Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal (PAARP)

Navigation Aids

Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal (PAARP)
Search Finding Aids
 

Main Content

Bicentennial Celebration Records

AC148

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special CollectionsSeeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.Princeton University Archives.65 Olden StreetPrinceton, New Jersey 08540 USA. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special CollectionsSeeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.Princeton University Archives.65 Olden StreetPrinceton, New Jersey 08540 USA
Creator:
Princeton University. Bicentennial Celebration Committee.
Title:
Bicentennial Celebration Records
Date [inclusive]:
1944-1947
Call Number:
AC148
Extent:
17.16 linear feet (21 boxes and one oversize folder)
Location:
mudd
Language:
English
Abstract:
The Princeton University Bicentennial Celebration was a year-long series of events that began on September 22, 1946 with a sermon delivered by Geoffrey Francis Fisher, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, in the University Chapel and ended with an address by President Truman in front of Nassau Hall at the June 17, 1947 Concluding Bicentennial Convocation. The Bicentennial Celebration Records contain correspondence, writings, speeches, press-releases, pamphlets, reports, newspaper clippings, tickets, transcripts, watercolor and pencil sketches and various other materials documenting the 1946-1947 Princeton University Bicentennial Celebration.
PDF Version:

Return to Top »

Biography/History

The 1946-1947 Princeton University Bicentennial Celebration was an en masse celebration of Princeton?s past, present and future. The campus welcomed a spectrum of guests, ranging from members of the University and its surrounding community, to representatives of several national and international academic, private, and public organizations and institutions.

The yearlong series of events began on September 22, 1946 with a sermon delivered by Geoffrey Francis Fisher, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, in the University Chapel and ended with an address by President Harry S. Truman in front of Nassau Hall at the June 17, 1947 Concluding Bicentennial Convocation. The events were divided into two major parts comprising 16 conferences and 5 convocations. The events were interlinked by personnel and dates. Many participants of the conferences received honorary degrees at the Convocations.

The series of conferences were organized by Dean of the Faculty J. Douglas Brown ?28 and Whitney J. Oates ?25, with the assistance of the Princeton Faculty Committee, and extended from September 1946 through May 1947. Overseen largely by Princeton professors, the conferences covered a broad range of topics in the humanities, social and applied sciences, and engineering.

The convocations were arranged in the traditional format of past academic anniversaries, with a host of greetings, receptions, and entertainment, but on a much more elaborate scale. The festivities began on September 22, 1946 in the University Chapel with the Archbishop of Canterbury?s sermon. At the conclusion of the service, the Archbishop was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree and the first Bicentennial Medal. The medal was designed by John R. Sinnock, medalist to the United States Treasury, and was presented to all official guests and delegates who attended the ceremonies during the year.

The Charter Day Convocation commemorated the signing of the College?s First Charter. After Dean of the Chapel Robert R. Wicks? invocation, President Harold Dodds delivered a speech in which he recounted John Witherspoon?s influence on him and cited a passage from Witherspoon?s Civil Society. Afterwards, Dodds conferred honorary degrees to twenty-two men and one woman, most of whom participated in the first series of the Bicentennial Conferences. The Convocation came to a close with the singing of Isaac Watt?s Ninetieth Psalm, which has become a tradition at Princeton.

The Alumni Day and Spring Convocation followed the same pattern as the first two events. The Alumni Day included the second address made by President Dodds on the benefits of a liberal education. Chairman Douglas Horton gave the sermon at the luncheon and Secretary of State George C. Marshall made his first public address to a throng of alumni and special guests. During these two events a total of 54 honorary degrees were awarded.

The Bicentennial Year reached its pinnacle with the Concluding Bicentennial Convocation (June 14-17, 1947). The festivities extended into four eventful days beginning with the dedication of the Herbert Lowell Dillon Gymnasium. In the afternoon, the Princeton baseball team defeated Yale 1-0, and that evening, the Glee Club performed at McCarter Theater in the musical Going Back. Sunday?s festivities began in the University Chapel with a Service of Remembrance. In the evening, those in attendance gathered at Dillon Gymnasium to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Monday began with a Service of Dedication at the University Chapel followed by the dedication of the Harvey S. Firestone Library. That afternoon, a formal reception for visiting delegates was held in addition to other celebratory parties and dinners. Celebrations culminated on Tuesday with an invocation ceremony, which included speeches by President Dodds and President Truman. The ceremony also included a procession of academics from various American and foreign institutions and the awarding of 32 honorary degrees.

In addition to these main events, many other activities made the year memorable. From the opening of the Bicentennial, music played a significant role in celebrating the spirit of the events. Princeton?s Glee Club and Chapel Choir performed at various times for the convocations and other events, and the Pro Arte Quartet and Boston Symphony Orchestra played on campus.

Theatre Intime provided comical relief in their rendition of the 1869 Princeton-Rutgers football game. The Triangle Club also lent their talent with the annual musical, Clear the Track. Various exhibitions were on display in different locations around the Princeton University campus, neighboring Trenton, and New York City. The Louis Clark Vanuxem Lectures, Spencer Trask Lectures, and Cyrus Fogg Brackett Engineering Lectures were delivered by various honorary degree recipients, as were the six forums organized by the Student Christian Association led by six of the Bicentennial preachers.

The Bicentennial organizers included such distinguished figures as Walter E. Hope ?01, Whitney Darrow ?03, and Col. Arthur E. Fox ?13. As the Bicentennial Celebration planning grew so did the committees, to include over 200 members and more than 350 coordinators for the conferences alone. Those planners also included undergraduate and graduate students and members of the faculty, administration, and alumni. They coordinated their efforts with various national and international academic, private, and public organizations.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Princeton University Library. Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. ,  2006

Revision Description

Run through PULFA 2.0 normalization routines. Run through PULFA 2.0 normalization routines. 2012-05-02T15:21:50.513-04:002012-05-25T16:03:42.933-04:00

Return to Top »

[Digital Version]

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Princeton University -- Alumni.
  • Princeton University -- Anniversaries, etc.
  • Princeton University -- Athletics.
  • Princeton University -- Awards.
  • Princeton University -- Buildings.
  • Princeton University -- Centennial Celebrations, etc.
  • Princeton University -- Chapel.
  • Princeton University -- Degrees.
  • Princeton University -- Faculty.
  • Princeton University -- History.
  • Princeton University -- Library--Exhibitions.
  • Princeton University -- Presidents.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Articles.
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc).
  • Correspondence.
  • Essays.
  • Invitations.
  • Medals.
  • Memorandums.
  • Minutes.
  • Pamphlets.
  • Pencil Works.
  • Press Releases.
  • Programs.
  • Reports.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Sketches.
  • Speeches.
  • Watercolor Painting.
Personal Name(s)
  • Brown, J. Douglas (James Douglas), 1898-
  • Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978.
  • Dodds, Harold W. (Harold Willis), 1889-1980.
  • Fisher of Lambeth, Geoffry Francis Fisher, Baron, 1887-1972.
  • Nicolson, Marjorie Hope.
  • Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972.
Subject(s)
  • Rites and Ceremonies--Addresses, essays, lectures.
  • Sermons.
  • Visitors, foreign.
  • Princeton University

Return to Top »

Collection Inventory

Series 1: General, 1945-1947. 7.55 linear feet (5.5 boxes and 1 oversize folder).

Scope and Contents

The General series contains the Bicentennial Announcement, correspondence, memoranda, congratulatory letters and greetings from American and foreign universities and institutions, pamphlets, programs, ticket stubs, press releases, and printed material. In particular, material summarizing the Bicentennial events, the exhibitions, hospitality and housing issues, sample invitations, and other preliminary material relating to the conferences and convocation can be found in this section.

Also included in this series are congratulatory letters and greetings given to the University by American and foreign universities and institutions in honor of the Bicentennial Celebration. In addition, there are five decorative water color and pencil sketches of Whig-Clio Hall, Nassau Hall, Richardson Auditorium, and the entrance to North Campus.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by topic and chronologically within each folder.

General, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

A Retrospect, 1947, undated. 1 folder.

Academic Processions, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Announcement, 1945. 1 folder.

Belknap, Chauncey, Chapter on "The Alumni" for the book The Modern Princeton, 1946. 1 folder.

Congratulatory Letters and Greetings, 1946-1947. 4 folders.

American Universities and Institutions, 1947. 1 folder.

Foreign Universities and Institutions, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

List of, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Received After Conclusion of Bicentennial, 1947. 1 folder.

Congratulatory Letters and Greetings, 1946-1947. 1 box.

Oversize Congratulatory Letters and Greetings, undated. more than 3 boxes.

Oversize Items from American Universities and Institutions, undated. 1 folder.

Oversize Items from Foreign Universities and Institutions, undated. 1 folder.

Oversize Congratulatory Letters and Greetings, undated. 1 oversize folder.

Exhibitions, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Hope, Walter E., Article on the Trustees of Princeton University, 1946. 1 folder.

Hospitality and Housing, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Joint Congressional Resolution (H.J.Res.331), 1946. 1 folder.

Musical Events, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Other Events of Bicentennial Year, 1946. 1 folder.

"The Princeton Bicentennial Year 1946-1947 A Summary", 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Sermons, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Decorative Water Color and Pencil Sketches of Campus Buildings, undated. 1 folder.

AR.2006.064.  Materials sent to Dr. Frank Diehl Fackenthal, President of Columbia University, including medallion, 1947. 1 folder.

AR.2006.064.  Notes on the Princeton Bicentennial by Warren Norton, circa 1947. 1 folder.

AR.2006.064.  Miscellaneous Bicentennial Printed Ephemera, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Series 2: Committees, 1944-1947. 1.96 linear feet (3.5 boxes).

Scope and Contents

The Committees series documents the organization and planning of the Bicentennial events by various committees. In particular the records of the Executive Committee Chairman Walter E. Hope ?01 consist of correspondence, memoranda, meetings, minutes, and reports highlighting the issues related to the conferences and convocations. Also included in this series are the records of the Committee on Honorary Degrees which contain correspondence, memoranda, and lists of suggested and nominated recipients who received honorary degrees during the year, as well as reaction to the University awarding an honorary degree to President Harry S. Truman.

A list of Bicentennial Committees and members can be found within The Princeton Bicentennial Year, 1946-1947: A Summary located in Series 1: General, in Box 6, Folder 6.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by topic and chronologically within each folder.

Executive Committee, 1944-1947. 2 folders.

Expenses, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Meetings, Minutes, and Reports, 1944-1947. 1 folder.

Financial Campaign Committee, 1946. 1 folder.

General Bicentennial Committee, 1946. 1 folder.

Honorary Degree, Committee on, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Biographical Statements, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Memorabilia, dates not examined. 1 box.

Honorary Degree, Committee on , Citations, 1944-1947. 2 boxes (1 partial).

October 19 (Charter Day Convocation), Correspondence and Rough Drafts, 1946. 1 folder.

February 22 (Alumni Day Convocation), Correspondence with Mr. Hope and Rough Drafts, 1947. 1 folder.

April 3 (Spring Convocation), 1947. 1 folder.

June 17 (Concluding Bicentennial Convocation), 1947. 1 folder.

Other Universities, 1947. 1 folder.

Declinations of Degrees, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Degrees Conferred Lists, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Expenses, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Faculty Members, 1944-1947. 2 folders.

1946-1947, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Meetings, Minutes, and Reports, 1944-1947. 1 folder.

Honorary Degree Recipients, 1946-1947. 5 folders.

Alumni Day Convocation, 1947. 1 folder.

Charter Day Convocation, 1946. 1 folder.

Concluding Bicentennial Convocation, 1947. 1 folder.

Hosts and Escorts, List of, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Spring Convocation, 1947. 1 folder.

Minutes, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Proposals, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Reports to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Suggested Candidates, 1945-1947. portions of 2 boxes.

Alumni, 1946. 1 folder.

Board of Trustees, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Conference, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Country, Institution, and Practice, 1946. 1 folder.

Non-Conference, 1945-1947. 1 folder.

South America, 1947. 1 folder.

Truman, President Harry S, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Trustee Meetings, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Publications Committee, Minutes, 1945 July 5. 1 folder.

Reception Committee, 1947. 1 folder.

United States Princeton University Bicentennial Commission, Member List, 1945. 1 folder.

Series 3: Conferences, 1944-1947. 1.46 linear feet (3.5 boxes).

Scope and Contents

The Conferences series contains correspondence with Conference members and speakers relating to registration forms, acceptances, refusals, and travel expenses, along with personal congratulations to the organizers of the Conferences, Dean J. Douglas Brown ?28 and Professor Whitney J. Oates ?25. Faculty Committee meeting, minutes, and reports, a list of leaders and speakers per each conference, program schedules, pamphlets, and press releases regarding the speeches delivered during the Conferences and Convocation services are also located in this series. Of note are the speeches delivered by Professor Marjorie H. Nicolson and James B. Conant during the "Humanistic Tradition in the Century Ahead" Conference.

Arrangement

The Conferences series is arranged alphabetically by conference title.

General, 1944-1947. 1 folder.

Chemistry and Physiology of Growth, 1946 September 27-30. 1 folder.

Development of International Society, 1946 October 11-14. 1 folder.

Engineering and Human Affairs, 1946 October 3-5. 1 folder.

Evolution of Social Institutions in America, 1946 October 7-9. 1 folder.

Expense Sheet, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Far Eastern Culture and Society, 1947 April 1-3. 1 folder.

Forms Used, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Future of Nuclear Science, 1946 September 23-25. 1 folder.

Genetics, Paleontology and Evolution, 1947 January 2-4. 1 folder.

Humanistic Tradition in the Century Ahead, 1946 October 16-18. 1 folder.

Leaders and Speakers, 1946. 1 folder.

Meetings, Memos, and Minutes, 1945. 1 folder.

Near Eastern Culture and Society, 1947 March 25-27. 1 folder.

Planning Man?s Physical Environment, 1947 March 5-6. 1 folder.

Press Releases, 1945-1947. 1 folder.

Problems of Mathematics, 1946 December 17-19. 1 folder.

Programs, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Reports by the Faculty on Conference 3, Engineering and Human Affairs, 1946. 1 folder.

Responsibilities of Secondary School Education in the Years Ahead, 1947. 1 folder.

Role of the Undergraduate in University Life, 1947 April 25-26. 1 folder.

Scholarship and Research in the Arts, 1947 April 22-24. 1 folder.

University and Its World Responsibilities, 1947 February 19-21. 1 folder.

University Education and the Public Service, 1946 November 13-14. 1 folder.

Wigner, Eugene P., Correspondence, 1945-1947. 1 folder.

Series 4: Convocations, 1946-1947. 1.88 linear feet (4.5 boxes).

Scope and Contents

The Convocations series includes correspondence, registration cards, and signatures of delegates, tickets, sample program packets, as well as transcripts of the speeches delivered during the Special Convocation, Charter Day Convocation, Alumni Day Convocation, Spring Convocation, and the Concluding Bicentennial Convocation. Of note in the latter convocation, the original script used by Jose Ferrer ?33, the narrator for the "Going Back" performance, as well as transcripts for the Concluding Bicentennial events and the June 16, 1947 dinner that took place in Dillon Gymnasium in honor of the Bicentennial guests can be found in this series.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by event and then alphabetically by topic.

1946 September 22 (Special Convocation), 1946 September 22. 5 folders.

General, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Academic Procession, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Bicentennial Medal, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Fisher, Geoffrey Francis (Lord Archbishop of Canterbury), Correspondence and Sermon, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Instruction, dates not examined. 1 folder.

1946 October 19 (Charter Day Convocation), 1946 October 19. 6 folders.

General, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Academic Procession, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Belknap, Chauncey, Correspondence, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Dodds, President Harold W., Speech, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Instructions, dates not examined. 2 folders.

General, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Marshals, dates not examined. 1 folder.

1947 February 22 (Alumni Day Convocation), 1947 February 22. 5 folders.

General, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Academic Procession, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Dodds, President Harold W., dates not examined. 2 folders.

Dinner, February 21, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Speech, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Instructions, dates not examined. 1 folder.

1947 April 3 (Spring Convocation), 1947 April 3. 5 folders.

General, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Academic Procession, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Concluding Dinner, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Dodds, President Harold W., Speech, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Instructions, dates not examined. 1 folder.

1947 June 17 (Concluding Bicentennial Convocation), 1947 June 17. 5 boxes (3 partial).

AR.2006.064.  Dodds, President Harold W., Speech, 1947 June 17. 1 folder.

General, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Correspondence, dates not examined. 2 folders.

April-May, dates not examined. 1 folder.

June, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Delegates, dates not examined. 5 folders.

General, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Presentation of Greetings, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Registered, Signature of, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Sample Packet, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Yale University, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Events, dates not examined. 1 folder.

"Going Back" Musical, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Grounds and Buildings, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Marshals Instructions, dates not examined. 1 folder.

National Alumni Association, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Delegates, American Universities Arrival Cards, 1946-1947. 1 box.

Delegates, Foreign Universities Arrival Cards, 1946-1947. 1 box.

Press Relations, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Protocol List, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Seating Arrangements, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Service of Remembrance, June 15, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Tickets, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Transcript, dates not examined. 1 folder.

Series 5: Scrapbooks and Clippings, 1946-1947. 4.23 linear feet (3.5 boxes).

Scope and Contents

The Scrapbook and Clippings series contains loose clippings as well as three volumes of bound clippings from various newspapers including the New York Times and the  Princeton Herald.

The first volume contains clippings from the 1946 opening of the Bicentennial to the first Bicentennial Conference, "The Future of Nuclear Science." The second volume includes clippings from 1946-1947 Bicentennial Conferences and the third consists of clippings regarding the Bicentennial Convocations, as well as various public events.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by event and then alphabetically by topic.

General, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Concerts, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Conferences, 1946-1947. 2 folders.

Series 1, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Series 2, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Convocations, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Forums, 1946. 1 folder.

Learned Societies, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

The Princeton Herald, Articles, 1947. 1 folder.

Publicity (Radio and Press), 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Sermons, 1946-1947. 1 folder.

Truman, President Harry S., Articles on, 1947. 1 folder.

Bound Scrapbook Clippings, undated. 3 boxes.

Volume 1, dates not examined. 1 box.

Volume 2, dates not examined. 1 box.

Volume 3, dates not examined. 1 box.

AR.2006.064.  Miscellaneous Bicentennial Clippings, 1946-1947. 1 folder.