July 23

Events in Women’s History

President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia (PD)

President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia (source)

1999 — Colonel Eileen Collins becomes the first woman to command a US spacecraft with a Space Shuttle mission. In 1995, she was the first female Shuttle pilot.

2001 – Megawati Sukarnoputri became the first female president of Indonesia after the President Abdurrahman Wahid was removed from office. She was given day-to-day control of the government beginning in August 2000 and served as President from July 2001 to October 2004. Although she ran for office again in 2004 and 2009, she was not re-elected.


Queen Anne of Hungary and Bohemia by Hans Maler zu Schawz (source)

Queen Anne of Hungary and Bohemia by Hans Maler zu Schawz (source)

1503 – Anne of Bohemia and Hungary, Queen of the Romans as wife of Ferdinand I (d. 1547)

1721 — Anna Dorothea Therbusch was a Rococo painter born in Berlin to a Polish family. She was elected to the Stuttgart Academy of the Arts, the Bologna Academy, the Académie Royale in Paris, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

1816 — Charlotte Saunders Cushman, actor. She began her career in opera, then switched to acting becoming a well-known tragic actress in the US and internationally. (d. 1876)

1844 — Harriet Williams Russell Strong, American activist, inventor, conservationist and a prominent member of the early women’s movement. (d. 1926)

1907 — Elspeth Joscelin Grant Huxley, British author, journalist, broadcaster, magistrate and environmentalist. She published 30 books, but is best known for those based on her childhood on a Kenyan coffee farm. (d. 1997)

1916 – Laurel Martyn, Australian ballerina and choreographer, second Australian to win the Adeline Genée Gold Medal (d. 2013)

1917 — Barbara Deming, author, feminist and advocate of nonviolent social change. She was the founder of The Money for Women Fund which supports the work of feminist artists. It was renamed The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund after her death in 1984.

1920 – Amália Rodrigues, Portuguese singer and actress, known as Rainha do Fado (“Queen of Fado”), helped to popularize the genre internationally (d. 1999)

1923 – Amalia Mendoza, Mexican film, television and radio actress and singer, indigenous leader of the Purépecha people, one of the “Tres Señoras” (d. 2001)

1928 – Vera Rubin, American astronomer, known for her work on the galaxy rotation problem

1931 – Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu (Dame Te Atairangikaahu), was Māori Queen for 40 years, the longest reign of any Māori monarch (d. 2006)


Saint Bridget of Sweden (source)

Saint Bridget of Sweden (source)

1373 – Bridget of Sweden, Swedish mystic and saint, founder of the Bridgettine Order, canonized in 1391 by the Roman Catholic Church (b. 1303)

1980 – Mollie Steimer, Russian-American anarchist and activist, advocate for trade unions, peace and free speech (b. 1897)

2012 – Sally Ride, American physicist and astronaut, first American woman in space, physics professor, member of committees to investigate the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters (b. 1951)

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