1838 The first American women’s college held its first graduation.
1926 Rudolf Valentino died. (See May 6th entry.)
1927 Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed. (See May 5th entry.)
On this day in 1926, the great romantic film idol Rudolph Valentino died in New York City. His passing—at the age of thirty-one—plunged countless females of all ages into an orgy of public grief across the country.
The sad case of a misconducted trial and appeal ended on this day in 1927. Two Italian immigrants—Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti—were executed for the alleged murder of a guard during a payroll robbery. During the long period before they met their end, Vanzetti wrote to Judge Thayer: “Never in our full life could we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man’s understanding of man as now we do by accident.”
When the first American women’s college, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, opened in South Hadley, Massachusetts, the public generally felt women needed refinement, not higher education. On this day in 1838, the college graduated its first students. This may not have had a profound effect on the male population in their day, but to twist a famous line that was written nearly a century later: For today’s women, men bend on their knees to women with degrees.