February 13

Events in Women’s History

Catherine Howard by Hans Holbein the Younger (source)

Catherine Howard by Hans Holbein the Younger (source)

1542Catherine Howard, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII, and her lady-in-waiting, Jane Boleyn, are executed.

1575 – Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont marries Henry III of France and becomes Queen consort, the same day he is crowned at Rheims.

1689 – William and Mary are proclaimed co-rulers of England.

1943 – The first women sign up for non-clerical duties in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve.


Bess Truman c. 1950, Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress (source)

Bess Truman c. 1950, Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress (source)

1457Mary of Burgundy, ruler of the Burgundian territories in the Low Countries in her own right from 1477 until her death (d. 1482)

1815 – Anna Ottendorfer, American journalist and philantropist, developed the German-language New Yorker Staats-Zeitung into a major newspaper (d. 1884)

1879 – Sarojini Naidu, Indian author, poet, activist and politician, first woman to be President of the Indian National Congress, first woman to be Governor of Uttar Pradesh (d. 1949)

1881 – Eleanor Farjeon, English author (d. 1965)

1885Bess Truman, First Lady of the United States as wife of Harry S. Truman (d. 1982)

1889 – Leontine Sagan, Austrian actress and director (d. 1974)

1891 – Kate Roberts, Welsh author (d. 1985)

1907 – Katy de la Cruz, Filipino singer specializing in jazz and torch songs, “The Queen of Filipino Jazz” (d. 2004)

1908 – Pauline Frederick, American journalist and author (d. 1990)

1912 – Margaretta Scott, English actress (d. 2005)

1918 – Patty Berg, American golfer, founding member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, member of the World Golf Hall of Fame (d. 2006)

1920 – Eileen Farrell, American soprano who performed both classical opera and popular music (d. 2002)

1921 – Jeanne Demessieux, French pianist and composer (d. 1968)

1932 – Susan Oliver, American actress and director (d. 1990)

1932 – Barbara Shelley, English actress

1933 – Caroline Blakiston, English actress

1933 – Kim Novak, American actress

1943 – Elaine Pagels, biblical scholar, professor of religion at Princeton University, best known for her work on the Nag Hammadi manuscripts


1539 – Isabella d’Este, Marchesa of Mantua as wife of Francesco II Gonzaga, patron of the arts and a fashion leader in the Italian Renaissance (b. 1474)

1542 – Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford, English assistant to Catherine Howard (b. 1505)

1542Catherine Howard, Queen of England as wife of Henry VIII of England (b. 1521)

1662 – Elizabeth Stuart, Electress Palatine as wife of Frederick V, and briefly Queen of Bohemia, “The Winter Queen” (b. 1596)

1952 – Josephine Tey, pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh, Scottish author best known for mystery novels (b. 1896)

1954 – Agnes Macphail, Canadian politician, first woman elected to the Canadian House of Commons (b. 1890)

1958 – Dame Christabel Pankhurst, DBE, English activist and suffragette, co-founded the Women’s Social and Political Union, evangelist for the Second Adventist movement (b. 1880)

1968 – Mae Marsh, American actress (b. 1895)

1976 – Lily Pons, French-born American coloratura soprano and actress (b. 1904)

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Isabella d'Este, Marchesa of Mantua by Titian c. 1535 (source)

Isabella d’Este, Marchesa of Mantua by Titian c. 1535 (source)

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