On this day: Pennsylvania State University Founded

Pennsylvania State University was founded on the 22nd of February, 1855. At the time it was known as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania. It is located in Centre County.

Old Main, part of the university, is photographed here in 1855.

Source

Farmer's_High_School_and_Old_MainFarmer's High School, which is now the Old Main in Pennsylvania State University. 1855.

On this day: ChristChurch Cathedral and the Earthquake

ChristChurch Cathedral, Christchurch New Zealand. 1900.

ChristChurch Cathedral in 1900

On the 22nd of February, 2011 Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island, was hit by a major earthquake. 185 people were killed and much of the city’s centre was severely damaged or destroyed.

Included in the damage was ChristChurch Cathedral.

Sir George Gilbert Scott

Sir George Gilbert Scott

The cathedral was built between 1864 and 1904, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, a world-renowned English Gothic revival architect.

The Canterbury region the city of Christchurch is in has been hit by many earthquakes over the years, and the cathedral had also been damaged in 1881, 1888, 1901, 1922, and only five and a half months earlier, in 2010.

In 2011, however, the damage was severe, bringing down the spire and half of the tower, collapsing part of the roof, and causing other structural damage.

800px-ChristChurch_Cathedral_(02),_July_2012Helicopter flight over Christchurch, July 2012.

July 2012

ChristChurch Cathedral Christchurch New Zealand Post-Earthquake

Via Google Street View

Since February 2011, the church has largely been in favour of pulling the remains of the building down, while others in the community have fought a long – sometimes legal – battle to preserve the city’s most iconic structure.

20th February Snipers

Today is the anniversary of the mass murder in Kyiv, Ukraine. During the Euromaidan, the revolution to overthrow the corrupt pro-Russian government, on the 20th of February 2014, pro-Russian and actual Russian snipers were sent into the city centre to shoot and kill dozens upon dozens of civilians.

The world has all but forgotten about the war in Ukraine now, but it has not ended. I still have family members who are refugees, we will be visiting them in Ukraine in a few weeks.

Pro-Russian snipers shooting Ukrainians in Kyiv, Ukraine. 20th February 2014.

On this day: Literature censorship in the United States

God’s Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell

On the 19th of February, 1953, the United States’ first literature censorship board was established in Georgia.

Misleadingly named the Georgia Literature Commission, the first publication targeted was God’s Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell.

Facing legal challenges from the outset, the board lasted about two decades and then was left to die out.

Delaware’s controversial age of consent, and girl prostitutes.

tatnall-streetChildren playing next to a reputed house of prostitution on Tatnall Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 1910.

Children in Delaware outside a brothel in 1910.

Technically, until 1972, the US state of Delaware had the age of consent set at seven. It was 1972 that the old law codes were completely overhauled.

It was in February 1889 that the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union submitted a petition to the Delaware General Assembly to have the age raised. The petition had ten yards of signatures of Delaware residents on it.

The age had been lowered to seven in 1871, having previously been ten. It was the lowest age of consent in the United States.

blacklist-of-states-arenaage of consent and rpae laws in nineteenth century unites states

A list of the age of consent in various states.

Click to enlarge and read.

The idea of the low age of consent for girls had a lot to do with proving rape (and dealing with – or ignoring! – child prostitution). Investigators in a rape case had to prove force and lack of consent, and the changed law helped cover for men having sex with young girls.

The states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida had the age set at ten.

At the end of the 1880s, the lowest age a girl could work as a prostitute in Delaware was raised to fifteen.

Read More:

http://blogs.lawlib.widener.edu/delaware/2014/07/07/the-age-of-consent-and-rape-reform-in-delaware/

http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlh/vol9/iss1/1/

http://delaware.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15323coll1/id/53650

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_the_United_States