17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Wednesday, January 22, 1913: We had a surprise party tonight. Had quite a good time. It was a surprise for Ruth, and she didn’t know the least of it.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
It probably was a birthday party for Grandma’s sister Ruth. I bet it was a really big surprise since Ruth turned 21 three days earlier on January 19.
What was a 21st birthday party like a hundred years ago?
Did Grandma pull Ruth’s ears 21 times on her birthday? People used to pull the birthday person’s ear lobes one time for each year. On January 19, 1911 Grandma wrote:
Pulled Miss Muffly’s ears first thing this morning, whether she liked it or not. . .
And, on January 19, 1912, she wrote:
. . . I pulled Ruthie’s ears. I tell her she is getting to be an old maid but really don’t mean it. . . .