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 thoughts on “Relics of the Earth’s Past

  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.

    1. Thanks for the information. I’d never heard of either the Bone Wars or The Lost World. But your comment, led me to “google” them–and I ended up writing tomorrow’s post on this topic.

    1. No, it is extremely unusual for everyone to give a commencement speech. I think that they did it at Grandma’s school because it was such a tiny school with only six students graduating.

    1. 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. 🙂

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