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Setting the Stage

The World in Turmoil

When women students arrived at William & Mary in 1918, World War I had disrupted lives on three continents, the Russian Revolution had finished off the Romanov dynasty, the Mexican Revolution had displaced tens of thousands, and the Spanish flu had reached the United States, where it would soon kill 675,000 people.

Margaret Sanger and Emma Goldman had been jailed for advocating birth control.

The American women's suffrage campaign was reaching its conclusion (the 19th Amendment passed in both the House and Senate in June, 1919), and co-education was slowly moving from the Northeast and Midwest into the South.

Upheaval abounded, including at William & Mary.