January 8

Events in Women’s History

Sophie Germain, artist unknown

Sophie Germain, artist unknown (source)

1499 – Anne of Brittany marries Louis XII of France.

1816Sophie Germain becomes the first woman to win a prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences for her work on elasticity. Even after winning the prize she still was not able to attend the Academy sessions because the only women admitted were the wives of the male members.

1870 – The first issue of Woman’s Journal is published in Boston, Massachusetts by Lucy Stone and her husband Henry B. Blackwell.

1975 – Ella T. Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, the first woman to serve as a Governor in the United States other than by succeeding her husband.


Queen Elena of Italy, 1900

Queen Elena of Italy, 1900 (source)

1638 – Elisabetta Sirani, Italian Baroque painter and printmaker, most famous woman artist in early modern Bologna, established an academy for other female artists, died in unexplained circumstances (d. 1665)

1859 – Fanny Bullock Workman, American cartographer and explorer (d. 1925)

1860 – Emma Booth, English member of The Salvation Army (d. 1903)

1963 – Ellen Churchill Semple, American geographer (d. 1932)

1864 – Mary Kenny O’Sullivan, American labor organizer (d. 1943)

1865 – Winnaretta Singer, American heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune and patron of the arts (d. 1943)

1867 – Emily Greene Balch, American economist and author, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1961)

1873 – Elena of Montenegro, Queen consort of Italy, Ethiopia and Albania as wife of Victor Emmanuel III, worked as a nurse during WWI turning Quirinal Palace into a hospital (d. 1956)

1909 – Evelyn Wood, American educator, coined the term speed reading and developed a system to increase reading speed while also increasing retention (d. 1995)

1910 – Galina Ulanova, Russian ballerina, considered one of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century (d. 1998)

1926 – Evelyn Lear, American soprano, Grammy award recipient (d. 2012)

1934 – Alexandra Ripley, American author, best known for her novel Scarlett, written as a sequel to Gone With the Wind (d. 2004)

1937 – Dame Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer, known for recording theme songs for three James Bond films, recipient of the Brit Award (1977) for Best British Female Solo Artist in the previous 25 years

1939 – Carolina Herrera, Venezuelan-American fashion designer


1916 – Ada Rehan, Irish-born American actress (b. 1860)

1932 – Eurosia Fabris, Italian philanthropist (b. 1866)

1958 – Mary Colter, American architect (b. 1869)

1979 – Sara Carter, American singer-songwriter and harp player (Carter Family) (b. 1898)

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Ada Rehan, 1897, by Aime Dupont, Library of Congress

Ada Rehan, 1897, by Aime Dupont, Library of Congress (source)

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