On this day in 1836...

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Maria Louise Sanford is born in Saybrook, Connecticut.

Sanford was hired by the University of Minnesota in 1880 after an extensive teaching career in the eastern portion of the country, and would remain as a member of the university faculty until 1909.

It is believed Sanford was one of the first women in the country to be named to a college professorship, spending her time at the U lecturing on literature and art history as a professor of rhetoric and elocution.

Sanford was a vocal supporter of women's and civil rights, and would travel the country to spread the word of her patriotism after her retirement from teaching.

She was dubbed "the best loved woman of the North Star State," and Sanford Hall on the University of Minnesota campus, a co-ed dorm that previously housed females only, is named for her.

Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis is also named for the pioneer in education, while a statue of her in Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. represents the state.

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