December 12

Events in Women’s History

Maria Goeppert-Mayer, escorted by King Gustav Adolf of Sweden to a gala after the Nobel ceremony where she received her Nobel Prize. (Smithonian Institute Archives, source)

Maria Goeppert-Mayer, escorted by King Gustav Adolf of Sweden to a gala after the Nobel ceremony where she received her Nobel Prize. (Smithonian Institute Archives SIA2008-1866, source)

1911 – King George V and Mary of Teck are enthroned as Emperor and Empress of India.

1950 – Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, leads the congregation in her first services.

1963 – Maria Goeppert Mayer accepts the Nobel Prize in physics, becoming the second woman to receive the honor after Marie Curie in 1903.

Births

Anne of Denmark c. 1605, attributed to John de Critz the Elder

Anne of Denmark c. 1605, attributed to John de Critz the Elder (source)

1574 – Anne of Denmark, Queen consort of Scotland, England, and Ireland as wife of James VI and I (d. 1619)

1779 – Madeleine Sophie Barat, French saint, founded the Society of the Sacred Heart (d. 1865)

1791 – Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma, Empress of the French as the second wife of Napoleon I (d. 1847)

1835 – Sarah Brown Ingersoll Cooper, American philanthropist, editor, and educator (d. 1896)

1857 – Lillian Nordica, American dramatic soprano (d. 1914)

1869 – Clara Damrosch Mannes, German-born American musician, educator, co-founder with her husband of Mannes College The New School for Music (d. 1948)

1873 – Lola Ridge, anarchist poet, editor, feminist (d. 1941)

1878 – Rachel Crothers, American playwright and director (d. 1958)

1884 – Zinaida Serebriakova, Russian-French painter (d. 1967)

1896 – Eslanda Goode Robeson, American anthropologist, author and activist, wife of Paul Robeson (d. 1965)

1919 – Olivia Barclay, English astrologer (d. 2001)

1928 – Helen Frankenthaler, American painter (d. 2011)

1929 – Toshiko Akiyoshi, Japanese Jazz pianist and composer (Toshiko Akiyoshi – Lew Tabackin Big Band)

1938 – Connie Francis, American singer

Deaths

1951 – Mildred Bailey, American singer (b. 1907)

1968 – Tallulah Bankhead, American actress and talk show host (b. 1902)

1970 – Doris Blackburn, Australian politician (b. 1889)

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Tallulah Bankhead publicity photo, 1941

Tallulah Bankhead publicity photo, 1941 (source)

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