In This Issue:

Remembering Charles Robinson

The Paperboy

Another Year

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Tribute to the Charles William Robinson American Legion Post 218

By Shirley A. Satterfield


It was 1920 in Princeton, New Jersey, when a small, framed house was built on Lytle Street and given the address number 26. In the Princeton Municipality records, it lists the ownership as an early resident of Princeton. Like many houses in what is today known as the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, this house became a community establishment: a Negro men’s club known as the “Elite Social Club.” In 1966 this building was acquired to serve as the Charles W. Robinson American Legion Post 218.


Undated photo of Charles William Robinson American Legion Post 218


The Princeton Veterans who served in the First and Second World Wars, Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War joined on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month to discuss and plan services, events, community activities, and concerns related to men who had served in the wars. Many of the members formed a drum and bugle corps that performed annually in Princeton’s Memorial Day Parade. There was also an American Legion Post 218 baseball team, one of many sports teams in the Witherspoon-Jackson community.


Through the years, this historic and cherished building has been in the care of our veterans, Mr. Charles Streater, Mr. Earl Buggs, and Mr. Wallace Holland, who used to march proudly every year in the Memorial Day Parade.


To honor the American Legion mission devoted to mutual helpfulness, this historic building will again serve this community as a remembrance of all Princeton servicemen, as a lasting tribute to Charles W. Robinson, and as a place of learning and service for community veterans and residents.


This photo from the late 1920s or early 1930s shows the Charles William Robinson Post 218 American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps in front of the Witherspoon School for Colored Children on Quarry Street.


Remembering Charles William Robinson


Charles William Robinson was a naval serviceman who is one of 17,453 Gold Star casualties whose home or enlistment state is New Jersey. He was a resident of Princeton, New Jersey, and was a member of the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church.


He enlisted in the United States Navy and served during World War I as Petty Office Third Class. His military occupation or specialty was Master at Arms Third Class, and he served on the USS Buena Ventura.


During his service, Navy Petty Officer Third Class Robinson was reported Missing in action and ultimately declared dead on September 16, 1918. The circumstances were recorded as “Missing in action or lost at sea.” He is recognized as the first Princetonian to lose his life in World War I.


Even at an early age, Navy Petty Officer Third Class Charles William Robinson knew that he wanted to serve his country!


Charles William Robinson is buried at the Brookwood American Cemetery in Brookwood, England. This burial ground is an American Battle Monuments location. His name is engraved on tablets at this cemetery as a missing soldier.


Navy Petty Officer Third Class Charles William Robinson received the highest commendations: a World War I Victory Medal, a Purple Heart, and the Navy Expeditionary Medal. He served with honor in the United States Navy and is worthy to be remembered by the people of Princeton as well as New Jersey. May his positive example inspire us as global citizens.


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Community Calendar

WJHCS Trustees Recent Accomplishments and Honors:


Honoree: Leighton Newlin

Date: January 5, 2022

Elected: Princeton Councilmember


Honoree: Rev. Gregory Smith

Award: Ordination and Installation as Pastor

Date: November 20, 2021

Awarded By: Second Calvary Baptist Church, Hopewell, NJ



Honoree: Shirley Satterfield

Award: Community Engagement Award

Date: November 17, 2021

Awarded By: Princeton University and Pace Center for Civic Engagement


Honoree: Shirley A. Satterfield

Award: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award

Date: January 16, 2021

Awarded By: New Jersey Education Association (NJEA)

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