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This Week in Princeton History for May 21-27

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a rally pushes for the expulsion of repeat sexual harassers, the New Jersey State Board of Health investigates a typhoid outbreak, and more.

May 22, 1931—The Daily Princetonian laments the suicide of influential cartoonist Ralph Barton and notes it reflects a larger societal phenomenon. “Among the more sensitive, which naturally includes men of talent and genius, this psychopathic condition is as common as measles. … The germ is in the age itself…and no-one has yet found means to combat it.” (Those interested in the work of Ralph Barton can find examples at Firestone Library in the Graphic Arts Collection.)

May 23, 1988—Students hold a demonstration advocating the expulsion of those who repeatedly engage in sexual harassment.

Flyer advertising rally, May 23, 1988. Women’s Center Records (AC248), Box 1.

May 25, 1880—The New Jersey State Board of Health examines sanitation at Princeton after a mysterious outbreak of fever results in the death of a student. After the deaths of a total of eight residents, including two college students, they will ultimately conclude that the typhoid epidemic has been caused by inadequate wastewater disposal throughout the campus. This is a longstanding problem at the College of New Jersey (Princeton).

May 27, 1969—Princeton University announces the establishment of its first endowed scholarship for women, named in honor of Peter Cahn ’69, who died in an accident in 1966. Cahn’s parents explain their $100,000 gift: “Our whole family feels very strongly that Peter would have been enthusiastic about the Trustees’ decision to make Princeton coeducational.”

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

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

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