On This Day
1880 – The Cornell Daily Sun prints its first issue in Ithaca, New York. The Sun is the nation’s oldest, continuously-independent college daily.
The Cornell Daily Sun is an independent daily newspaper published in Ithaca, New York by students at Cornell University and hired employees.
The Sun features coverage of the university and its environs as well as stories from the Associated Press and UWIRE. It prints on weekdays when the university is open for academic instruction as a tabloid-sized daily. In addition to these regular issues, The Sun publishes a graduation issue and a freshman issue, which is mailed to incoming Cornell freshmen before their first semester. The paper is free on campus and online.
Aside from a few full-time production and business positions, The Sun is staffed by Cornell students and is fully independent of the university. It operates out of its own building in downtown Ithaca. The Sun is currently the number one college newspaper in the United States, according to The Princeton Review.
Born On This Day
1880 – Clara Ayres, American nurse (d. 1917)
Clara Ayres (1880–1917) was an American nurse, who joined the United States Army during the First World War. Ayres and Helen Burnett Wood were the first two women to be killed while serving in the United States military, following an explosion on USS Mongolia on May 17, 1917.
Clara Edith Work (later Ayres) was born on September 16, 1880, in Venice Township, Seneca County, Ohio. She was the eldest of three children of James and Mary Work. She was brought up in Attica within the Township. On September 30, 1903, she married grocery store owner Wayland D. Ayres, who died three years later from tetanus from a workplace injury. She attempted to run the store herself, but was eventually employed as a clerk at a dry foods store nearby.
In 1910, she travelled to Chicago to study nursing at the school there. She graduated in 1913, and worked until 1917 as an instructor at the Cook County Hospital. That year she responded to the American Red Cross appeal for trained nurses for the First World War. She was accepted, and was transferred on board the USS Mongolia to travel to France. The day after sailing on May 17, the crew underwent a firing practice. The medical staff being transferred watched from near one of the guns, when it exploded, killing Ayres and fellow nurse Helen Burnett Wood.
The ship transferred their bodies back to New York City. The two women were the first of their gender to be killed while serving in the United States military. Following a service by the Red Cross on May 23, Ayres’ body was taken back to Ohio where she was buried with military honors on May 26. A Bronze plaque honoring her was placed at the Chicago Training School for Nurses. The deaths made national news, and the United States Navy was accused in the United States Congress of covering up how the women were killed. A historical marker was placed near her grave in 2017.
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