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Archive for Monday, September 13, 2010

100 years ago: Woman shoots two men attempting to enter her home overnight

September 13, 2010

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From the Lawrence Daily World for Sept. 13, 1910: “Pretty co-eds will bake, broil, and stew many mysterious yet exquisitely palatable dishes in Fraser Hall this year. Several rooms in the basement have been surrendered to Dr. Edna Day, the capable head of the new department at K. U. These rooms will be converted into a kitchen, a dining room, a practical room, and a food laboratory. Statistics recently prepared disclose the startling fact that the percentage of divorces granted to home economics graduates are surprisingly small, in fact practically nil.... Another two weeks will witness the opening of the Douglas county fair in Lawrence. Farmers and Lawrence people are anticipating a week of big pumpkins and basket dinners.... Two men who persisted in trying to force an entrance to the Frank Bennett home, 913 Rhode Island, this morning at four o’clock were shot at by Mrs. Bennett. She was awakened shortly after midnight by their rattling the screen and rear doors. Going to the window she shot at the spot where she heard the noises.... The Kansan, the student paper of the University and laboratory for the department of journalism, will be issued Friday. It will appear three times a week this year as formerly.”

Comments

Sarah St. John 4 years, 4 months ago

Well, she didn't shoot them dead. She shot AT them. They didn't stick around to have their identities noticed.

I was glad to see the tale of this hardy woman firing away at these guys, right after the slightly nauseating story of the "pretty co-eds" in the home economics class. I edited out some of the more cloying details (for space) such as the reporter waxing lyrical at the thought of these "dimpled girls" standing at the stove, etc.

Sarah St. John 4 years, 4 months ago

I won't be able to do it until this evening, but I definitely will post it in the comments section then. :)

remember_username 4 years, 4 months ago

Okay, forget the firearm issue. Did anyone read the whole thing?

"Statistics recently prepared disclose the startling fact that the percentage of divorces granted to home economics graduates are surprisingly small, in fact practically nil...."

Am I the only one that finds this commentary hilarious? Have we been over looking the real secret to domestic bliss for nearly 100 years? Or was there some nefarious ingredient developed in the "food laboratory" that made the mates of these "pretty co-eds" permanently pliable...

rbwaa 4 years, 4 months ago

...i got a belly laugh and spewed coffee all over my screen and keyboard!! but i didn't make the connection to the shooting until now - maybe one of them was her husband...

statesman 4 years, 4 months ago

Interesting how divorces were practically "nil" for women who had taken home-ec classes and knew how to cook, clean, and mend clothes. I daresay the divorce rate nowadays wouldn't be as high if a few more women knew the slightest bit about domestic duties. Seems all most young brides know is how to shop and spend their husband's money. They all demand these granite and stainless steel kitchens, but don't have a clue as to what is the kitchen is really for.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

"Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed"

By Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys

You uppity women I don't understand Why you gotta go and try to act like a man, But before you make your weekly visit to the shrink You'd better occupy the kitchen, liberate the sink.

Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed That's what I to my baby said, Women's liberation is a-going to your head, Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed.

Early every morning you're out on the street Passing out pamphlets to everyone you meet. You gave up your maiden form for lent And now the front of your dress has an air scoop vent.

Every single brakeman that's ever come along Had a little woman always tellin' him that he's wrong. Eve said to adam, "here's an apple you horse" And delilah defoliated samson's moss.

Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed That's what I to my baby said, Women's liberation is a-going to your head, Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed.

Mean-hearted harpies are breaking all the laws Tearing up their girdles and a-burning up their bras, Now the air is dirty and the sex is clean And your coffee makes my hair turn green.

So damn emancipated in your mind and your body, Gonna have to cancel all your lessons in karate. If you can't love a male chauvinist You'd better cross me off your shopping list.

Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed That's what I to my baby said, Women's liberation is a-going to your head, Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1070489/get_your_biscuits_in_the_oven_your_buns_in_the_bed/

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

haha, I thought the story was great...go women :)

And...the story about the pretty co-eds...wtf? I love reading these old LJW stories :)

Sarah St. John 4 years, 4 months ago

OK, here is a more complete version:

TEACH SORORITY GIRLS TO COOK

New Home Economics Course is Very Practical


REQUIRES ACTUAL COOKING

Dr. Edna Day's Course Not Wholly Theoretical


Girls Will Have Corner in Fraser Hall From Which Appetizing Odors Will Emanate


Pretty Co-eds -- just how many the head of the department does not know yet -- with bared arms and fresh white aprons will bake, broil, and stew many mysterious yet exquisitely palatable dishes in Fraser Hall this year. The girls of the Home Economics will not have model kitchens in which to acquire the gentle art of afflicting man with gout while preserving him from indigestion. Oh dear no. After constructing concrete walks to the gymnasium, the regents didn't have money enough left to provide the girls with pattern quarters.

Several rooms in the basement of Fraser Hall have been surrendered to Dr. Edna Day, the capable head of the new department at K. U. These rooms will be converted into a kitchen, a dining room, a practical room, and a food laboratory. Dr. Day has drawn plans for a model kitchen, and these will be followed as far as possible in equipping the new department. The faculty hope next year to have more desirable quarters in some other building, and when this time arrives, home economics is destined to become the most popular course on the hill. Statistics recently prepared disclose the startling fact that the percentages of divorces granted to home economics graduates are surprisingly small, in fact practically nil.

The course which Dr. Day proposes to offer Junior and Senior girls -- none others may take the work -- is intensely practical. The head of the department prefers to call it a combination of scientific theory and practical experimentation. Those girls who think they may receive credit for the course merely by attending lectures, have a most erroneous idea of the course. It requires actual cooking on big ranges capable of accommodating sixteen dimpled Misses at once. Of course the dimples are not imperative, but they add a certain charm to the pleasing perspective of the picture. Not only must the girls be able to cook with accomplished proficiency, but they must be adept in concocting a delectable dinner out of a meager array of materials. They must also know the chemical composition of the food stuffs they prepare, must know the nutritive value of the dishes finding their way to the table, and they must also be trained judges of the freshness of meats and vegetables.

Having become deft in the kitchen, and acquired a valuable knowledge of the composition of foodstuffs from the laboratory, the girls will be taught the little niceties of properly serving a dinner. Under Dr. Bailey they will attend lectures of ventilation, heating, lighting, water supply, and various other household problems. Next year a course in home administration and dietetics will be offered.

Sarah St. John 4 years, 4 months ago

There is more, but it's pretty repetitive after that, with no more funny bits. :) But I do want to show you the final paragraph, which is a quote from Dr. Day, the professor of the course. I liked it.

"The things that are nearest to us -- most common to us -- have always been the last to receive careful study. Astronomy, the study of the far-off stars, was taught long before Physiology, the study of our own bodies. Theology, the study of our relations to God, whom we have not seen, before Sociology, the study of our relations to our brothers whom we have seen. Stones were studied before bread, drugs before air and water, and earthworms before children. The Home, with its personal associations and common duties, has only recently been thought possible of impersonal, scientific study and worthy of being taught in our schools. Such work where introduced has been found useful, interesting, and really educative. It serves as the bridge between the school and actual life, giving vital interest to all subjects with which it is connected, from reading, writing and number work in the grades to chemistry, physiology, economics and art in the University. It stimulates thought and leads to efforts to test theory by actual practice, as well as to explain practice by theory."

Sarah St. John 4 years, 4 months ago

(Gosh darn it, it took my upper-case letters away, and it was much funnier with them in there. Okay, just so you know, the first and third headlines are supposed to be all caps.)

And while I'm here, I just want to mention that my chuckling at this story had nothing to do with the content of the course, which I thought was admirable. What made me shake my head and roll my eyes a bit was the "aren't they cute" attitude -- just think, these dimpled Misses are going to learn cooking, but they're going to be all scientific about it!

I have an old Domestic Science textbook from the early 1900s. Picked it up at the Antique Mall, maybe. Anyway, it's just amazing what they had the students learn. Plumbing systems in the house (nasty stuff about drains), ventilation, lots of chemistry and nutrition, not to mention that they had to hand-sew their own apron and cap before they could even set foot in the kitchen to start on bread-making, etc. Whew! (Also love the parts about how to hire and manage your servants!)

I really AM in favor of home economics and the serious study of making a good home. Not, of course, meaning to imply that anyone should have to give up every other thing in life that they might want to do. But it's a real job to make a good home, as anyone who's attempted it can attest to. And it's awfully important IMO to be able to come home to a restful relaxing place at the end of the day, so you can recharge yourself for the next day. (You may or may not have such a home yourself, but you always know immediately when you walk into one. You can just feel yourself unwinding.) Not to mention the importance of being able to budget and so forth. And we all know how much money we save when we cook at home instead of eating out all the time.

The trouble for a lot of folks I know (male and female) is that they're so exhausted from earning a living that the home is the last thing to get attention, and if you spend your whole weekend trying to get it back in order, you're not rested up for Monday. Also home-making is not considered important anymore (sweeping generalization, I know), but more of a chore foisted upon us by others, and that just causes feelings of resentment.

Your further thoughts are, as always, very welcome!

RoeDapple 4 years, 4 months ago

Not so difficult Sarah. My wife and I have made it a practice of picking up after ourselves (okay, she more than me) since early in our marriage. If we have time to bring in the paper,bills, magazines, etc. then we have time to dispose of them. Same with doing laundry, fixing meals, and on and on . . . Everything is split up equally (65/35 . . right?) so when the weekend comes a couple of hours vacuuming, dusting, general cleaning gets us all prepped for another week. Actually we are both retired now, seems like it's harder to find the time now than before!

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

People with guns, please don't shoot at a noise outside. You might accidentally shoot a neighbor.

SpicePirate 4 years, 4 months ago

If you ask me, I think they should have had the MEN take the course!

I think they might have had a much greater appreciation for how much work went into maintaining a comfortable, well cared for, home. I'm sure there were more than a few who were blissfully ignorant of the sheer enormity of what their wives had to undertake.

Now, this could just be an overly stereotyped view of that era, but I have known more than a few men from not to many generations removed that fit.

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