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This Week in Princeton History for November 20-26

By April C. Armstrong *14

In this week’s installment in our recurring series, military pilots have high praise for Princeton, an alum writes about new dangers in Paris, and more.

November 20, 1830—In a fictional tale in the New York Mirror, Emma C. Embury describes Princeton: “Every one [sic] has heard of Princeton, the abode of the most abused and insulted alma mater that ever attempted to restrain the wild sallies of youth.”

November 22, 1873—The Ville de Havre strikes a British clipper, the Loch Earn, halfway in it its journey across the Atlantic. Hamilton Murray, Class of 1872, and his sister, Martha, die along with 224 others in the crash and subsequent sinking of the ship.

Plaque reading "This building was erected for the use of the Philadelphian Society, by the bequest of Hamilton Murray of the Class of 1872, who was lost at sea, on the steamship 'Ville du Havre' November 22, 1873."
Murray Theater, now the other half of Murray-Dodge Hall, was built in memory of Hamilton Murray. Princeton Alumni Weekly Photograph Collection (AC126), Box 23.

November 24, 1917—Upon their graduation, the cadets of the Aeronautics School have high praise for Princeton: “the best barracks, best mess, best surroundings, and most courteous treatment that it will ever receive in the service, and we wish Princeton University to know that with such backing we will do our part on the other side.”

A group of men in military uniforms assembled in formation
Princeton University’s Military Aeronautics School, 1910s. Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series (AC111), Box MP207, Image No. 4378.

November 26, 1904—David Graham Phillips, Class of 1887, writes about a street gang known as “The Apaches,” “A band of Parisian cutthroats who defy capture and elude all ordinary processes of justice,” who are terrorizing France. “Opportunity creates supply—and Paris has ever offered the most tempting opportunities… But at no time in its modern history, except during the Reign of Terror, has it been so frankly dangerous as now.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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