August 6

Events in Women’s History

Gertud Ederle c. 1930, Courtesy German Federal Archives (source)

Gertud Ederle c. 1930, Courtesy German Federal Archives (source)

1926 – Gertrude Ederle swims across the English Channel, becoming the first woman to do so.

1942 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands addresses a joint session of the United States Congress, becoming the first reigning queen to do so.


Louise de La Valliere by Claude Lefèbvre

Louise de La Valliere by Claude Lefèbvre (source)

1619 – Italian Baroque singer and composer, very prolific composer of primarily secular songs, known for her poetic lyrics as well as her musical compositions (d. 1677)

1644 – Louise de La Vallière, Duchess of La Vallière and Duchess of Vaujours, mistress of Louis XIV of France (d. 1710)

1666 – Maria Sofia of Neuburg, Queen of Portugal as wife of Peter II, known for her generosity, mother of John V of Portugal (d. 1699)

1817 – Zerelda Wallace, American lecturer, temperance advocate and suffragist, testified before the Indiana General Assembly about temperance, testified before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on women’s suffrage (d. 1901)

1845 – Myrtle Page Fillmore, American educator and spiritual leader, co-founder of the Unity Church with her husband Charles Fillmore (d. 1931)

1848 – Susie King Taylor, American nurse, author and educator, first African-American nurse, tended the First South Carolina Volunteers during the Civil War, known for her memoirs Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers, first African-American to teach openly in a Georgia school for former slaves where she taught adults and children (d. 1912)

1861Edith Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States as wife of Theodore Roosevelt (d. 1948)

1881 – Louella Parsons, American columnist; her columns were about American movies and stars and were read by approximately 20 million people in 400 newspapers (d. 1972)

1886 – Inez Milholland, labor lawyer, suffragist, WWI correspondent and orator; she is known for leading the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 on a white horse. (d. 1916)

1908 – Helen Jacobs, American tennis player, won ten Grand Slam titles (d. 1997)

1911 – Lucille Ball, American actress, comedian and studio executive, known for television sitcoms I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show, first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu (d. 1989)

1911 – Constance Heaven, British author, known for romance novels such as The House of Kuragin which was a winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year, chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association (d. 1995)

1917 – Barbara Cooney, American children’s author and illustrator, recipient of two Caldecott Medals and a National Book Award, nominee in 1994 from the US for the Hans Christian Andersen Award  (d. 2000)

1930 – Abbey Lincoln, stage name of Anna Marie Wooldridge, American singer-songwriter, actress, jazz vocalist and civil rights activist (d. 2010)


1914 – Ellen Axson Wilson, First Lady of the United States as wife of Woodrow Wilson from March of 1913 until her death (b. 1860)

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Ellen Axson Wilson c. 1912, Library of Congress (source)

Ellen Axson Wilson c. 1912, Library of Congress (source)

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