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This Week in Princeton History for February 20-26

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, a new student publication appears, Japanese students are remembered, and more.

February 20, 1840—The first issue of a new student magazine, The Gem from Nassau’s Casket, appears. Though it will be short-lived, its successor publication, the Nassau Literary Magazine, will achieve a longstanding place on campus.

A Gem from Nassau's Casket
A Gem from Nassau’s Casket, February 20, 1840. Princeton University Publications Collection (AC364), Box 8.

Hikoichi Orita, 1876. Historical Photograph Collection, Alumni Photographs Series (AC058), Box SP04.

February 21, 1895—F. P. Dalrymple reflects on Rioge Koe (Class of 1874) and Hikoichi Orita (Class of 1876) in the New York Evangelist.

Though having little or no acquaintance with the language, they soon mastered it sufficiently to demonstrate a problem in algebra…The Japanese boys were of pleasing appearance, adopting, as they did, the American costume, and were withal models of decorum, frequently putting to the blush in this respect their pale-faced fellows.

February 22, 1922—Sophomore Jordan B. Darby (Class of 1924), a descendant of Patrick Henry, wins the Class of 1876 Prize Debate at Princeton as part of the celebration of the Washington’s Birthday holiday.

February 24, 1964—An exhibition on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on campus this month has sparked significant controversy, especially following Princeton University awarding a student the Freshman Honor Prize during the same week that he made claims in response to the exhibition that many assert are antisemitic. A debate rages on campus about the significance of the Holocaust. Though many have denounced the claims made, one student says that Jews should be criticized more than the prize winner for the negative views people have.

In short, many more of the problems of Jewish people originate from Jews themselves than from external sources. The murder of six million people is difficult to forgive, especially when this group includes family and friends. But forgiveness under such circumstances is all the more important in elevating the image of the Jewish from a critical, inferior people to a dignified and religious one.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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