Monday, November 28, 2011

On November 28

On this day in ...
... 1853, a daughter, Helen Magill, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, into a Quaker family. Her father's professorial posts proved her entree into formal studies: as a child she was the only girl student at Boston Public Latin School. She was among the 5 women and 1 man who made up the 1st graduating class at Swarthmore College, where her father was president. In 1877, she became the 1st American woman to earn a Ph.D. -- in Greek, from Boston University. Following further studies in England, she returned to the United State and became a teacher. Three years after meeting a retired-Cornell-president-turned-diplomat (and onetime classmate of her father) while presenting a paper at American Social Science Association, she married him in 1890. Diplomatic service would find the couple living in St. Petersburg, Russia and Berlin, Germany, before his death in 1918 -- 5 years after she made a stir by voicing opposition to women's suffrage. Helen Magill White (above right) died in Maine in 1944. (credit for 1873 photo)

(Prior November 28 posts are here, here, here, and here.)

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