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This Week in Princeton History for April 23-29

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, opponents and supporters of Richard Nixon clash, an undergraduate riot shocks the nation, and more.

April 24, 1974—Students from the Attica Brigade in favor of Richard Nixon’s impeachment burn him in effigy in front of Blair Arch while supporters of Nixon throw water from the top of the arch to attempt to stop the protest.

Bumper stickers advocating the impeachment of Richard Nixon, ca. 1973-1974. American Civil Liberties Union Records (MC001), Box 2035, Folder 3.

April 25, 1924—For the first time, Princeton’s debate team goes up against a women’s college, when Vassar’s debate team visits. Vassar ultimately defeats Princeton 2-1.

April 26, 1875—Students from Rutgers College take a small cannon from the Princeton campus, but will be forced to return it in a few weeks.

An artist’s rendering of Rutgers College students taking a cannon from the College of New Jersey (Princeton). Note that they are shown taking the “Big Cannon” (on Cannon Green) rather than the smaller cannon Rutgers students actually took. Clipping from the Daily Princetonian.

April 28, 1953—Following an air raid drill and a blackout, Princeton University students riot, leaving a wake of mayhem and destruction in their wake for four miles. Rioters get into fistfights with local police, force their way into the Garden Theater, stop the show, and march to nearby Westminster Choir College chanting “We want sex!” outside a women’s dorm. The incident will make national headlines.

Following press about the 1953 riot, Dean Francis Godolphin received many angry letters and postcards, including this one from S. Fisk in Brooklyn, New York, who put Princeton “University” in scare quotes when he addressed his card. Dean of Undergraduate Students Records (AC136), Box 14.

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

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