April 26

Events in Women’s History

Sybil Ludington stamp issued in 1975 (source)

Sybil Ludington stamp issued in 1975 (source)

1777 – Sybil Ludington rides during the night to warn American colonial forces of the arrival of the British army and the burning of Danbury Connecticut.

1923 – Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon marries Albert, Duke of York, at Westminster Abbey. In 1936, she became Queen consort of the United Kingdom when Albert ascended to the throne as George VI.


Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily c. 1828 by Louis Hersent (source)

Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily c. 1828 by Louis Hersent (source)

1575 – Marie de’ Medici, Queen of France as second wife of Henry IV, regent for her son King Louis XIII of France (d. 1642)

1765 – Emma, Lady Hamilton, English model and amateur actress and singer, best known as the mistress of Lord Nelson, the subject of many paintings by George Romney (d. 1815)

1782 – Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily, Queen of the French as wife of Louis Philippe I (d. 1866)

1820 – Alice Cary, American poet, sister of poet Phoebe Cary (d. 1871)

1828 – Martha Finley, American educator and author, known for the Elsie Dinsmore series of books (d. 1909)

1875 – Natalie Curtis, American ethnomusicologist, known for transcribing and publishing traditional music of American Indian tribes and African American music (d. 1921)

1882 – Jessie Redmon Fauset, American author, poet and editor, editor for the NAACP magazine The Crisis and the children’s magazine Brownies’ Book, considered one of the most intelligent novelists of the Harlem Renaissance (d. 1961)

1886 – Ma Rainey, American blues singer, one of the first generation of blues singers to record, known as “The Mother of the Blues” (d. 1939)

1889 – Anita Loos, American author, playwright, and screenwriter, known for her novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (d. 1981)

1911 – Marianne Hoppe, German stage and film actress (d. 2002)

1918 – Fanny Blankers-Koen, Dutch athlete, Olympic medalist in track and field, most successful athlete at the 1948 Summer Olympics(d. 2004)

1922 – Jeanne Sauvé, Canadian journalist and politician, Governor General of Canada (1984-1990) (d. 1993)

1933 – Carol Burnett, American actress, comedian, singer an author; winner of many awards including Emmys and Golden Globes, a Tony, a Peabody, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom

1941 – Claudine Auger, French model and actress, known for her role as the Bond girl Dominique in the film Thunderball

1942 – Jadwiga Staniszkis, Polish sociologist, political scientist, professor and author, recipient of the Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science and the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta


Portrait by Sandro Botticelli which may have been inspired by Simonetta Vespucci (source)

Portrait by Sandro Botticelli which may have been inspired by Simonetta Vespucci (source)

1476 – Simonetta Vespucci, Italian noblewoman; considered the most beautiful of Florence, some say of the age; Botticelli requested to be buried at her feet (b. 1453)

1944 – Violette Morris, French athlete and national champion, specialized in the shot put and discus throw, military nurse during WWI; she collaborated with the Gestapo during WWII and was sentenced to death in absentia. Later she was killed in the countryside by members of the French resistance. (b. 1893)

1970 – Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress, dancer, and author, known for her burlesque striptease act; her memoir was the basis of the musical and film Gypsy (b. 1911)

1973 – Irene Ryan, American actress, known for her role as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies; successful in radio, vaudeville, stage, film and television (b. 1902)

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