January 23

Events in Women’s History

Elizabeth Blackwell (source)

Elizabeth Blackwell (source)

1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell is awarded her M.D. by the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, New York, becoming the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.

1997 – Madeleine Albright becomes the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.


Luisa Casati c. 1908 by Giovanni Boldini (source)

Luisa Casati c. 1908 by Giovanni Boldini (source)

1688 – Ulrika Eleonora, Queen regnant of Sweden; in 1720 she abdicated in favor of her husband. (d. 1741)

1813 – Camilla Collett, Norwegian author and activist (d. 1895)

1837 – Amanda Berry, American orator, missionary (d. 1915)

1838 – Marianne Cope, known as the Saint of Molokai, German-born American saint, spent many years caring for lepers on the island of Molokai (d. 1918)

1881 – Luisa Casati, Italian heiress, model and patron of the arts, known for her eccentricities (d. 1957)

1896 – Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (d. 1985)

1897 – Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, Austrian architect and activist in the Nazi resistance movement (d. 2000)

1898 – Freda Utley, British scholar, political activist and author (d. 1978)

1910Irene Sharaff, American costume and set designer, recipient of five Academy Awards and one Tony Award, known for work on “The King and I”, “West Side Story”, “Cleopatra”, “Porgy and Bess”, “Hello Dolly!”, and many more (d. 1993)

1918Gertrude Belle Elion, American biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine inn 1988 (d. 1999)

1921 – Marija Gimbutas, Lithuanian-born, American scholar and archaeologist, known for research on Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures and for the Kurgan hypothesis, specifically representations of female dieties (d. 1994)

1928 – Jeanne Moreau, French actress, singer, screenwriter, and director

1930 – Tanya Savicheva, Russian child author who kept a diary of her life during the Siege of Leningrad, WWII (d. 1944)

1933 – Chita Rivera, Puerto Rican actress, singer, and dancer

1935 – Teresa Żylis-Gara, Polish soprano

1947 – Megawati Sukarnoputri, Indonesian politician, President of Indonesia from 2001 – 2004, thus far the only female president of the country


1789 – Frances Brooke, English author and playwright (b. 1724)

1931 – Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina (b. 1881)

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Anna Pavlova c. 1905, photographic postcard by the Imperial Mariinsky theater, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire (souce)

Anna Pavlova c. 1905, photographic postcard by the Imperial Mariinsky theater, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire (source)

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