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This Week in Princeton University History for May 8-14

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, a speaker urges students to refuse to support war in their jobs, a senior’s mustache is admired, and more.

May 8, 1964—The Committee on Student Life votes to recommend to the Board of Trustees that mandatory chapel attendance (known as the “chapel rule”) be abolished for Princeton students.

Interior of Princeton University Chapel with a large crowd attending services
Although chapel attendance was once mandatory for all students, by the 1960s, there had already been some easing of requirements. Princeton University abolished mandatory chapel attendance for juniors and seniors in 1935, for sophomores in 1960, and finally for all students in 1964. Princeton University Chapel, January 13, 1932. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC111), Box MP30, Image No. 771.
Frank Emanuel Baltzell
Frank Emanuel Baltzell, ca. 1869. We believe the award for best mustache was probably an inside joke, as we’ve seen several other more robust examples among the Class of 1869. Historical Photograph Collection, Alumni Photographs Series (AC058), Box SP02.

May 9, 1892—The Library has received a complete set of the New York Weekly Herald (124 volumes) from G. T. Agnew, Esq. Its estimated value is $1,000 (about $33,000 in 2023 dollars).

May 11, 1934—Winafred Chapell of the League Against War and Fascism speaks to students in Whig Hall. Chapell, who is also affiliated with the Methodist Society for Social Service, suggests that religious young people can effect change by refusing to work in the “industrial machine for war purposes.” Her talk is sponsored by Princeton’s new Anti-War Society.

May 13, 1869—At the Class of 1869’s Class Day, Frank Emanuel Baltzell is given a prize for the best moustache among the seniors.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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