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This Week in Princeton History for March 1-7

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, a transit strike stops the Dinky, the state legislature prohibits gaming near Nassau Hall, and more.

March 2, 1983—In response to a retroactive pay cut, New Jersey Transit workers go on strike, halting commuter train service to and from Princeton.

Princeton Station, 1988. Office of Communications Records (AC168), Box 91.

March 3, 1968—Disappointed in their party’s U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, Princeton’s Young Democrats Club formally disbands in protest.

March 5, 1853—The state legislature adopts a supplement to its “act to prevent gaming” that prohibits a wide range of activities “within three miles of main building of Princeton College” upon penalty of a fine of $200 or 6 months in prison. Banned activities include billiards, bowling, table tennis, shuffleboard, cock fighting, shooting pistols, certain card games (A.B.C. and faro), and E. O. (a precursor to roulette), whether or not gambling is involved.

March 6, 1840—William Meade of the Class of 1808 reflects on his college experience as a warning against student activism. He credits his mother with preventing him from spiraling out of control after he was sent home in the aftermath of Princeton’s 1807 riot and laments a changing attitude on the part of parents and students toward the authority of colleges over the lives of students. “Thus it is that the sons, not the fathers, choose and change their colleges at pleasure, and thus it may come to pass, that our colleges, instead of being nurseries of patriots and warriors and statesmen, who have, as of old, learned to command, by first learning to obey, may send forth lawless rebels, and daring revolutionists, to subvert the fair fabric of this noble republic.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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