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This Week in Princeton History for December 10-16

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a graduate receives his second Nobel Prize, a Native American member of the Class of 1762 complains of “too much confinement” in Nassau Hall, and more.

December 10, 1972—John Bardeen *36 accepts his second Nobel Prize in physics and becomes the only two-time laureate in the same field.

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To honor of the accomplishments of John Bardeen *36, Princeton University chose him as the first recipient of the James Madison medal in 1973. Note that the graduation year on the medallion is incorrect. Bardeen earned his Ph.D. in 1936, not 1939. Princeton University Memorabilia Collection (AC053), Box E-1. Photos by April C. Armstrong.

December 11, 1867—Princeton president John Maclean reports on a recent incident in which students and a military company from Newark got into an argument that became violent. With both sides throwing rocks at one another, Daniel Sullivan, a staff member on his way home from work, was caught in the crossfire. He later died from his injuries.

Daniel Sullivan, a servant in East College at the College of New Jersey (Princeton), ca. 1860s. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series (AC067), Box MP8.

December 14, 1761—Jacob Woolley of the Class of 1762, the sole Native American student at Princeton, writes from Nassau Hall to Eleazer Wheelock, his former teacher in Connecticut, “I like College as well as ever, only I think it is too much confinement: because I want to travel some where or other & get acquainted with Mankind. For I don’t see, as I am likely ever to learn anything else, but the Languages & Sciences.”

December 16, 1981—Fugitive James Richard Shinn, a rare book thief, is caught in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Among the $35,000 worth of stolen books in his hotel room, police find four volumes from Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Though taken from the open stacks rather than the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, they are still quite valuable. He is believed to have stolen at least $500,000 in rare books from libraries nationwide.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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