August 16

Events in Women’s History

1477Mary, Duchess of Burgundy marries Archduke Maximillian of Austria.

1913 – Tōhoku Imperial University of Japan becomes the first university in Japan to admit female students.


Jacqueline, Countess of Hainault

Jacqueline, Countess of Hainault (source)

1355 – Philippa of Clarence, 5th Countess of Ulster, heiress presumptive to her cousin Richard II; after her death her grandson was heir presumptive, but the throne was usurped by Henry of Bolingbroke; her descendents eventually ascended to the throne as the House of York under Edward IV. (d. 1382)

1401 – Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland, Duchess of Bavaria-Straubing; briefly Dauphine of France before the death of her first husband John, Duke of Touraine. (d. 1436)

1565 – Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, served as regent with her daughter-in-law for her grandson Fernando II (d. 1637)

1573 – Anne of Austria, Queen of Poland and Sweden as wife of Sigismund III Vasa, Grand Duchess of Lithuania (d. 1598)

1637 – Emilie Juliane, Countess of Barby-Mühlingen, German hymn writer, most prolific female hymn writer in Germany with approximately 600 hymns attributed to her. (d. 1706)

1832 – Helen Knowlton, American artist and author, principal biographer of William Morris Hunt (d. 1918)

1836Virginia Thrall Smith, American social and charity worker, member of the City Missionary Society, established Connecticut’s first free kindergarten, elected to the Connecticut State Board of Charities, started the Connecticut Children’s Aid Society, founder of a home for children that eventually became the Newington Children’s Hospital (d. 1903)

1895 – Liane Haid, Austrian dancer, singer and actress, referred to as Austria’s first movie star (d. 2000)

1902 – Georgette Heyer, British novelist, known for detective fiction and historical romance, specifically Regency romance (d. 1974)

1934 – Diana Wynne Jones, British author, known primarily for fantasy novels (d. 2011)

1945 – Suzanne Farrell, born Roberta Sue Ficker, American ballerina, founder Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center, considered by some the greatest American lyric ballerina


Lydia Field Emmet, self-portrait, 1912 (source)

Lydia Field Emmet, self-portrait, 1912 (source)

1445 – Margaret Stewart, Dauphine of France as wife of the future Louis XI, daughter of James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort (b. 1424)

1949 – Margaret Mitchell, American author and journalist, best known for her novel Gone With the Wind which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (b. 1900)

1952 – Lydia Field Emmet, American painter, best known as a portraitist, successful during her lifetime and widely exhibited (b. 1866)

1959 – Wanda Landowska, Polish harpsichordist, instrumental in reviving the popularity of the harpsichord in the 20th century, first person to record Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1879)

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