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EPADEL:A Semisesquicentennial History, 1926-2000

Section 1.3 The MAA 1 

We mentioned above that the masthead of the Monthly carried the message, “From \(1913\) to \(1916\) it was owned and published by representatives of fourteen Universities and Colleges in the Middle West.” This note suggests the tenuous nature of funding at this time. Its managing editor, Herbert Slaught, realized that colleges offered uncertain support, so he proposed that the AMS 2  sponsor the Monthly. The AMS 3  formed a Committee to consider this issue, but it voted \(3\) to \(2\) against such an undertaking. The Council of the AMS 4  accepted the Committee’s report, resolving:
It is deemed unwise for the American Mathematical Society to enter into the activities of the special field now covered by the American Mathematical Monthly; but the Council desires to express its realization of the importance of the work in this field and its value to mathematical science, and to say that should an organization be formed to deal specifically with this work the Society would entertain toward such an organization only feelings of hearty good will and encouragement. [Our emphasis.]
Herbert Slaught immediately launched a movement to follow up on the Council’s suggestion to form an association. He arranged an organizational meeting at the joint gathering of the AMS 5  and the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) held December 30-31, 1915, at the Ohio State University. Earle Hedrick presided over the 104 people in attendance. All organizational matters were settled within three hours on the very first day of the meeting except for the official name of the organization, which was adopted the next day. Consequently the Mathematical Association of America was born on New Year’s Eve, \(1915\text{.}\)
At that time almost all national meetings took place near holidays, especially Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Today few meetings of mathematical organizations are held during either the Thanksgiving weekend or the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
It was only then that a committee was established to negotiate with the owners of the Monthly to secure the publication as the official journal of the Association. However, it was the Monthly that had spawned the Association to begin with!