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This Week in Princeton History for December 4-10

By April C. Armstrong *14

In this week’s installment in our recurring series, a group of students stage a rowdy protest of an anti-feminist lecture on campus, the College president places a large order of sugar, and more.

December 4, 1924—In the Buffalo Evening News, physicist Mihajlo “Michael” Pupin writes of feeling haunted by his encounter with a Princeton student in a visit to campus in 1875:

That gentle youth’s suggestion that he might someday see me enrolled as a student at Princeton kept ringing in my ears, and sounded like mockery. A peasant boy from a Serb village who a little over two years previously was wearing a peasant’s sheepskin coat and cap to become a fellow student of those youths who looked like young aristocrats seemed impossible. A European aristocrat would never have suggested such a thing, and that puzzled me.

Pupin would later attend Columbia.

December 5, 1990—A group sarcastically named “Ladies Against Women” (LAW) protests a lecture by Phyllis Schlafly in McCormick Hall. Two men dress in drag to support them. When Schlafly denounces gay and lesbian teachers “because schools should be able to set moral standards,” two of the LAW women kiss while many others in the crowd boo Schlafly.

December 6, 1759—Princeton president Samuel Davies writes to Peter Van Brugh Livingston in New York requesting 200 lbs. of muscovado sugar and reports, “Affairs at College go Smooth and easy; and we seem at least to have so much Goodness as to love one another.”

Samuel Davies
Samuel Davies. Image courtesy Library of Congress.

December 7, 1885—In response to “the awful bunching of examinations at the end of the first term of Senior year,” the Class of 1886 has requested that their final exam in ethics be postponed until the second term.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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