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This Week in Princeton History for December 6-12

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, an ad invites students to participate in an experiment, Princeton pledges all of its resources to government, and more.

December 6, 1875—As the United States approaches its Centennial year, former Senator and future Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz lectures to students on the positives and problems in American government, attributing a “decline in moral sentiment and political tone” to widespread corruption and loyalty to party over statesmanship.

December 8, 1961—A classified ad invites students to participate in a sensory deprivation experiment to determine how hallucinations might be induced, though they are not informed of the purpose of the study.

Classified ad from the Daily Princetonian.

December 9, 1941—Princeton president Harold Dodds sends a telegram to Franklin Delano Roosevelt with an unusual promise: “Princeton University pledges itself unqualifiedly to support the President and the government of the United States and places at your disposal all of its resources in the present emergency. …”

Naval training mess at Princeton University, ca 1942. Historical Photograph Collection (AC112), Box MP214, Image No. 5624.

December 12, 1896—Elias Eckfelt Perkins, Class of 1899, has left campus due to an illness. He plans to spend the winter in the South. Perkins will never return.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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