Thursday, July 23, 2020

To The Prince

If you are into history, especially Princeton history, the way TigerBlog is, then you have to love THIS website.

It's the archives of "The Daily Princetonian," the student-run newspaper of Princeton University. It was founded in 1876, which makes it older than most colleges, let alone most college newspapers.

The archives actually go back further than that, all the way to February of 1842, with a link to the "Nassau Monthly." The first story there is entitled "An Hour's Talk About History," and, well, you have to see it for yourself. 

It's sort of a continuation of what TB was saying the other day about how sportswriting has evolved through the years. This is more about how writing in general has done so.

The student newspaper began as a twice-weekly publication called "The Princetonian" back in 1876. It became a daily paper, and thus "The Daily Princetonian," in 1892.

The first issue of the student paper seems to have been on Sept. 22, 1876. Among the stories was this take on hazing:

The old custom, commonly known as hazing, of initiating a freshman into the mysteries of College life, is fortunately falling out of practice. The question arises, whether this is from respect to the wishes of the Faculty, or from want of desire on the part of the students to participate in such amusements. Which of these reasons predominates is uncertain, but it is to be hoped that it is due to the latter partly at least, that the incoming class has had so few "nightly visits." That a freshman should be made to understand his position in College is undeniable; but there are numerous ways of accomplishing this end without resorting to the practice of hazing.

Because the actual student paper didn't begin until seven years after the first football game in 1869, there is no reporting on it in the archives. The only publication linked to in those years was the "Princeton Literary Magazine," and there was no issue in November or December. The January issue doesn't include anything about the first football game, though it does have a story entitled "Who Stole The President's Horse."

This is from the first entry about athletics in the history of "The Prince":

The West End Caledonian Association had a meeting at Long Branch, in July. As there were a number of Princeton men in the vicinity, this opportunity for displaying Princeton muscle and Princeton skill was not neglected. The following gentlemen entered the games: Mann, Halsted, Clarke, Karge, Moffat, Parmly, Woods ; the rest held the coats of their more active friends.

That was about a track meet. The same athletics recap talked about another track event, in Saratoga, to which Princeton was only able to afford to send three athletes due to a lack of funds. The piece also talked about the uncertainty for the coming baseball season and the need to 1) have good practices on the field and 2) have good workouts in the gym.

Maybe the wording has changed considerably, but the dynamic of sports has not.

Through the years, the staff of "The Prince" has included some huge names in the field of journalism, including Grant Wahl, who is now one of the top soccer writers/commentators in the world, and the late Frank Deford, one of the greatest American writers of any kind ever.

The list of alums of the paper includes figures throughout the journalism world and beyond, including current Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, former Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John D. Rockefeller and so many others.

John Stossell of ABC News is a Prince alum, something TB didn't know. For that matter, he didn't even know that Stossell was a Princeton alum.

You can see some of the other alums listed HERE, including an all-time TB favorite, Noah Trister, who remains one of the most loyal Princeton athletic fans out there. 

TB never wrote for his college newspaper, "The Daily Pennsylvanian." He has, though, kicked DP reporters out of of Jadwin Gym after basketball games because they were taking forever to get done with their stories.

During his time at Princeton, TB has seen legions of Prince reporters who have covered the Tigers and moved on in their careers. Some have stayed in writing. Most haven't, but TB is pretty sure that they have incredible memories of their time as college writers.

They should at least.

They've been part of something special.


Steven J. Feldman '68 said...

If you go to the Dallas Wings women's professional basketball website and look for "News," there are a lot of pictures of each day of the Wings' practices. Those photos include quite a number of Bella Alarie in action. "News" is found at the bottom of the website under "Media."

Tiger69 said...

If John Stossel, to whom you refer, is the same as my ‘69 classmate, ABC is an improvement over his former employer, FOX, where he created some very misleading stories. I hope that his standards have improved with his change.

Tiger69 said...

If John Stossel, to whom you refer, is the same as my ‘69 classmate, ABC is an improvement over his former employer, FOX, where he created some very misleading stories. I hope that his standards have improved with his change.