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This Week in Princeton History for January 23-29

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, Princeton seeks to build housing for married students, locals consider the merits of slavery in the South, and more.

January 23, 1946—Princeton University requests an amendment to local zoning regulations in order to build a “garden-type housing project” to accommodate 150 to 170 families. The proposed housing will be primarily for returning married students who served in World War II.

The housing project would later be known as Butler Apartments, shown here in October 1947. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC112), Box MP166, Image No. 4088.

January 26, 1837—Students rush to join other local citizens at about 2:00AM to put out a fire at Stryker & Conover’s tailor shop.

January 27, 1860—A letter from Robert Field Stockton appears in the Princeton Press explaining why he refuses to attend Union meetings. After outlining his rationale for why northern states must support slavery in the southern states, he urges residents to unite with the South if there is a national division.

In this defensive attitude of the South I for one will stand by them as a friend, to the last gasp of my existence, and if a dissolution of the Union is inevitable, then I would have the lines of separation drawn along the Hudson and the Lakes, rather than the Potomac and the Ohio. I have no doubt that in such an event the Northwestern states would unite with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the South. I will stand by them, because they are right…

January 29, 1987—A New York federal appeals court blocks the publication of a biography of J. D. Salinger on the grounds of unfair use of unpublished letters which the author accessed in Firestone Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections Reading Room. Though “A Writing Life” will remain unpublished, future readers will still be able to access it at Princeton.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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3 responses to “This Week in Princeton History for January 23-29”

    • Thank you; although it had a few names, its most recent colloquial term was “Butler Apartments.” But yes, “Butler Tract” would also be a relevant term, and more applicable for the 1940s. If you want to see more photos and learn more about the project, please see our previous post on this topic.

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