Kathy Whitworth, Champion Golfer

One of professional golf’s leading tournament winners, Kathy Whitworth was born on September 27, 1939, in Monahans, Texas. Whitworth started playing golf at the age of fifteen. At nineteen she joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. Over the next fifteen years, she received the LPGA Player of the Year Award seven times.

[3[Three] Women Playing Golf-“Jackson Sanitorium]. ca. 1890. Johnston(Frances Benjamin) Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

Whitworth won her first tournament, the Kelly Girls Open, in 1962. Three years later, she was named the Associated Press Athlete of the Year. She received the award again in 1967. For her outstanding performance between 1968 and 1977, Golf Magazine named Whitworth “Golfer of the Decade.”

Whitworth was inducted into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame in 1975, but didn’t rest on her laurels. By 1982, she had captured eighty-two LPGA titles. Whitworth won her eighty-eighth title in 1985, setting the tournament victory record for a professional golfer—man or woman.

Womens Metropolitan Golf Championship, Nassau Country Club. W. H. Wallace, photographer, 1913. Panoramic Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division

Golf first became popular among American women in the mid-1890s when the growing leisure class adopted it as one of its new amusements. Magazines such as Ladies Home Journal urged women to try the sport, a sixteenth-century favorite of Mary, Queen of Scots.

“The Golf Girls” in The Clover Trio: A High Class Singing Act for the Vaudeville Stage Arranged for Ladies Voices. Samuel H. Speck, 1898. Rare Book Selections. Rare Book & Special Collections Division

For many women of privilege, golf provided the adventure and challenge missing from their restricted everyday lives. The sport’s popularity grew, and by the 1920s, women’s amateur golf tournaments were attracting a range of players and large crowds.

Golf. Woman with Clubs on Golf Course II. Theodor Horydczak, photographer, ca. 1920-ca. 1950. Horydczak Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

In the 1940s and 1950s, golfing greats Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Patty Berg, and others worked to firmly establish the LPGA Tour, the first professional tour for women, and to make their sport more accessible to women of all races and social classes.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Kathy Whitworth and her peers, including golfing legend Mickey Wright, further developed the LPGA, helping female golfers gain greater acceptance and opportunities for lucrative financial rewards.

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The Quest of Ponce de León

On September 27, 1514, the Spanish crown granted the explorer Juan Ponce de León a contract to settle the islands of Bimini and Florida (de León thought the latter was an island). His first contract, granted in February 1512, authorized de León to discover and populate Bimini. For his second voyage, he equipped his fleet and sailed for Florida from Puerto Rico in 1521 with two ships, two hundred men, fifty horses, and a variety of domestic animals and agricultural tools.

Norton Gallery and School of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida. Patio, general view with statue (title: Fountain of Youth; sculptor: Wheeler Williams). Jan. 17, 1942. Gottscho-Schleisner Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

Ponce de León landed near Charlotte Harbor on Florida’s west coast, and his arrival did not go unnoticed; the colonists were soon attacked by Calusa Indians, a Native American tribe that controlled most of southern Florida at the time. During the assault, an arrow struck and wounded Ponce de León. He returned to Cuba, where he died as a result of his infected wound that same year.

On his first visit to Florida, in April 1513, Ponce de León landed at the site of modern day St. Augustine. He named the region Florida because of the lush, florid vegetation that grew there. Thinking he had found the island of Bimini, he searched for the mythical Fountain of Youth, said to rejuvenate those who drank from it. Subsequent Spanish incursions in North America led to the founding of a permanent settlement at St. Augustine in 1565.

In the Court of the Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Fla. c1905. Detroit Publishing Company. Prints & Photographs Division

“‘On February 10, 1521, he [Ponce de Leon] wrote to the emperor: “I discovered Florida and some other small islands at my own expense, and now I am going to settle them with plenty of men and two ships, and I am going to explore the coast, to see if it compares with the lands (Cuba) discovered by Velasquez.…But the captain’s star of fortune was waning. He had a stormy passage, and when he and his men landed they met with such fierce resistance from the natives that after several encounters and the loss of many men, Ponce himself being seriously wounded, they were forced to reembark. Feeling that his end was approaching, the captain did not return to San Juan, but sought a refuge in Puerto Principe, where he died.”

Chapter XI: Calamities—Ponce’s Second Expedition to Florida and Death 1520-1537. In The History of Puerto Rico, from the Spanish Discovery to the American Occupation, by R. A. Van Middeldyk; edited by Martin G. Brumbaugh; New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1903.Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age: Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century Perspectives. Hispanic Division

Alcazar, Cordova, & Ponce de Leon, St. Augustine, Fla. Harris Co., c1910. Panoramic Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division

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Solomon Stoddard

Although primarily remembered today as a prominent Puritan pastor in Northampton, Massachusetts, Solomon Stoddard also holds the distinction for being the first professional librarian in American history. He was born in Boston on September 27, 1643 and attended the Cambridge Grammar School under the watchful eyes of the famous schoolmaster Elijah Corlet who was the Cambridge counterpart to Boston’s Ezekiel Cheever.

Harvard College, by an Oxonian, by George Birkbeck Hill. New York, London, Macmillan and Co., 1894. Illus. after p.4. Selected Digitized Books. General Collections, Library of Congress

After successfully mastering Latin and learning rudimentary Greek at the Grammar School, Stoddard was admitted to Harvard College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1662 and a Master of Arts in 1665. For the first two centuries of Harvard’s existence, one of the rituals during Masters’ commencements was for the degree candidate to defend a quaestio or inquiry on a particular subject. In the seventeenth century, these quaestiones (inquiries) were always on metaphysical topics. The quaestio which Solomon Stoddard defended at his master’s commencement in 1665 survives (see volume one, page 256 of Samuel Morison’s Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century for more information). It was compulsory for the quaestio and response to be recited in Latin. The Latin text can be found in volume two of Sibley’s Harvard Graduates. It is included below with an English translation:

Utrum Deus puniat peccata necessitate naturæ. Affirmat Respondens Solomon Stoddardus.

tu, quæ sapis alta nimis, Sapientia prima, Quæque Gigantais ausibus astra petis, Aut velut Icariis assumptis, tolleris, alis In Calum, similem non metuendo casum, Disce Φρονέιν & σωφρονεείν – NON subdere fata Concipe nos ausos, nec voluisse Deum: Justitiam at punire malos natura requirit, Peccatum pugnat cum bonitate Dei. Ω βαθός! hic clama miser, & mirare videndo Peccati salvos posse tot esse reos.

English Translation:

Whether God punishes sins by necessity of nature. Solomon Stoddard maintains this responding:

O you, foremost, profound Wisdom, who are exceedingly wise, You seek some stars with gigantic daring attempts, Or just as you rise with received Icarian wings Into the heavens, not by fearing a similar fall; Learn to be sensible and to be prudent –not make up prophecies Accept us who dared not to have longed for God. But nature seeks justice to punish wicked men, And fights sin with the goodness of God. O wretched depth! Shout here and marvel in the observation that so many guilty men can be saved from sin.

Andrew M. Gaudio, Classics, Medieval Studies, Linguistics specialist/Reference Librarian; Researcher & Reference Services Division. The Library of Congress

The Harvard Corporation voted to make Stoddard library keeper on March 27, 1667. Next to nothing is known about his library career. All that exists of his library career is one sentence from College Book III (one of four collections of early records of Harvard called college books I-IV) reprinted in volume 15 of the Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. It reads “March 27, 1667 Mr. Solomon Stoddard was chosen Library keeper.” He did not remain library keeper for long. After less than one year in this position, he resigned due to ill health and went to Barbados for two years, hoping that the tropical climate would help him recover. He did indeed regain his constitution and in 1669 returned to Massachusetts. In the same year as Stoddard’s appointment as library keeper, the Harvard Corporation implemented some rules governing the library keeper’s responsibilities and the use of books. These library laws, as they are called, shed some light on how the library was managed and describe the duties pertaining to the library keeper.

The Librarians of Harvard College 1667-1877, by Alfred Claghorn Potter and Charles Knowles Bolton. Appendix I, p.43. Cambridge, Mass., Library of Harvard University, 1897. General Collections, Library of Congress

Besides these laws, no information is known as to the daily activities of Stoddard in his capacity as library keeper. In fact, there is very little evidence regarding the physical library or the books that were housed there in the seventeenth century. It was not until 1723 that the first catalog of the library’s books was compiled and printed. However, in New Englands First Fruits (printed in London in 1643 and the first publication to reference this inchoate New England college), concerning Harvard we are told that:

The Edifice is very faire and comely within and without, having in it a spacious Hall; (where they [students] daily meet at Commons, Lectures, Exercises) and a large Library with some Bookes to it, the gifts of diverse of our friends…

New England’s first fruits: with divers other special matters concerning that country. New York, Reprinted for J. Sabin, 1865. Original Title page. Rare Book & Special Collections

As this excerpt shows, in the seventeenth century, the Harvard College library relied on gifts and donations of books as its primary collection development policy. What’s more, Harvard College takes its name from John Harvard, an early New England minister who died in 1638 and bequeathed his personal library of 329 titles in over 400 volumes to the college, which formed the basis of its library. Donations like this were the primary means of building collections throughout the early history of the library.

In volume one, page 295 of his two-part work Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century, prominent historian of Harvard College, Samuel Eliot Morison, organizes according to subject and tallies all the volumes which are listed in Harvard’s first library catalog (printed in 1723). They include:

Theology, Bibles, Patristic Works, Scholastic Philosophy: 2,183 volumes
Philosophy (Ancient, Logic, Ethics, Metaphysics): 137 volumes
History, Politics, Geography, Description, Travel: 367 volumes
Physics, Natural History, General Science: 131 volumes
Mathematics, Astronomy, Architecture, Art of War, Navigation: 124 volumes
Hebrew and other Oriental Languages: 99 volumes
Greek Grammar and Literature: 58 volumes
Latin Grammar and Literature: 63 volumes
Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Lexicons: 105 volumes
Modern Literature: 45 volumes
Law and Statutes: 64 volumes
Medicine: 58 volumes
Manuals of Rhetoric, flores, etc.: 35 volumes
Miscellaneous and unidentified: 47 volumes

Total Volumes: 3,516

Since this was the first complete catalog of the Harvard College Library, it is not known how many of the pre 1667 books were held by the library when Solomon Stoddard was first appointed Library Keeper. Out of these 3,516 volumes, 2,892 were printed in 1666 or earlier. This then, represents the maximum number of potential books in the library’s collection in 1667. However, it would have been next to impossible for every book printed before 1667 listed in the 1723 catalog to have been included in the library during Stoddard’s tenure. Using early records which document the total value of the library’s books (£400 in December, 1654 for all of the books) and the value of books belonging to John Winthrop (£20 for 40 books), Morison divides £400 by £20 multiplied by 40 books and surmises that in 1655 there were 800-900 books in the library’s collection, which would have been akin to some smaller college libraries in England from the same time. Morison lists Emmanuel College Library as having 503 books in 1610 and 600 in 1637. While the actual size of the library when Stoddard was there is not known, it would range from 800 to over 2000 (see pp. 268-9 of Samuel Morison’s Founding of Harvard College).

In 1672, Stoddard moved to the Connecticut River Valley in western Massachusetts, specifically to the burgeoning town of Northampton to fill a vacancy left three years after their pastor, Eleazar Mather, older brother of Increase Mather, died in 1669. He occupied this position until his death on February 11, 1729.

A new and accurate map of the colony of Massachusets [i.e. Massachusetts] Bay, in North America, from a late survey. London: J. Hinton, 1780. From Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure, vol. 66, Dec. 1780, opposite p. 281. American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750 to 1789. Geography & Map Division

The town of Northampton, Massachusetts can be seen in this 1780 map of the Colony of Massachusetts.

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