Scherenschnitte, meaning “scissor cuts” in German, is the art of paper cutting. The designs are frequently symmetrical, and are often used to create silhouettes and valentines. This European tradition was developed in sixteenth century Switzerland and Germany, and immigrants brought the designs to Colonial America in the eighteenth century. Paper cutting traditions also exist in many other cultures. For example, China’s paper cutting techniques, perhaps the world’s oldest, date from the sixth century.
On October 19, 2014 at Dinwiddie Court House, a Virginia historical marker was dedicated to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (also spelled Keckly). Elizabeth, or ‘Lizzy’ Keckley was born near Petersburg and was a slave on the Burwell Plantation. Her father was Armistead Burwell, the master of the plantation and her mother was a slave woman. She took the name of her slave father George Hobbs. Elizabeth Keckley had a son, George Keckley, who was killed at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, during the first year of the Civil War. As the offspring of a white father, Alexander Kirkland, who had raped his mother, George Keckley passed as white and was thus able to enlist in the Union army at a time of the war when blacks were prohibited from doing so.
Col. Patrick Henry marked out an area “behind the College” for the Virginia Militia camp during the period 1775-1781. This indicates that the camp was behind (west) of the Wren Building which was always referred to as “the College” in the eighteenth century.
Earlier this semester we displayed a selection of Special Collections’ early modern science books for a group of students and faculty. Among the exhibited volumes was a copy of the second Italian edition of Galileo Galilei’s Dialogo or Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican, published in 1710.
The United States changed on November 22. The president’s promise was lost and the coverage of the event by television affected all who watched with immediacy and intimacy. The American people experienced the tragedy together.
The College of William & Mary’s Flat Hat was usually published each Friday during the academic year. On November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was shot, the paper (printed just prior to that date) covered the election of twenty-one students to the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a proposed $5 social fee, the opening of bidding for the construction of Swem Library, the upcoming basketball season and the candidacy of Barry Goldwater for the Republican nomination for president.