On This Day
1903 – The Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty is signed by the United States and Panama, giving the United States exclusive rights over the Panama Canal Zone.
The Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty (Spanish: Tratado Hay-Bunau Varilla) was a treaty signed on November 18, 1903, by the United States and Panama, which established the Panama Canal Zone and the subsequent construction of the Panama Canal. It was named after its two primary negotiators, Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla, the French diplomatic representative of Panama, and United States Secretary of State John Hay.
Born On This Day
1917 – Beebe Steven Lynk, African-American chemist and author (d. 1948)
Beebe Steven Lynk (1872–1948) was one of the first African-American women chemists and chemistry teachers. She was an active member of the early black women’s club movement, authoring a book, Advice to Colored Women in 1896.
Early life and education
Lynk was born in Mason, Tennessee, on October 24, 1872. She was the daughter of Henderson Stevens and Jule Ann (Boyce) Steven. She earned a degree from Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, in 1892 at the age of 20.
Lynk gained a Ph. C. (a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry) from the University of West Tennessee in 1903. This was a two-year, pre-bachelor degree, for training teachers.
Lynk became one of two female faculty members (out of ten) at the University’s new medical school. She was the professor of medical Latin botany and materia medica. The University of West Tennessee had been founded by Lynk’s husband in 1900 in Jackson, Tennessee, moving to Memphis in 1907. The university struggled with performance and acceptance, as well as financially, and closed in 1923.
In addition to teaching, Lynk wrote a book called Advice to Colored Women (1896) and was active in the African-American women’s club movement,. An advocate for women’s rights, she was a member of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs, serving as Treasurer of the Tennessee State Federation of that organization. Her book reflected the organization’s mission of advancing the status of African-American women through education and respectability.
On April 12, 1893, Lynk married Dr. Miles Vandahurst Lynk, known both as the founder, editor and publisher of Medical and Surgical Observer (the first medical journal issued by an African-American), as well as founding the University of West Tennessee.
Beebe Steven Lynk died on November 11, 1948 of carcinoma of stomach in Memphis, Tennessee. Very little information is known about her life, in part because the University of West Tennessee no longer exists. Further sources on her may be available through the Tennessee State archives.
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