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This Week in Princeton History for January 2-8

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, Princeton’s colors are on display at a party in New Orleans, a student is unimpressed with a future movie classic, and more.

January 4, 1891—The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that at a recent New Year’s Eve party thrown by Pearl Wright for her son, Ira, and his friends, the rooms were decorated in Yale colors and the party favors were adorned with blue and white ribbons, with the exception of “exquisite little yellow porcelain jugs tied with black ribbons, the Princeton colors, that were used in compliment to several of the Princeton students that were present.”

Although we associate Princeton with a much brighter shade of orange, several examples in our collections suggest that the orange of prior generations was considerably lighter–sometimes one could easily call it yellow–and references like this one from 1891 suggest it isn’t necessarily due to fading. Class of 1873 ribbon, Memorabilia Collection (MC053).

January 6, 1818—The faculty observe, “It appeared that during the last week, there had been an unusual number absent from prayers; yet it appeared to be owing, not to willful neglect or disregard of duty, but in part to the holiday season, and in part to such remissness and want of vigilance in the students as too frequently make advances on perfect order in this particular, in which it is extremely difficult to correct.”

January 7, 1972—Amy Richlin ’73 reviews Dirty Harry for the Daily Princetonian. “It stinks.”

January 8, 1923—Henry van Dyke, Class of 1873, resigns the Murray Professorship of English Literature, which he has held since its founding 1890. With his resignation, he includes a check for $2,000 (approximately $35,000 in 2022 dollars), half his annual salary, to defray costs associated with him leaving in the middle of the academic year.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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4 responses to “This Week in Princeton History for January 2-8”

  1. Delightfully done. On Henry van Dyke, it’s worth noting that he is the illustrious author of the “Ode to Joy,” written to the music of the last movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. And someone once said that van Dyke was the “only man who can strut while sitting down.” Who said that?

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