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This Week in Princeton History for November 19-25

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, confusion arises over the date Thanksgiving should be celebrated, a plagiarized editorial weighs in on Anita Hill’s testimony, and more.

November 20, 1807—The faculty appoint a committee “to arrange the library and to draw up some regulations to prevent the further waste of the books.”

Part of arranging the library was probably preparing a catalogue. This copy was handwritten by Joseph Skelton in 1810. Princeton University Library Records (AC123), Box 4A.

November 22, 1966—Richmond Flowers, Alabama’s attorney general and unsuccessful candidate for governor against Lurleen Burns Wallace (wife of George Wallace), speaks to an overflow crowd in Whig Hall on the need for Southern whites to learn “the three R’s—Reason, Responsibility, and Respect.” Flowers’s assertion that being “black in a society like the South is much like being lynched a little bit over and over every day” and the culture is one of “brutality, cruelty, and hate” will provoke one alum from Alabama to declare Flowers a “rabble-rouser” “who has gone to seed.”

November 23, 1939—In the conflict between the New England States and the mid-Atlantic for setting the date of Thanksgiving, Princeton sides with the mid-Atlantic (and Franklin Delano Roosevelt), and celebrates today rather than November 30. Students whose families celebrate later will have to choose between attending class and going home.

November 25, 1991—An editorial in the Daily Princetonian condemning Anita Hill and feminism appears to have been plagiarized from the National Review. Both denounce the U.S. Senate for not treating Hill more harshly, and pose a hypothetical line of questioning that ends by asking Hill if she isn’t just a “bitch.”

As this clipping from the Daily Princetonian reveals, a gender divide emerged among students over the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

For the previous 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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