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This Week in Princeton History for January 16-22

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, students have a reputation for misbehavior, people claiming to be Nigerian royalty seek pen pals, and more.

January 17, 1882—The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, The Princeton students seem to have recommenced the disgraceful rowdyism which brought the college into such disrepute some time since,” saying that just before their holiday vacation students had engaged in various acts of vandalism and greased the railroad tracks, but authorities have failed to discipline students appropriately. “In fact, discipline has become of the basest character, and it is asserted that in the case of influential students there is absolutely none enforced.”

This newspaper clipping shows common hazing tactics at Princeton ca. 1885. Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 379, Folder 11.

January 19, 1982—Thomas H. Kean ’57 takes the oath of office and becomes New Jersey’s 48th governor. Kean, the first Republican governor since 1970, secured victory by a margin smaller than 2,000 votes.

January 20, 1752—In a letter to Benjamin Franklin, Governor Jonathan Belcher says that the president of the College of New Jersey (then in Newark), Aaron Burr, recently helped him attempt to treat a medical condition with electric shock using the College electrical apparatus. Unfortunately, the treatment has been unsuccessful so far.

January 22, 1949—A group of people claiming to be Nigerian royalty write to the editor of the Daily Princetonian seeking pen pals.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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