17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Wednesday, April 17, 1912: At last I have managed to get a subject that I think will suit me. I read it over this evening. It was very interesting to read.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
The previous day Grandma wrote that she was trying to find a topic for a presentation on the upcoming last day of school. What was the interesting subject that Grandma came up with? I wonder what types of topics were considered appropriate back then.
The school year was shorter a hundred years ago—and length varied a lot between one school and the next. For example, the school year at the one-room school-house where Grandma’s sister Ruth taught ended on March 27.
ARE NOW CLOSING
Schools in the rural districts of Northumberland county are closing for the vacation of several months, and will not resume until the fall. In the rural districts many of these schools closed this week, and the various teachers will be seeking employment elsewhere until time shall travel over a course of perhaps several months, when they will be found behind the teacher’s desk, instructing young minds and in some cases wielding the rod, urging some tardy loiterer along the paths of knowledge.
Seven months is the average school term in the rural districts, and at the close of March and the beginning of April the school boy looks for the close of the school, and incidentally helps his father in the preparation of the soil for the planting of the crops.
Milton Evening Standard (April 6, 1912)