi.

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