August 12

Events in Women’s History

Cleopatra and her son, Cesarion

Cleopatra and her son, Cesarion (Image by Alex Lbh, source)

30 BC – Cleopatra VII, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, commits suicide after defeat at the Battle of Actium and the death of Marc Anthony.

1990 – Sue Hendrickson discovers the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton found to date in South Dakota. The skeleton is called “Sue” in her honor and is on display at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois.


Elizabeth Oakes Smith c. 1849 (source)

Elizabeth Oakes Smith c. 1849 (source)

1566 – Isabella Clara Eugenia, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands in the Low Countries and parts of northern France as wife of Albert VII, of Austria  (d. 1633)

1806 – Elizabeth Oakes Smith, American poet, author, lecturer and women’s rights activist, known for her poem “The Sinless Child” and a series of feminist essays published in the New York Tribue around 1850 (d. 1893)

1831 – Helena Blavatsky, Russian scholar, author and theosophist, co-founder of the Theosophical Society, known for her organization of ancient teachings in her works such as The Secret Doctrine, Isis Unveiled, and The Key to Theosophy (d. 1891)

1833 – Lillie Devereux Blake, American author, suffragist and reformer, war correspondent during the Civil War for the New York Evening Post, New York World and Philadephia Press, known for her successful novels Southwold and Rockford (d. 1913)

1859 – Katharine Lee Bates, American poet and songwriter, known for the anthem “American the Beautiful” and the poem Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride (d. 1929)

1867 – Edith Hamilton, German-American author and educator, known for her books The Greek Way and Mythology, considered by some as “the greatest woman Classicist” (d. 1963)

1876 – Mary Roberts Rinehart, American author, known for mystery novels, sometimes called the American Agatha Christie (d. 1958)

1883 – Martha Hedman, Swedish-American actress and author, known for her books Uncle, Aunt and Jezabel and Mathias and Matilda (d. 1974)

1889 – Zerna Sharp, American author and educator, known for creating the Dick and Jane series of beginning readers (d. 1981)

1914 – Ruth Lowe, , Canadian pianist and songwriter, known for the hits “I’ll Never Smile Again” and “Put Your Dreams Away” (d. 1981)

1932 – Sirikit, Queen consort of Thailand as wife of Bhumibol Adulyadej, coronation date 5 May 1950


Rachel Ruysch c. 1700 by Godfried Schalcken (source)

Rachel Ruysch c. 1700 by Godfried Schalcken (source)

30 BCE – Cleopatra VII, Egyptian queen (b. 69 BC)

1750Rachel Ruysch, a still life painter from the Northern Netherlands during the Dutch Golden Age, specialized in flowers, first female member of the Confrerie Pictura in The Hague; she achieved international fame in her lifetime. (b. 1664)

1967 – Esther Forbes, American author and historian, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Paul Revere and the World He Lived In and the Newbery Award for Johnny Tremain (b. 1891)

2014 – Lauren Bacall, American film and stage actress, recipient of two Tony Awards, one Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination (b. 1924)

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