FYI March 23, 2019

On This Day

1540 – Waltham Abbey is surrendered to King Henry VIII of England; the last religious community to be closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland, appropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was originally envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry’s military campaigns in the 1540s. He was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from Papal authority, and by the First Suppression Act (1535) and the Second Suppression Act (1539).

Professor George W. Bernard argues:

The dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s was one of the most revolutionary events in English history. There were nearly 900 religious houses in England, around 260 for monks, 300 for regular canons, 142 nunneries and 183 friaries; some 12,000 people in total, 4,000 monks, 3,000 canons, 3,000 friars and 2,000 nuns. If the adult male population was 500,000, that meant that one adult man in fifty was in religious orders.[1]



Born On This Day

1842 – Susan Jane Cunningham, American mathematician (d. 1921)
Susan Jane Cunningham (March 23, 1842 – January 24, 1921) was an American mathematician instrumental in the founding and development of Swarthmore College.[1] She was born in Virginia, and studied mathematics and astronomy with Maria Mitchell at Vassar College as a special student during 1866–67.[1] She also studied those subjects during several summers at Harvard University, Princeton University, Newnham College at Cambridge, the Greenwich Observatory in England, and Williams College.[1]

In 1869 she became one of the founders of the mathematics and astronomy departments at Swarthmore, and she headed both those divisions until her retirement in 1906.[2] She was Swarthmore’s first professor of astronomy, and was professor of mathematics at the college beginning in 1871.[1][3] By 1888 she was Mathematics Department Chair, and that year she was given permission to plan and equip the first observatory in Swarthmore, which housed the astronomy department, and in which she lived in until her retirement; it was known as Cunningham Observatory.[1][3][4] The building still exists on the campus although it is no longer used as an observatory, and is now simply known as the Cunningham Building.[1][3] In 1888 Cunningham was given the first honorary doctorate of science ever given by Swarthmore.[2] In 1891 she became one of the first six women to join the New York Mathematical Society, which later became the American Mathematical Society.[5] The very first was Charlotte Angas Scott, and the other four were Mary E. Byrd of Smith College, Mary Watson Whitney of Vassar, Ellen Hayes of Wellesley, and Amy Rayson, who taught mathematics and physics at a private school in New York City.[5] Cunningham was also a member of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific as early as 1891.[6] She was also a founder member of the British Astronomical Association in 1890, resigned 1908 September.

Cunningham died on January 24, 1921 from heart failure. Her funeral service was held on-campus in the Swarthmore College Meeting House, and was attended by many notable figures such as then-Pennsylvania governor William C. Sproul and Pennsylvania State Commissioner of Health Edward Martin.[7]



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Six-man football
Six-man football is a variant of American football played with six players per team, instead of 11.

Six-man football was developed in 1934 by Stephen Epler in Chester, Nebraska, as an alternative means for small high schools to field a football team during the Great Depression.

The first six-man game was played on Thursday, September 27, 1934, in the Hebron, Nebraska Athletic Gridiron, under the lights, with a crowd of almost 1000 watching. This game was played so that coaches all over Kansas and Nebraska could see if they wanted to try this new game of six-man. The two teams playing in the game were the combined team from Hardy-Chester and a combined team from Belvalex-Alexandria. The two teams had two weeks to practice prior to this game. After that night, rules for the game were distributed to about 60,000 coaches in the United States.[1] On October 5, 1940, Windham High School from Windham, Ohio defeated Stamford Collegiate of Niagara Falls, Ontario 39-1 in the first international six-man football game.[2]



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