On This Day
1837 – Mary Lyon founds Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later becomes Mount Holyoke College.
During these early years, Lyon gradually developed her vision for Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which would resemble Grant’s schools in many respects but, Lyon hoped, draw its students from a wider socioeconomic range. The college was unique in that it was founded by people of modest means and served their daughters, rather than the children of the rich. She was especially influenced by Reverend Joseph Emerson, whose Discourse on Female Education (1822) advocated that women should be trained to be teachers rather than “to please the other sex.”
Mount Holyoke opened in 1837: the seminary was ready for “the reception of scholars on November 8, 1837.” Lyon strove to maintain high academic standards: she set rigorous entrance exams and admitted “young ladies of an adult age, and mature character.”
In keeping with her social vision, she limited the tuition to $60/year, about one-third the tuition that Grant charged at Ipswich Female Seminary, which was central to her mission of “appeal[ing] to the intelligence of all classes.” In order to keep costs low, Lyon required students to perform domestic tasks—an early version of work/study. These tasks included preparing meals and washing floors and windows. Emily Dickinson, who attended the Seminary in 1847, was tasked with cleaning knives. But this would not last. As of 2019, Mount Holyoke now estimates the cost of attending the college to be $71,828 per year.
Lyon, an early believer in the importance of daily exercise for women, required her students to “walk one mile (1.6 km) after breakfast. During New England’s cold and snowy winters, she reduced the requirement to 45 minutes. Calisthenics—a form of exercise—was taught by teachers in unheated hallways until a storage area was cleared for a gymnasium.
Though Lyon’s policies were sometimes controversial, the seminary quickly attracted its target student body of 200. Lyon anticipated a change in the role of women and equipped her pupils with an education that was comprehensive, rigorous, and innovative, with particular emphasis on the sciences. She required:
seven courses in the sciences and mathematics for graduation, a requirement unheard of at other female seminaries. She introduced women to “a new and unusual way” to learn science—laboratory experiments which they performed themselves. She organized field trips on which students collected rocks, plants, and specimens for lab work, and inspected geological formations and recently discovered dinosaur tracks.
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1940 – Warsaw is awarded the Virtuti Militari by the Polish government-in-exile.
The War Order of Virtuti Militari (Latin: “For Military Virtue”, Polish: Order Wojenny Virtuti Militari) is Poland’s highest military decoration for heroism and courage in the face of the enemy at war. It was created in 1792 by Polish King Stanislaus II Augustus and is the oldest military decoration in the world still in use.
It is awarded in five classes either for personal heroism or, to commanders, for leadership. Some of the heroic actions recognized by an award of the Virtuti Militari are equivalent to those meriting the British Victoria Cross, the German Iron Cross, and the American Medal of Honor.
Soon after its introduction, however, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was destroyed in the partitions of Poland (1795), and the partitioning powers abolished the decoration and prohibited its wearing. Since then, the award has been reintroduced, renamed and banned several times, with its fate closely reflecting the vicissitudes of the Polish people. Throughout the decoration’s existence, thousands of soldiers and officers, Polish and foreign, several cities and one ship have been awarded the Virtuti Militari for valor or outstanding leadership in war. There have been no new awards since 1989.
Born On This Day
1878 – Dorothea Bate, English palaeontologist and archaeozoologist (d. 1951)
Dorothea Minola Alice Bate FGS (8 November 1878 – 13 January 1951), also known as Dorothy Bate, was a Welsh palaeontologist and pioneer of archaeozoology. Her life’s work was to find fossils of recently extinct mammals with a view to understanding how and why giant and dwarf forms evolved.
1871 – Florence R. Sabin, American medical scientist (d. 1953)
Florence Rena Sabin (November 9, 1871 – October 3, 1953) was an American medical scientist. She was a pioneer for women in science; she was the first woman to hold a full professorship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the first woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the first woman to head a department at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. During her years of retirement, she pursued a second career as a public health activist in Colorado, and in 1951 received the Albert Lasker Public Service Award for this work.
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By Cory Max Montoya, Beyond Bylines, Blogs We Love: The NYC Marathon is Back, so Here are 5 Running Blogs We Love
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By MessyNessy 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. DLXXVI): Human nature, or, Men and Women Exposed, 1901; Airline reservations before computers, 1945; Reaching the Midpoint while building the Channel Tunnel, 1990; The Forgotten Genius who Patented the UFO; Cliff Dwellings in China; This 80s Remix of Adele’s “Easy on Me” and more ->
By Matt Goff, Sitka Nature: Late October Sunny Day
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By Jeromina: RAV-ear-IOLI (Meat Ravioli Ears)
By Lavi Bake House: Fluffy Garlic Bread With Ham and Cottage Cheese Filling
By Federica: Spaghetti Pizza
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By Betty Crocker Kitchens, Betty Lab: Turn Your Kitchen Into a Lab
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