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This Week in Princeton History for December 18-24

By April C. Armstrong *14

In this week’s installment in our recurring series, an alum is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last written words praise a Princeton author, and more.

December 19, 1956—The Department of Defense announces that they will award the Congressional Medal of Honor to John Upshur Dennis Page ’26 for heroic action leading to his death on December 11, 1950, during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

A soldier holding a gun standing in front of a Jeep in the snow
John Upshur Denis Page, Class of 1926, ca. 1950. Undergraduate Alumni Records (AC199).

December 21, 1940—F. Scott Fitzgerald, Class of 1917, dies suddenly after writing “good prose” in the margin of an article in the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

December 23, 1893—Peter Vredenburgh, Class of 1892, is injured by a railroad tie falling from an elevated track in New York.

December 24, 1823—The New York Evening Post reports on “Fine Doings at Princeton”:

Reports are in town of strange doings among the young men at Nassau Hall. It is said, that they revolted in a body, and held a convention in one of the rooms of the college, and that one of the Professors who went in to expostulate with them, was put under guard for not pulling off his hat, —that being a mark of respect with which the convention would not dispense. Worse than this, it is said that a body of militia who were called out to quell the insurgents, were taken prisoners by these rebellious youths, who, having the foe hors de combat, marched into the Hall with drums beating, fifes playing, and colors flying. Finally, it is said, that about seventy young men have been dismissed from the college.

This report is somewhat of an exaggeration.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

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