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This Week in Princeton History for January 20-26

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Graduate School reports increased diversity, gym users ask for protection from prying eyes, and more.

January 20, 1949—At “the first 11:00 catharsis in 15 years,” students celebrate the end of final exams with flaming tennis balls and a mock war.

January 21, 1970—The Daily Princetonian reports on an increase in the diversity of the Graduate School’s student population: Black enrollment, at 2.5% (38 students), is seven times what it was in 1967 and a 50% increase in the number of women since 1966 has brought the total number of female graduate students to 200.

Graph showing Graduate School enrollment 1964-1972. Graduate School Records (AC127), Box 67.

January 24, 1878—To protect those who might be “specially shocked by the display of bare shoulders and exposed muscles,” students ask that the lower row of windows in the Gymnasium be painted with something opaque. “Besides, many of those within would prefer some protection from passing eyes. Some no doubt like to have their muscles seen, but they are few.”

Class of 1878 Gymnasium Team, ca. 1878. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box LP50, Image No. 3319.

January 25, 1780—The building where the first classes for the College of New Jersey were held in Elizabeth (prior to its move to Newark and ultimately Princeton) is burned down by British soldiers.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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