July 10

Events in Women’s History

1553 – Lady Jane Grey takes the throne of England. Sometimes referred to as “The Nine Days Queen”, she ruled from July 10 to July 19, 1553.


Maria, Duchess of Gloucester c. 1770 by Joshua Reynolds (source)

Maria, Duchess of Gloucester c. 1770 by Joshua Reynolds (source)

1736 – Maria Walpole, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh; her second marriage to Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester was held in secret because his brother George III didn’t approve; although the marriage took place before the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 and was therefore legitimate, Maria was never received at court.  (d. 1807)

1804 – Emma Smith, American religious reformer, first wife of Joseph Smith and a leader in the Latter Day Saints movement, first president of the Ladies’ Relief Society of Nauvoo  (d. 1879)

1875Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator and civil rights leader, founder of the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls which evolved into Bethune-Cookman University, advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and many other accomplishments (d. 1955)

1884 – Harriet Wiseman Elliott, American educator and public official, Dean of Women at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; during the 1940s she served in several governmental positions including, Chairman of the Woman’s Division of the War Finance Committee, Deputy Director of the Office of Price Administration, and United States delegate to UNESCO (d. 1947)

1896 – Thérèse Casgrain, Canadian feminist, reformer and politician, Senator in Quebec, leader in the women’s suffrage movement as founder of the Provincial Franchise Committee, hosted the radio show Fémina in the 1930s (d. 1981)

1904 – Lili Damita, French actress and music hall performer; successful in both silent and sound films, she retired after her marriage to Errol Flynn in 1935. (d. 1994)

1905Mildred Wirt Benson, American journalist and author, known as the author of 23 of the 30 original Nancy Drew mysteries writing as Carolyn Keene (d. 2002)

1916 – Judith Jasmin, Canadian journalist and radio host, founding member of the Mouvement laïque de langue française (“The Francophone Secular Movement”) (d. 1972)

1921 – Eunice Kennedy Shriver, American activist, founder of Camp Shriver which evolved into the Special Olympics, long time advocate for children with disabilities, recipient of many awards and honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a papal knighthood, Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (d. 2009)

1922 – Jean Kerr, American author and playwright, known for bestseller Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (d. 2003)

1929 – Winnie Ewing, Scottish lawyer and politician; at different times a Member of the UK Parliament, European Parliament, and Scottish Parliament between the years 1967 and 2003

1930 – Susan Cummings, German-American film and television actress, known for her role as Georgia, the proprietor of the Golden Nugget Saloon in the television series Union Pacific

1931 – Alice Munro, Canadian author, known for her short stories, recipient of many awards and honors including Canada’s Governor General’s Award, the Man Booker International Prize and the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature

1933 – Jan DeGaetani, American mezzo-soprano, known for contemporary classical performances (d. 1989)

1940 – Helen Donath, American soprano, internationally known with a long association with the Salzburg Festival and the Vienna State Opera


Karoline Jagemann c. 1803 by Jakob Wilhelm Christian Roux (source)

Karoline Jagemann c. 1803 by Jakob Wilhelm Christian Roux (source)

1848 – Karoline Jagemann, German actress and singer, known as a tragedienne and for her roles as Elizabeth in Mary Stuart and Beatrice in The Bride of Messina, mistress of Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (b. 1777)

1908 – Phoebe Knapp, American organist and composer, wrote music for over 500 hymns including Blessed Assurance and Nearer the Cross lyrics by Fanny Crosby (b. 1839)

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