Relics of the Earth’s Past

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, April 21, 1913:  I’m not doing very much studying now since final examinations are over.

Source: Wikiepedia

Source: Wikipedia

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

The final countdown—only two more days until graduation!

Now, that final exams were finished, I’m surprised that Grandma was doing any studying .

Was she still making final revisions to her commencement speech titled Relics of the Earth’s Past?

Was the speech about fossils? . . . dinosaurs? . . .  evolution? Was it controversial?

Grandma graduated well after the publication of the Origin of the Species (1859), but well before the Scopes Trial (1925).  If the speech was about evolution, how did she frame it?

19 Responses

  1. She may have talked about the Bone Wars that were waged in the late 1800’s between Cope and Marsh. Or, maybe she was inspired by one of my favorite books that just happened to be published in 1912. “The Lost World” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  2. Another question from far away; is it usual for everyone in a graduating class to give a commencement speech?

  3. Grandma must have been SO excited to be graduating.

  4. The studying was over, but I do hope she was practising her speech, time is running out!

  5. I am sure it would have made for good writing. 2 more days and she will be a young lady and no longer a student – way to go Helena! ;)

    • In a previous diary entry she wrote that she’d soon be a “sweet girl graduate.” It’s such a quaint sounding phrase, but I kind of like it.

  6. I still think you have the coolest blog, Sheryl.

  7. I suppose the whole community attended the graduation. I hope she does well with her speech.

    • I also would guess that the whole community probably attended the graduation. It probably was the place to be–and the only social event in town. :)

  8. […] Yesterday’s post explored her speech topic. Vanbraman wrote a comment, and suggested that it might have been about the Bone Wars or been inspired by a book published in 1912 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called The Lost World. […]

  9. Too bad you don’t have a copy of that speech hey? You’re grandma must have been pretty confident to read out load in front of a crowd. I still get nervous

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,110 other followers

%d bloggers like this: