Events in Women’s History
1612 – The “Samlesbury witches”, three women from the Lancashire village of Samlesbury, England, are put on trial, accused for practicing witchcraft.
1692 – In Salem, Massachusetts, in the American colonies, five people, one woman and four men, including a clergyman, are executed after being convicted of witchcraft.
1342 – Catherine of Bohemia, Duchess of Austria as wife of Rudolf IV, Duchess of Bavaria and Electress of Brandenburg as wife of Otto V (d. 1395)
1596 – Elizabeth Stuart, Electress Palatine and Queen consort of Bohemia as the wife of Frederick V; she is referred to as The Winter Queen because her husband’s reign was so short. (d. 1662)
1743 – Madame du Barry, French courtesan, official mistress of Louis XV of France (d. 1793)
1814? – Mary Ellen Pleasant, American abolitionist and entrepreneur, active in the Underground Railroad, self-made millionaire; she passed as white when she first went to California, but changed her designation to “Black” after the civil war and became a civil rights activist; she is sometimes called the “Mother of Civil Rights in California”; her birth year is disputed. (d. 1904)
1883 – Coco Chanel, French fashion designer, founder of the Chanel Company and brand, listed on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century (d. 1971)
1900 – Olga Baclanova, Russian actress; popular in silent films in America, her heavy accent made her transition to talking films unsuccessful; best-known for her portrayal of Cleopatra in the horror movie Freaks. (d. 1974)
1911 – Anna Terruwe, Dutch psychiatrist, known for her work with emotional deprivation disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder; she based her work on that of Thomas Aquinas. (d. 2004)
1934 – Renée Richards, American ophthalmologist, author and tennis player; United States Tennis Association Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame inductee in 2000; after undergoing sex reassignment surgery in 1975, she was denied entrance to the US Open by the USTA; she fought the ban in court and the New York State Court ruled in her favor in 1977.
1963 – Kathleen Parlow, Canadian violinist, child prodigy and educator, known as “the lady of the golden bow”; she studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory where she was the only female in her class and the first foreigner admitted to the school; later she taught at the Juilliard School of Music. (b. 1890)