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This Week in Princeton History for November 26-December 2

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, graduates react to the possible admission of female undergraduates, a dean’s comments in a local newspaper arouse concern, and more.

November 26, 1968—The Princeton Alumni Weekly prints several letters responding to the Patterson Report, which has concluded that Princeton would benefit from admitting female undergraduates. Logan McKee ’48 writes, “Mixing, ‘integrating’ and polluting seem to be the trend of the times, so it is natural that the mixers would want to homogenize Princeton. Of course this is just the next natural step in the pollution process. Long ago they removed the Presbyterian religious bias, the prep-school, the fraternity and the white race preference, and the School’s independence from government grants—so why not remove its last distinction, that of being a men’s college? Then Princeton can be as ‘democratic’ and just as friendly, folksy and mediocre as any outstate A. & M. institution.”

November 28, 1989—The Dean of the Graduate School’s comments in the Trenton Times alarm graduate students, including his assertion that “I think that a graduate student ought to be here to study 120 percent. I worry very, very much that a graduate student has so much time available to worry about a social life.”

Editorial cartoon from the Daily Princetonian. This cartoon refers to later claims the dean made that graduate students should not be offered housing after their second year of study.

December 1, 1834—In a letter to his father, Edmund Lang of the Class of 1837 describes a typical menu in the College of New Jersey refectory: “Firstly, on ordinary days we have one roll apiece about half the size of a six-penny loaf of bread for breakfast and also coffee. For dinner we have beef or some other meat with potatoes and two apples. For tea we have coffee, bread, and generally cheese or something of the kind, but we have one day, Friday, which we call ‘good dinner day,’ when we have poultry of some kind, applesauce, and pie. One day we had a kind of poultry I had never tasted before and they were peacocks.”

December 2, 1793—Frederick Frelinghuysen (Class of 1770) begins his service as a United States Senator representing New Jersey.

Frederick Frelinghuysen, ca. 1790. Reproduction by Frick Art Reference Library. Historical Photograph Collection, Alumni Images Series (AC058), Box MP02.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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