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Pierce, Bessie Louise (1888–1974) - Local History

iowa university chicago volume

Bessie Louise Pierce was born in Caro, Michigan, on April 20, 1888, to Clifton J. and Minnie Cornelia (Pierson) Pierce. She received a B.A. in 1910 from the University of Iowa, an M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1918, and a Ph.D. in 1923 from the University of Iowa. She was a Phi Beta Kappa and a Guggenheim Fellow twice as well as an American Association of University Women Fellow and a Newberry Fellow. After teaching in public schools in Iowa, Pierce joined the faculty of the University of Iowa in 1916. In 1924 and 1925 she wrote Courses in the Social Studies , followed in 1926 by Public Opinion and the Teaching of History . That same year, she became president of the National Council for Social Studies.

In 1929 Pierce became a professor of American history at the University of Chicago, where she taught until 1953. During that time, she continued to write on educational concerns, publishing Civic Attitudes in American School Textbooks (1930). She also became interested in the history of Chicago and in 1933 published the first volume of A History of Chicago . A second volume appeared in 1940 and a third in 1957. Bessie Pierce was editing the fourth volume at the time of her death on October 3, 1974, in Iowa City, Iowa.

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