Sounds of Princeton: Jimmy Stewart ’32 Sings

Princeton, like the Library of Congress, has a collection of significant recordings. The University’s Historical Audiovisual Collection, housed at Mudd Library, includes nearly 2,000 selections that span a full century, beginning with a silent film of President John Grier Hibben 1882’s inauguration in 1912. University Archivist Daniel J. Linke and his staff have flagged about 70 key items — mostly film and video — to be preserved in digital form; many of these can be viewed on the Reel Mudd blog. PAW chose a handful of interesting audio clips from the collection, briefly described below. Listen to segments of each below. 

What were the sounds that defined your Princeton years? Late-night arch sings? A favorite professor’s voice? Squeaking sneakers in Jadwin? The Cleveland Tower carillon?

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Jimmy Stewart ’32 sings, 1931 (above)

The future movie star stretches his vocal range to serenade his beloved in a recording of the song “Day After Day,” from the Triangle Club production Spanish Blades.

Goin’ Back with the Class of 1917, 1937:

In a rare promotional 45 that includes excerpts of Princeton songs, class president Whit Landon ’17 urges classmates to come back for their 20th reunion; the B-side features an invitation to wives and children.

Basketball’s NCAA Tournament debut, 1952:

WPRB’s live broadcast of Princeton’s opening-round clash with Duquesne at Chicago Stadium. A fourth-quarter surge led the Dukes to a 60–49 win.

Honoring Adlai Stevenson ’22, 1968:

While dedicating a bust of Stevenson, diplomat George F. Kennan ’25 said of his friend, “No one ever rose more admirably than he to the test of disappointment and defeat.”

A strike against the war, 1970:

Following the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, students, faculty, and administrators gathered in Jadwin Gym, where a majority voted for a campus strike to condemn military intervention.