Friday, January 23, 2009

On January 23

On this day in ...
... 1849 (160 years ago today), as described on the website of the U.S. National Library of Medicine:
On the morning of Tuesday, January 23, 1849, a young woman ascended the platform of the Presbyterian church in Geneva, N.Y., and received from the hands of the President of Geneva Medical College a diploma conferring upon her the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Thus, after many years of determined effort, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to complete a course of study at a medical college and receive the M.D. degree.
Blackwell, who'd been born February 3, 1821, in England, was featured as Immigrant of the Day in this ImmigrationProf Blog post. (credit for circa 1850 photo of Blackwell)

... 1835, the 1st volume of 1 of the great political travelogues of all times, De la démocratie en Amérique, was published in Paris. The author, of course, was the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville (right), who'd go on to publish a 2d volume in 1840. Known to English speakers as Democracy in America, it is a chief component of a lifework "largely devoted to reconciling the principles of equality and freedom."

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