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This Week in Princeton History for November 11-17

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Princetonian suggests students start making their own beds on Sundays, a new highway cuts Nassau Street’s traffic in half, and more.

November 12, 1941—Noting that the staff is not being paid well and will not be given any raises while the University is operating at a loss, the Princetonian suggests students start making their own beds on Sundays so the janitors can begin to have one full day off per week.

Fritz (no last name recorded), a janitor in Laughlin Hall, 1931. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series (AC067), Box 1. According to mid-20th century policies, janitors worked seven days per week and were required to turn out the lights in dormitories every night and make the beds every morning. They had a standard work week of 57 hours. In the 1930s, students began debating the fairness of making their own beds. Janitors unionized in 1942, demanding higher pay and fewer hours, including one full day off per week.

November 13, 1998—Princeton is offering its first online class, “Demonization of the Other: Ethnic Conflict in the Balkans.”

November 15, 1965—Princeton University announces that tuition will increase by $200 next year, for a total annual cost of $1,950, making it the second most expensive college in the Ivy League (Brown’s tuition is $2,000 per year).

Princeton University Announcement of Fees and Expenses for 1966-1967. Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 390, Folder 1.

November 17, 1928—A new highway connecting New York to Philadelphia opens, cutting traffic on Nassau Street in half.

Intersection of Witherspoon and Nassau Streets in Princeton, New Jersey, ca. 1920s. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box AD42, Image No. 9639.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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