April 25

Events in Women’s History

Violeta Chamorro in 1993, National Archives and Records Administration (source)

Violeta Chamorro in 1993, National Archives and Records Administration (source)

1983 – American schoolgirl Samantha Smith receives a letter from the leader of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, in response to her letter expressing fears about nuclear war. She is invited to visit the Soviet Union, which she does as a Goodwill Ambassador.

1990 – Violeta Chamorro becomes the first woman to take office as the President of Nicaragua.

2004 – An estimated 1.15 million people participate in the March for Women’s Lives on the National Mall of Washington D.C. The demonstration was for women’s rights, including reproductive rights and safe and legal access to abortion.

Births

Carlota Joaquina c. 1805 by Domingos Sequeira (source)

Carlota Joaquina c. 1805 by Domingos Sequeira (source)

1775 – Carlota Joaquina, Queen consort of Spain as wife of John VI (d. 1830)

1776 – Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, last survivor of King George III’s fifteen children (d. 1857)

1843 – Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine as wife of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse (d. 1878)

1843 – Constance Cary Harrison, American author, known by several pseudonyms including Refugitta during the Civil War, with her cousins sewed one of the first Confederate Battle Flags (d. 1920)

1892 – Maud Hart Lovelace, American author, known for the Betsy-Tacy series of books which progress in difficulty as the characters age (d. 1980)

1897 – Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood (d. 1965)

1900 – Edith Halpert, Russian-born American art dealer and patron, owner of The Downtown Gallery in Greenwich Village, New York City (d. 1970)

1902 – Mary Miles Minter, American silent film actress; she gave up her movie career after the scandal surrounding the murder of William Desmond Taylor (d. 1984)

1917 – Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz singer, known as the “First Lady of Song” and the “Queen of Jazz”, recipient of 13 Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (d. 1996)

1918 – Astrid Varnay, Swedish-born dramatic soprano, one of the three leading Wagnerian sopranos of her age with Birgit Nilsson and Martha Modl (d. 2006)

1923 – Melissa Hayden, Canadian ballerina with the New York City Ballet (d. 2006)

1926 – Gertrude Fröhlich-Sandner, Austrian politician (d. 2008)

1929 – Yvette Williams, New Zealand long jumper, first woman to win an Olympic gold medal for New Zealand

1941 – Princess Muna al-Hussein of Jordan, British-born wife of Hussein, the late King of Jordan until their divorce, mother of King Abdullah II of Jordan

1942 – Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson, American activist, prominent member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the only woman to serve as the SNCC exectutive secretary (d. 1967)

Deaths

The death of Isabella II, 13th c. from William of Tyre's Historia (source)

The death of Isabella II, 13th c. from William of Tyre’s Historia (source)

1228 – Isabelle II (also known as Yolande of Brienne), Queen of Jerusalem from a young age with her father as regent, Holy Roman Empress and Queen consort of Sicily as wife of Frederick II. Kept in seclusion in Frederick’s harem after her marriage, she died shortly after giving birth to her son Conrad. (b. 1212)

1566 – Diane de Poitiers, French mistress of Henry II of France (b. 1499)

1566 – Louise Labé, French poet of the Renaissance, known as La Belle Cordière (The Beautiful Ropemaker) (b. 1520s)

1878 – Anna Sewell, English author, known for the novel Black Beauty (b. 1820)

1885 – Emma, Queen consort of the Kingdom of Hawaii as wife of Kamehameha IV (b. 1836)

1973 – Olga Grey, Hungarian-born American silent film actress (b. 1896)

1995 – Ginger Rogers, American actress, singer, and dancer (b. 1911)

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