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This Week in Princeton History for December 2-8

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, campus proctors nab serial burglars, a comedian gives an ominous warning, and more.

December 2, 1942—Charles Bagley III ’44 writes to the Daily Princetonian in response to a November 30 editorial that, among other things, called for African Americans to have equality under the law. “Did [the author] choose to ignore the question of states’ rights is concerned[?] On second thought, has he ever heard of states’ rights?”

December 3, 1920—Campus proctors arrest two men accused of burglarizing dormitories at Princeton for two years by brazenly going into students’ rooms while they were out and filing the students’ suitcases with whatever they wanted, then walking out with the suitcases in broad daylight.

Campus proctor William Coans (“Bill Coons”), ca. 1920. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series (AC067), Box 1.

December 6, 1989—Comedian Suzi Landolphi warns Princeton students that everyone in her audience will probably lose a friend to AIDS in the next five years.

AIDS cast a long shadow over college campuses in the 1980s. Here, two Princeton tigers with tails intertwined seem to be headed toward contracting the disease. This cartoon appeared on the editorial page of the Daily Princetonian on November 18, 1986.

December 7, 1912—Hugo De Vries, known as “The Second Darwin,” argues in a lecture on campus that Charles Darwin is wrong that evolution happens gradually, and instead it happens by sudden mutation into a new species.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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