Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 33° Clear
News >  Spokane

100 years ago: S-R editorial page defends college women accused of ‘high crimes against romance’

On Feb. 14, 1917, The Spokesman-Review’s editorial page offered a Valentine’s Day defense of the much-maligned “college woman.” It also contained one of the most ominous warnings of the liklihood of the United States going to war with Germany. (Spokesman-Review archives)
On Feb. 14, 1917, The Spokesman-Review’s editorial page offered a Valentine’s Day defense of the much-maligned “college woman.” It also contained one of the most ominous warnings of the liklihood of the United States going to war with Germany. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The Spokesman-Review’s editorial page offered a Valentine’s Day defense of the much-maligned “college woman.”

The editorial said that “innumerable sins and high crimes against romance have been laid at the door of the woman college student.” For instance, a recent wire story had suggested that attending college was bad for a woman’s marriage prospects.

“In spite of all that has been done in coeducational colleges to offset this notion, it has persisted, and the picture of the woman collegian as an austere and frigid Minerva is hard to erase,” said the editorial.

However, the editorial pointed out that a college woman was responsible for one of the most romantic elements of American culture: the “vogue of the valentine.” A Mount Holyoke college coed created the first mass-marketed Valentine’s Day cards.

From the war beat: The SR’s editorial page also contained one of the most ominous warnings yet about the future.

“The strong current of events is sweeping the United States into war, or a state of war, with Germany. We cannot, in honor and self-respect, withdraw our flag from the high seas that roll between us and Europe. Not even the imperious threats of the warlike German empire should alter our just course in the pursuit and maintenance of our lawful rights.

“Germany’s demands are beyond the law, her statesmen know it and the voice of the neutral world condemns their outlaw acts. Our duty is plain, and when the American people reflect upon the issue that is thrust upon them, they will not falter if Congress and the president are firm.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.