January 21

Events in Women’s History

1908New York City passes the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for women to smoke in public, only to have the measure vetoed by the mayor. Link is to New York Times article from 1908 about the ordinance.

2013 – Myrlie Evers-Williams delivers the invocation at the second inauguration of Barak Obama as President of the United States, becoming the first woman and the first layperson to do so.


Eliza Roxcy Young c. 1870 (source)

Eliza Roxcy Young c. 1870 (source)

1610 – Elizabeth Fones, English-American settler (d. 1673)

1714 – Anna Morandi Manzolini, Italian anatomist, lecturer and sculptor, lectured in anatomy at the University of Bologna, known for anatomical wax models (d. 1774)

1804 – Eliza Roxcy Snow, American poet, history chronicler, plural wife of Brigham Young and second general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (d. 1887)

1840 – Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake, British physician, educator and feminist, founder of medical schools for women (d. 1912)

1853 – Helen Hamilton Gardener, American author, intellectual and suffragist (d. 1925)

1879 – Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan, British botanist and mycologist (d. 1967)

1887 – Maude Farris-Luse, American super-centenarian (d. 2002)

1914 – Lally Bowers English actress (d. 1984)

1918 – Chichay, Filipino actress (d. 1993)

1922 – Jade Snow Wong, also known as Connie Wong, Chinese American ceramic artist and author (d. 2006)

1923 – Lola Flores, Spanish singer, dancer, and actress (d. 1995)

1925 – Eva Ibbotson, Austrian-born British author (d. 2010)

1934 – Audrey Dalton, Irish actress

1935 – Ann Wedgeworth, American actress

1941 – Elaine Showalter, American literary critic, feminist and author


1917 – Francesca Alexander, American author, illustrator and translator (b. 1837)

1937 – Marie Prevost, Canadian actress (b. 1898)

1967 – Ann Sheridan, American actress (b. 1915)

1978 – Freda Utley, English scholar, political activist and author (b. 1898)

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Illustration by Francesca Alexander c. 1870 (source)

Illustration by Francesca Alexander c. 1870 (source)

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