August 11

Events in Women’s History

Hedy Lamarr publicity photo in 1938

Hedy Lamarr publicity photo from 1938 (source)

1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system.  The technique later became the basis for technology used in wireless telephone systems.


The Electress by Jan Frans van Douven

The Electress by Jan Frans van Douven (source)

1667 – Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, Electress of Palatine as wife of Johann Wilhelm II, art patron (d. 1743)

1811 – Octavia Le Vert, American author and salon hostess, prominent southern socialite, Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame inductee (d. 1877)

1862 – Carrie Jacobs Bond, American singer, pianist and songwriter, known for writing popular music such as “I Love You Truly” and “A Perfect Day” (d. 1946)

1897 – Enid Blyton, British author, popular children’s writer, known for Noddy, Famous Five, and Secret Seven series, translated into many languages (d. 1968)

1897 – Louise Bogan, American poet, Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress in 1945, poetry editor of The New Yorker magazine (d. 1970)

1912 – Eva Ahnert-Rohlfs, German astronomer (d. 1954)

1919 – Ginette Neveu, French classical violinist, child prodigy, won the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition at the age of 16; she achieved international fame, but died in a plane crash at the age of 30. (d. 1949)

1941 – Alla Kushnir, Russian–born Israeli chess player, Woman Grandmaster, three time winner of the Women’s Chess Olympiads (d. 2013)


1614 – Lavinia Fontana, one of the earliest successful women painters outside of a court or convent, elected into the Accademia di San Luca of Rome (b. 1552)

1881Jane Elizabeth Digby, Lady Ellenborough, celebrated beauty with many husbands and lovers. She was painted for Ludwig I’s Gallery of Beauties by Joseph Karl Stieler (b. 1807)

1886 – Lydia Koidula, pseudonym of Lydia Emilie Florentine Jannsen, Estonian poet, known for poetry and newspaper articles which largely were published anonymously, considered founder of Estonian theater for her original plays and stage direction (b. 1843)

1937 – Edith Wharton, American author and designer, known for her portrayal of America’s privilege class during the 19th century, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Age of Innocence, three time Nobel Prize nominee (b. 1862)

1969 – Miriam Licette, British operatic soprano and educator, founder of the Miriam Licette Scholarship (b. 1885)

1972Rose Schneiderman, born Rachel Schneiderman to a Jewish family in Chełm, in present day Poland, became an American labor union leader and organizer, feminist and suffragist, active in the Women’s Trade Union League, participant in the Uprising of 20,000 (b. 1882) The link is to a short biography of Schneiderman at the Jewish Women’s Archive. 

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Self-portrait by Lavinia Fontana c. 1577

Self-portrait by Lavinia Fontana c. 1577 (source)

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