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This Week in Princeton History for March 18-24

By April C. Armstrong *14

In this week’s installment in our recurring series, alumni are unsettled by a change in admissions requirements, the University president warns of dangers to democracy, and more.

March 18, 1987—To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Grover Cleveland, ceremonies are held at Proctor Hall. Baby Ruth candy bars will be given out to children.

March 19, 1919—The Princeton Alumni Weekly is filled with letters from alumni concerned about the recent recommendation to drop Greek as an entrance requirement.

A Greek exam, which asks for a translation of a passage in Greek and has several other questions about Greek grammar and composition
First page of the Greek section of the Princeton University entrance exam, 1910. Course Examinations Collection (AC054), Box 1.

March 21, 1901—According to a report that will later appear in Albany’s Times-Union, Princeton football players W.L. Brokaw and Stephen Herman are beaten by a mob and spend the night in jail in Trenton after making drunken comments to a local woman whose father took offense at their words. The woman (Alice Larue) is given permission to visit them and rushes to tend their wounds with witch hazel while they are incarcerated.

March 24, 1937—Princeton University president Harold Willis Dodds testifies in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s plan to pack the Supreme Court with justices who will rule favorably toward him. Dodds warns,

If popular government fails in America, it will not be by a blind repetition of European examples but by the creation of a lack of faith in democracy and a growing callousness to the brutality of authoritarianism.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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