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This Week in Princeton History for October 10-16

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, Princeton has begun actively seeking Black applicants, a soldier reflects on the American Revolution, and more.

October 10, 1964—The Chicago Defender expresses curiosity about what made Princeton University suddenly change course and begin actively recruiting Black students, noting its most recent report to secondary schools includes a new section under the header, “Search for Negro Applicants.”

October 13, 2014—Professor emeritus Cornel West *80 is arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, during a “Moral Monday” march, part of ongoing protests of the police killing of Michael Brown. West explains that it is his intention to be arrested: “It’s a beautiful thing to see people on fire for justice, but I didn’t come here to give a speech; I came here to go to jail.”

October 14, 1831—A former soldier recalls the Battle of Princeton in the columns of Maine’s Eastern Argus:

The British were unable to resist this attack, and retreated into the College, where they considered themselves safe. Our army was there in an instant, and cannon were planted before the door, and after two or three discharges, a white flag appeared at a window when the British surrendered.

Afterward, however, surveying the battlefield left a deeper impression. “The ground was frozen, and all the blood which was shed, remained on the surface, which added to the horror of this scene of carnage.”

James Peale’s “Battle of Princeton,” ca. 1782. Courtesy Princeton University Art Museum.

October 16, 1980—Because Florida has recently raised the legal drinking age to 19, local Florida youths are urging college students everywhere—including at Princeton—to boycott Florida beaches in protest this season.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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