February 8

Events in Women’s History

Mary, Queen of Scots c. 1559, after François Clouet (source)

Mary, Queen of Scots c. 1559, after François Clouet (source)

1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is executed on suspicion of having been involved in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.

1960 – Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom issues an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants will take the name “Mountbatten-Windsor”.


Caroline Augusta of Bavaria c. 1816, artist unknown (source)

Caroline Augusta of Bavaria c. 1816, artist unknown (source)

1792 – Caroline Augusta of Bavaria, Empress consort of Austria as wife of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1873)

1850 – Kate Chopin, pseudonym of Katherine O’Flaherty, American author of short stories and novels, known as a forerunner of feminist 20th century writers, known for the novel The Awakening (d. 1904)

1859 – Gabriele Reuter, German author of short stories and novels, widely read during her lifetime, known for From a Good Family and Ellen of the Meadows (d. 1941)

1869 – Maud Slye, American pathologist and professor, recipient of the American Medical Association gold medal and the American Radiological Society gold medal, believed that cancer was a recessive genetic trait and could be bred out (d. 1954)

1876 – Paula Modersohn-Becker, German painter, known for bold subject matter and color choices, with Picasso and Matisse introduced the world to modernism, one of the first women to paint nudes (d. 1907)

1888 – Dame Edith Evans, British actress (d. 1976)

1903 – Greta Keller, Austrian singer and actress (d. 1977)

1909 – Elisabeth Murdoch, Australian philanthropist (d. 2012)

1911 – Elizabeth Bishop, American poet, Poet Laureate of the United States, Pulitzer Prize winner (d. 1979)

1913 – Betty Field, American actress (d. 1973)

1921 – Lana Turner, American actress (d. 1995)

1922 – Audrey Meadows, American actress (d. 1996)

1933 – Elly Ameling, Dutch soprano; since her debut in 1953, she has performed in virtually every major cultural center in the world and with the leading orchestras and conductors. in 2008, she received the Order of the Netherlands Lion, the highest civil decoration in the Netherlands.


1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1542)

1772 – Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Princess and later Dowager Princess of Wales (b. 1719)

1987 – Harriet E. MacGibbon, American actress (b. 1905)

1988 – Daisy Turner, American historian, storyteller and author; the daughter of freed slaves, she was famous for her oral recordings of her family history, traced back to Africa and England.  (b. 1883)

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