December 27

Events in Women’s History

Benazir Bhutto, photo by iFaqeer (source)

Benazir Bhutto, photo by iFaqeer (source)

1845 – Ether anesthetic is used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Long in Jefferson, Georgia.

1935 – Regina Jonas receives her semicha and is ordained as a rabbi, becoming the first woman to officially serve in that role.

2007 – Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated.

Births

Marlene Dietrich publicity photo for No Highway in the Sky, 1951

Marlene Dietrich publicity photo for No Highway in the Sky, 1951 (source)

1390 – Anne de Mortimer, wife of Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, mother of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, grandmother of Edward IV and Richard III of England (d. 1411)

1821 – Lady Jane Wilde, Irish poet, essayist, and women’s rights advocate, supporter of the nationalist movement writing under the pseudonym Speranza, known for collections of folktales, mother of Oscar Wilde (d. 1896)

1888 – Thea von Harbou, German author, actress and film director (d. 1954)

1901 – Marlene Dietrich, German-born American actress and singer (d. 1992)

1901 – Irene Handl, British actress (d. 1987)

1907 – Mary Edgar Mussi, British author who wrote under the pseudonym Mary Howard (d. 1991)

1911 – Anna Russell, English-Canadian singer and actress (d. 2006)

1913 – Elizabeth Smart, Canadian author and poet (d. 1986)

1915 – Mary Kornman, American actress (d. 1973)

1927 – Audrey Wagner, American baseball player (d. 1984)

1927 – Anne Armstrong, American diplomat and politician, first woman Counselor to the President, first woman United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient (d. 2008)

1934 – Larisa Latynina, Russian gymnast and Olympic gold medalist. Her total of 18 Olympic medals was a record for 48 years until broken by Michael Phelps in 2012.

1943 – Cokie Roberts, American journalist

1943 – Joan Manuel Serrat, Spanish singer-songwriter and guitarist

Deaths

1087 – Bertha of Savoy, German Queen and Holy Roman Empress as wife of Henry IV (b. 1051)

1812 – Joanna Southcott, English self-described prophet. She believed that she was the woman spoken of in Revelations 12. (b. 1750)

1944 Amy Beach, American composer and pianist (b. 1867)

1962 – Olga Preobrajenskaya, Russian prima ballerina and ballet instructor; born with a crooked spine, she was repeated rejected for the Imperial Ballet School, but her parents persisted and she was successful; she also sang opera arias and played the piano. (She shortened her name to Preobrajenska for professional purposes. The old style date of her birth is Jan 21.) (b. 1871)

1985 – Dian Fossey, American zoologist, primatologist and anthropologist, known for extensive work with mountain gorillas in Rwanda and her book Gorillas in the Mist; her body was found, presumably murdered by poachers, but the case is still open. (b. 1932)

2007 – Benazir Bhutto, politician, stateswoman, Prime Minister of Pakistan (b. 1953)

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Joanna Southcott in Devonshire Characters and Strange Events by Sabine Baring-Gould, published 1908

Joanna Southcott from “Devonshire Characters and Strange Events” by Sabine Baring-Gould, published 1908 (source)

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