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This Week in Princeton History for December 26-January 1

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, immigrants are required to be fingerprinted, faculty are investigating mysterious explosions, and more.

December 26, 1940—Under the recently passed federal law known as the Alien Registration Act, all local non-citizens must complete registration with the Princeton post office by this date. All will fill out five forms detailing age, place of birth, date of entry into the United States, local residency, and other matters related to their lives and character. They will also be fingerprinted.

December 27, 1813—Another in a series of explosions of gunpowder takes place in a room in the lower entry of Nassau Hall. Faculty commit to uncover the culprit, whom they will later identify as Gunning B. Read, Class of 1816.

Reprint of a sketch entitled “Taking the Measure of Nassau Hall” from the student notebook of Thomas Campbell, Class of 1818. Grounds and Buildings Historical Subject Files (AC110), Box 7, Folder 10.

December 29, 1849—The New Orleans Daily Crescent warns of a con man traveling around the South claiming to be a student at Princeton, and warns parents of Princeton students not to give him money to take to their sons.

December 30, 1912—George A. Armstrong, Class of 1909, issues a general invitation to all Princeton students to attend a reception at Christodora Settlement House in New York.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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