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This Week in Princeton History for June 6-12

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, students consider adopting distinctive hats, the U.S. President makes a “pilgrimage” to Princeton’s campus, and more.

June 7, 1877—In order to visually distinguish themselves from townies (in Princeton slang, “snobs”), the Class of 1878 is contemplating starting to wear mortarboards as everyday wear.

Although we see a few different hat styles in this photo of the Class of 1878 (taken in 1878), we do not see mortarboards, which suggests the idea did not take root. Historical Photograph Collection: Class Photographs Series (AC181), Box 4.

June 9, 1893—The Class of 1896 has a parade at 7:30 p.m. “to celebrate their entrance into the sophomore class and coming out for the first time in the colors, orange and black, hitherto denied to them as freshman.” Meanwhile, other groups of students have built bonfires to burn copies of Homer, Demosthenes, and Calculus, the Philadelphia Inquirer will later report.

June 10, 1843—U.S. President John Tyler visits Princeton’s campus on what he describes as “a patriotic pilgrimage to the old shrine of Liberty,” Newark’s Centinel of Freedom will report.

June 12, 1979—When Brad Macaleer ’79 graduates today, his family ties a record shared with three other families (the Poes, the Carters, and the Speers) for the highest number of siblings in one family to earn a Princeton degree, as the last in a line that includes five other Macaleers: Richard James Macaleer ’55, William Macaleer ’59, Stephen Macaleer ’63, Dennis Macaleer ’71, and Terrence Macaleer ’72. All six have relied on financial aid and student jobs to pay for their educations.

Brad Macaleer ’79, ca. 1978. Undergraduate Alumni Records (AC199).

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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