17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, August 27, 1912: Brought home my Latin Grammar, all the time thinking I had my Caesar. Didn’t want the former at all. Must study some now, so I’ll soon be in the midst of my studies this evening.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Hmm. . . This is the first time that Grandma’s mentioned Latin during the year and a half that I’ve been posting her diary entries. . . . though she apparently had taken some Latin in previous years because she used the Latin term puella bona (good girl) in a diary entry that I posted a few days ago.
I was amazed to discover that a hundred years ago, most females who went high school learned Latin. According to the August, 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal, here’s what females were studying in high school:
Latin, French, or German: 82 out of every hundred
Algebra and Geometry: 87 out of every hundred
English Literature: 57 out of every hundred
Rhetoric: 57 out of every hundred
History: 55 out of every hundred
Domestic Economy (sewing, cooking, and household economics): 3 out of every hundred
The article was making the point that few females took domestic economy classes—and that maybe more should.