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This Week in Princeton History for May 20-26

By April C. Armstrong *14

In this week’s installment in our recurring series, a junior writes to a friend about his experiences, a professor denies rumors that he is running for office, and more.

May 21, 1782—Ashbel Green (Class of 1783) writes to a friend, “I can assure you that I am not one inch taller, nor, that I know of, one whit the better for my admittance to Nassau Hall.”

Ashbel Green
Portrait of Ashbel Green by an unknown artist, as photographed by Taylor & Dull, Inc. Historical Photograph Collection, Alumni Photographs Series (AC058), Box MP04.

May 23, 1916—Reports appear that professor George McClellan is rumored to be the Vice Presidential running mate for Henry Ford’s presidential campaign under the newly formed American Peace Party. In response, McClellan will write, “‘The American Peace Party’ must be very ‘newly formed,’ for my most earnest efforts have failed to discover its existence.”

May 24, 1939—Thanks to an anonymous donor, this year’s undergraduate book exhibition will include a competitive element. Each student who enters must select their 10 most highly prized volumes. The winner of the contest will receive $25, while the runner-up will receive $15. The event is designed to encourage the building of personal libraries.

May 25, 1986—Students join in Hands Across America, a fundraising effort to create a human chain across the entire contiguous United States. Although the effort will not succeed in some rural areas, about 5.4 million Americans participate overall.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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