February 15

Events in Women’s History

Agatha Barbara, President of Malta, by Department of Information, Malta (source)

Agatha Barbara, President of Malta, by Department of Information, Malta (source)

1879 – President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

1982 – Agatha Barbara takes office as Malta’s first and so far only woman President.

Births

Irena Sendler, 1942, artist unknown (source)

Irena Sendler, 1942, artist unknown (source)

1792 – Floride Calhoun, wife of American politician John C. Calhoun, known for her involvement in the “Petticoat Affair” while her husband was Vice-President of the US (d. 1866)

1820Susan B. Anthony, American suffragist (d. 1906)

1836 – Sarah Fuller, educator, promoted teaching deaf children to speak with techniques learned from Alexander Bell, gave first speech lessons to Helen Keller, founded the Home for Little Deaf Children (d. 1910)

1858 – Marcella Sembrich, stage name of Prakseda Marcelina Kochańska, Polish coloratura soprano (d. 1935)

1899 – Gale Sondergaard, American actress (d. 1985)

1910 – Irena Sendler, Polish nurse and social worker, head of children’s section of Żegota, an underground resistance organization; she and other members smuggled approximately 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto and provided them with false identity papers and homes, saving them from the Holocaust. (d. 2008)

1916 – Mary Jane Croft, American actress (d. 1999)

1923 – Yelena Bonner, human rights activist in the former Soviet Union, wife of physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov (d. 2011)

1931 – Claire Bloom, English actress

1935 – Susan Brownmiller, American journalist and author

1943 – Griselda Blanco, Colombian drug lord, “The Cocaine Godmother” (d. 2012)

Deaths

1932 – Minnie Maddern Fiske, American stage actress and playwright (b. 1865)

1948 – Subhadra Kumari Chauhan Indian poet (b. 1904)

1984 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer (b. 1908)

1992 – María Elena Moyano, Peruvian community organizer and activist, assassinated by Shining Path, the Maoist guerrilla insurgent organization in Peru (b. 1960)

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Ethel Merman 1967, publicity photo from ABC television (source)

Ethel Merman 1967, publicity photo from ABC television (source)

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