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This Week in Princeton History for June 12-18

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, a new library has opened, bathing facilities are available, and more.

June 13, 1970—Because Princeton University has taken over the building, the Princeton Inn will close today. It’s longest-residing guest, J. S. Van Syckel, will at last check out after 31 years.

Student walking on a sidewalk in front of Forbes College
Student exiting Forbes College (formerly the Princeton Inn), ca. 1970s. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box AD03, Image No. 7905.

June 14, 1942—Addressing the graduating class at Baccalaureate, Princeton president Harold W. Dodds encourages them to look forward to a positive, more cooperative society:

today’s disorder will usher in an age of fresh opportunity for young people, if you will it hard enough. … If the war purges our souls through suffering and work for a common cause, as it undoubtedly will, success in the years of peaceful reconstruction to follow will come to those who worry less about prosperity and more about the satisfaction of self-expression not for one’s self but for others.

June 16, 1860—The new library is open in a freshly renovated Nassau Hall. Professor George Musgrave Giger is credited with arranging the books, a task one writer describes as “a work as laborious as it is thankless.

A room with bookshelves
Nassau Hall Library, 1868. Photo by John Moran. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP70, Image No. 2752.

June 17, 1836—Bathing rooms have opened in town “for the accommodation of those Gentlemen who desire the invigorating luxury of a warm, cold, or shower bath.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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