July 4

Events in Women’s History

Aelia Pulcheria, Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. (source)

Aelia Pulcheria, Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. (source)

414 – Emperor Theodosius II, age 13, yields power to his older sister Aelia Pulcheria, age 15, who reigned as regent until his death in 450, proclaiming herself empress of the Eastern Roman Empire.

 

Births

Esther Pauline "Eppie" Lederer, a.k.a Ann Landers (source)

Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer, a.k.a Ann Landers (source)

68 – Salonina Matidia, daughter of Ulpia Marciana and niece of the Roman Emperor Trajan with whom she traveled and assisted with decision making; her daughter, Vibia Sabina, became the wife of Emperor Hadrian.  (d. 119)

1868 – Henrietta Swan Leavitt, American astronomer; she discovered the relationship between luminosity and the variables associated with Cepheid stars, which allows astronomers to measure the distance between Earth and other galaxies (d. 1921)

1898 – Gertrude Lawrence, British actress and singer, known for musical comedy and appearance in London’s West End as well as on Broadway in New York (d. 1952)

1904 – Angela Baddeley, CBE, British actress, known for her role as Mrs. Bridges in Upstairs, Downstairs (d. 1976)

1916 – Iva Toguri D’Aquino, “Tokyo Rose”, American typist and broadcaster, broadcast English-language propaganda via Radio Tokyo to Allied soldiers during WWII; the Department of Justice deemed her information innocuous, but she was eventually tried and convicted of one count of treason. She was eventually pardoned after witness testimony was shown to be false.  (d. 2006)

1918 – Twin sisters Eppie Lederer (a.k.a. Ann Landers, d. 2002) and Pauline Phillips (a.k.a. Abigail Van Buren, d. 2013), American syndicated columnists

Pauline Phillips, a.k.a. Dear Abby (source)

Pauline Phillips, a.k.a. Dear Abby (source)

1920 – Leona Helmsley, American businesswoman, known as “Queen of Mean” for her tyrannical behavior and for her flamboyant personality, convicted of federal income tax evasion, known for saying “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”  (d. 2007)

1924 – Eva Marie Saint, American actress and producer, recipient of an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Primetime Emmy, and Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations

1927 – Gina Lollobrigida, Italian actress, photojournalist, sculptor and philanthropist, recipient of the National Italian American Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

1934 – Yvonne B. Miller, American politician, first African American woman to serve in both houses of the Virginia state legislature, first woman to chair a Virgina Senate committee (d. 2012)

1936 – Zdzisława Donat, Polish coloratura soprano, known for her role as Queen of Night in Die Zauberflöte, Professor Emeritus at the Frédéric Chopin University of Music

1937 – Sonja, Queen consort of Norway as wife of Harald V; born Sonja Haraldsen, her marriage was originally opposed because of her non-royal status.

Deaths

Suzanne Lenglen

Suzanne Lenglen (source)

1934Marie Skłodowska- Curie, Polish-born French physicist and chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1903) and Nobel Prize in Physics (1911) (b. 1867)

1938 – Suzanne Lenglen, French athlete and Olympic medalist, won 31 tennis championship titles, one of the first female tennis celebrities and international female sport stars (b. 1899)

1946 – Gerda Steinhoff, German concentration camp overseer, participated in selection of prisoners for the gas chamber, recipient of a medal for her loyalty and service to the Third Reich; she was arrested, tried and convicted after the war for her involvement in the selections and abuse of prisoners, then hanged. (b. 1922)

1975 – Georgette Heyer, British author, known for historical romances and detective novels (b. 1902)

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One thought on “July 4

  1. July 4, 1903 – Dorothy Levitt becomes first English woman to compete in a ‘motor race.’

    She was also holder of the world’s first water speed record and the women’s world land speed record. Popularized motoring for women by teaching Queen Alexandra and the Royal Princesses how to drive. In her book, “The Woman and the Car: A Chatty Little Handbook for All Women Who Motor or Want to Motor,” she said women should “carry a little hand-mirror in a convenient place when driving” so they may “hold the mirror aloft from time to time in order to see behind while driving in traffic,” thus inventing the rear view mirror before it was introduced by manufacturers in 1914

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