April 8

Events in Women’s History

Yi So-yeon at the International Space Station (source)

Yi So-yeon at the International Space Station (source)

2008 – Yi So-yeon becomes the first Korean in space aboard Soyuz TMA-12 with two Russian cosmonauts. She carried out scientific experiments during the mission.


Betty Ford in 1974 by David Hume Kennerly, Library of Congress (source)

Betty Ford in 1974 by David Hume Kennerly, Library of Congress (source)

1827 – Barbara Bodichon, British artist, feminist and women’s rights activist, helped found the English Women’s Journal, with others established Girton College for women (d. 1891)

1842 – Elizabeth Bacon Custer, American author and lecturer, largely responsible for the view of her husband, General George Custer, as a fallen hero (d. 1933)

1865 – Albion Fellows Bacon, American author and social reformer, known for her work to improve public housing (d. 1933)

1884 – Marie Hall, British violinist, known for owning a playing one of two Viotti Stradivarius violins (d. 1956)

1892Mary Pickford, American stage and film actress, screenwriter and producer, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (d. 1979)

1902 – Maria Maksakova, Sr., Russian mezzo-soprano, leading soloist of the Bolshoi Theater for 30 years, named People’s Artist of the USSR in 1971 (d. 1974)

1905 – Helen Joseph, British-born South African author,  social worker and activist, instrumental in the formation of the Federation of South African Women and in the march on August 9, 1956 to protest pass laws; in protesting apartheid, she was arrested and banned on several occasions. (d. 1992)

1912 – Sonja Henie, Norwegian figure skater and actress, World Champion, European Champion, Olympic medalist (d. 1969)

1914 – María Félix, Mexican actress, leading lady during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, recipient of three Ariel Awards (d. 2002)

1918 – Betty Ford, First Lady of the United States as wife of Gerald Ford, active in the women’s movement including support for the Equal Rights Amendment, founder of the Betty Ford Center for treatment of substance abuse and addiction, recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom  (d. 2011)

1920 – Carmen McRae, American jazz singer, composer, pianist, and actress (d. 1994)

1927 – Tilly Armstrong, British author (d. 2010)


Anne Catherine of Denmark with her son c. 1611 by Jacob van Doort (source)

Anne Catherine of Denmark with her son c. 1611 by Jacob van Doort (source)

1612 – Anne Catherine of Brandenburg, Queen consort of Denmark and Norway as wife of Christian IV (b. 1575)

1925 – Thecla Åhlander, Swedish stage and film actress (b. 1855)

1958 – Ethel Turner, Australian author, known for her children’s literature including Seven Little Australians (b. 1872)

1968 – Barbara Jane Harrison, British flight attendant, awarded the George Cross for heroism after she remained aboard a burning aircraft helping passengers escape giving her own life in the process (b. 1945)

2013 – Margaret Thatcher, British politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1925)

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