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This Week in Princeton University History for December 25-31

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a chaplain tries to negotiate the release of hostages in Iran, the New York Times announces a new partnership, and more.

December 25, 1980—John T. Walsh, Princeton University’s Southern Baptist chaplain, meets with Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini to discuss the release of American hostages.

Photo from the Daily Princetonian.

December 26, 1943—The New York Times publishes an announcement of a partnership with Princeton University to compile and publish the comprehensive writings of Thomas Jefferson. The Times will contribute $200,000 to the project.

To convince Princeton and the New York Times that this was a viable project, University Librarian Julian P. Boyd prepared reports that included bar graphs to illustrate how many of Thomas Jefferson’s letters remained unpublished. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Project Editor Records (AC218), Box 1.

December 28, 1796—“A number of the students having combined to oppose the authority of the College by taking a holiday contrary to the will of the faculty,” the faculty decide to suspend two students who remain unrepentant.

December 31, 1948—The newly opened Firestone Library grants special passes to 36 students who want to ring in the new year by studying until midnight.

Studying in Firestone Library, undated. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP059, Image No. 2244.

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

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