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1862 -1899

1862- By the so-called Morrill Act, the United States government donates portions of the public lands to each state as a permanent endowment for a college that will emphasize the study of agriculture and the so-called mechanical arts. Commonly referred to as A. & M. schools, these will also be known as land grant colleges.

1870- The National Education Association is founded with the conviction that education must be considered a science and that educators deserve the status of professionals who earn rewards commensurate to their special expertise.

1872- Iowa State College offers the first regular college courses in housekeeping. Of course, only female students are eligible for these pioneering classes.

1876- At the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Dr. John D. Runkle, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, perceives in the Russian exhibit a method to unite academic with vocational education. Runkle’s inspiration will in time be regarded as the original seed for what becomes the nation’s system of vocational education.

1880- Calvin M. Woodward introduces to Washington University, in Saint Louis, the nation’s first complete curriculum for “manual training.”

1886- The founding of the American Federation of Labor (AF of L) marks the beginning of what becomes and long remains the most significant voice for organized labor in the United States. Especially in its early years, the AF of L will be extremely suspicious of introducing manual training to the public schools, union leaders seeing in this a ploy by management to weaken labor’s control of entry into the most desirable crafts and trades.

1887-The Hatch Act authorizes the United States Department of Agriculture to work with the nation’s land grant colleges to establish agricultural experiment stations in every state. Within the year, the colleges and the new stations combine stations in every state. Within the year, the colleges and the new stations combine to form the Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations.

1889- In 1889, the government forces the Creek and Seminole tribes to sell their land in the Oklahoma District for just over four million dollars. Congress then opened the district to white settlement under the Homestead Act.

•The Oklahoma District was opened at noon on April 22, 1889. On that day, 100,000 persons gathered at the district's northern border in wagons, on horseback, and even on bicycles. Fifteen trains lined up at Arkansas City, Kansas, ready to steam into the district. When cannons and guns signaled noon, pandemonium broke loose. Noise and confusion reigned as thousands of Boomers staked claims. Speculators, settlers, and transients claimed 1,920,000 acres of Oklahoma within a few hours. The boom towns of Guthrie and Oklahoma City were established overnight.

1890- With a Second Morrill Act, the federal government broadens the mission of the land grant colleges, especially in their work with the farming and rural dwelling population. It also guarantees them continuing annual appropriations to support their work.

• Governor George W. Steele signs legislation prepared by the First Territorial Legislature to establish an “Agricultural and Mechanical College of the Territory of Oklahoma” and to place it in Payne County. The Stillwater site will be selected in the following year.

1892- Jones Academy is founded near Hartshorne, in the Choctaw Nation. From the first, the academy offers agricultural, industrial, and “domestic” instruction, but it separates those subjects from its regular, academic curriculum.

1895- The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is founded. Identified primarily with very large corporations and firms, the early NAM will be especially critical of using tax monies for educating a working class.

1896- John Fields, a recent graduate of Pennsylvania State University, arrives at Oklahoma’s A. & M. college to teach both chemistry and physics and will soon emerge as the territory’s foremost advocate of a scientific approach to agriculture.

1899- In the first of what will become annual conferences, advocates of what they think of as “domestic sciences” push to have the field recognized as a scientific discipline when

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