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This Week in Princeton History for June 10-16

By April C. Armstrong *14

In this week’s installment in our recurring series, an alum mysteriously disappears, protesters pass through Princeton, and more.

June 11, 1949—Wallace Leonard Alexander, Class of 1922, disappears after leaving his class tent at Reunions. He will later be discovered inside his crashed car at the bottom of the deepest part of Lake Carnegie, and it will remain a mystery how he got there.

June 12, 1932—Fifteen members of the “Bonus Army” pass through Princeton on their way to Washington to join other World War I veterans demanding an early payment of the bonus they were promised to be given in 1945. Reportedly “unkempt and unshaven” but also “militant and aggressive,” they have a baby carriage with them with a sign on top reading “Donations gratefully received for the starving veterans in Washington.”

Uncle Sam contemplating a handful of coins as "THE BONUS" while a man in uniform looks on.
“Don’t Be a Tightwad, Sam,” undated, showing Uncle Sam contemplating a handful of coins as “THE BONUS” while a man in uniform looks on. Cartoon by Clive R. Weed. Political Cartoon Collection (MC180), Box 28.

June 13, 1904—The Board of Trustees approves an overhaul of the curriculum, including a new Bachelor of Letters (Litt.B.) for humanities students without a background in Greek and a requirement that all students choose a major field of study among the University’s twelve departments at the beginning of their junior year.

June 16, 1876—Entrance examinations for Princeton are offered in Cincinnati for the first time. These exams, identical to ones in St. Louis, Savannah, Chicago, and Princeton, will be supervised by Andrew Fleming West, Class of 1874, who is currently teaching Latin at Hughes High School.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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