Tuesday, January 4, 2022

The Battle Of Princeton

Do you know what it says on Rodney Dangerfield's tombstone? 

"There Goes The Neighborhood." It's the most perfect headstone of all time.

Rodney, whose real name was Jacob Cohen, is one of TigerBlog's all-time favorites. His stand-up routines are incredible. There are a million of them on YouTube; check out any of his appearances on the Johnny Carson show. 

He also made some really, really funny movies (and some forgettable ones), the best of which was "Caddyshack." Another one of them, "Easy Money," is a bit underrated, though it did have some pretty good scenes.

One of them is when Rodney is being blasted by his mother-in-law, who is talking about all of the others her daughter could have married, pointing out where they started and where they ended up. To that, Rodney says: "Yeah? Well I used to be a baby, and now I'm a baby photographer."

For TigerBlog, he can say that he used to be a history major and now he's a historian. And as such, he was fascinated when he read all about the history of the Battle of Princeton during the American Revolution, a battle fought 245 years ago yesterday.

The best part was to check out all of the maps, which showed how the British troops were heading south along what presumably is now Route 206 and the Americans under George Washington were heading north along what presumably is now the Princeton Pike. They had a chance meeting the British saw American scouts in the woods, and that led to the battle, which ended up being a big win for the Americans (TB almost wrote "the Tigers" there by mistake).

The Battle of Princeton is considered a major turning point of the war, both from the strategic value (the British withdrew to New York) and from the psychological value of having faced the British and won. TB drives up and down those roads all the time, going past the battlefield itself. The next time he does, he'll be thinking back to Jan. 3, 1777.

And how about 200 years later, on Jan. 3, 1977? 

TB looked up the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Princeton in the Daily Princetonian archives yesterday. There was, in fact, a battle reenactment. This piece for the story made TB laugh a bit:

The mock battle will be followed at noon by a reenactment of the British 40th regiment's surrender at NassauHall. Students can reach the battlefield by taking free shuttle buses from lots 20, 21 and 24 (Jadwin Gym and the main student parking lots.) For those who wish to follow the troops, the British will march the 1.5 miles to the battle from Nassau Hall, while the colonists will start from the intersection of Route 1 and Quakerbridge Road.

That same issue also included some interesting Princeton Athletics news.

First, there was the story that Rhodes Scholarships had been awarded to six Princeton students, including three athletes. One was football player Daniel Fournier, a Canadian who would go on to play in the Canadian Football League. 

Another was Rick Stengel, who played for the men's basketball team that won the 1975 NIT championship. Stengel has gone on to a long career in media, including serving as managing editor at Time magazine. His resume also includes time as the chairman of the National Constitution Center, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and as an author and television commentator.

The third athlete was Sue Perles, who also happened to be Princeton's first woman athlete to be a Rhodes Scholar. Perles was a captain of the field hockey team in the early 1970s, when Merrily Dean Baker was the head coach.

Princeton Athletics first had a Rhodes Scholar back in 1931, when Julius Byles was honored. Julius won three letters in football and track and field, and he then went on to serve as an officer in World War II in Europe and then to a career as an oil executive before he passed away in 1991. 

The second was a man named Frederick Tremaine Billings, who lettered in three sports as a Tiger (football, wrestling, lacrosse) while also earning the Pyne Prize. He went to Johns Hopkins medical school after graduation, and he served in the Pacific in World War II, becoming a Lt. Colonel, before spending the majority of his career practicing and teaching at Vanderbilt while also starting healthcare programs in Appalachia. 

That's quite a life story as well.

Here is the complete list of Princeton's Athletic Rhodes Scholars:

1931-Byles, Julius (Football, track and field)
1933-Billings, Frederick Tremaine (Lacrosse, Wrestling, Football)
1948-Douglas, John Woolman (Football)
1948-Harr, Jr., Karl Gottlieb (Football)
1957-Stewart, Michael MacCracken (Football)
1960-Sachs, Daniel Martin (Football)
1965-Bradley, William Warren (Basketball)
1965-Smith, Michael Edward (Football)
1966-Spence, A. Michael (Ice Hockey)
1967-Peters, Charles (Football)
1970-Hicks, David Vern (Rowing)
1975-McCaffery, Michael Gerard (Swimming)
1976-Perles, Suzanne (Field Hockey)
1977-Stengel, Richard Allen (Basketball)
1977-Fournier, Daniel Edward (Football)
1990-Dechet, Andrew John (Soccer)
1992-Hessler, Peter Benjamin (Track & Field, Cross Country)
1993-Ticktin, Miriam Iris (Swimming)
1995-Babik, Jennifer (Field Hockey, Softball)
2003-Shackelton, Laura A. (Track & Field)
2005-Miller, Jeff (Basketball)
2008-Stankievech, Landis (Ice Hockey)2015-Skokowski, Rachel A. (Cross Country/Track & Field)
2016-Barton, Nicholas (Men's Squash)

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