July 6

Events in Women’s History

Althea Gibson in 1956

Althea Gibson in 1956. Credit: New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer: Fred Palumbo, Courtesy Library of Congress (source)

1942 – Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

1957 – Althea Gibson wins the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first black athlete to do so in the 80-year history of the tournament. She was also the first winner to receive her trophy personally from Queen Elizabeth.


Princess Victoria with Mac

Princess Victoria with her dog Mac (source)

1782 – Maria Luisa of Spain, Duchess of Lucca, daughter of King Carlos IV of Spain and his wife, Maria Luisa of Parma. She married Louis the Hereditary Prince of Parma and later King of Etruria. (d. 1824)

1789 – María Isabella of Spain was the youngest surviving daughter of King Carlos IV of Spain and Maria Luisa of Parma. She was also Queen of the two Sicilies as the wife of Frances I. (d. 1846)

1803 – Sophia Willard Dana Ripley, Transcendentalist and co-founder of Brook Farm with her husband George. She was an educator as well, who employed child-centered methods similar to Dewey’s later reforms.

1847 – Katherine Augusta Westcott Tingley, Theosophist and founder of Lomaland, a Theosophical community in Point Loma, California. (The community has since moved and is currently in Pasadena, CA.)

1868 – Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom, unmarried, remained a companion to her parents, Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark, until their deaths  (d. 1935)

1887 – Australian professional swimmer, actress and author, credited with inventing synchronized swimming, influential on the modernization of women’s swimwear as well as her own line (d. 1975)

1907 – Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter, best-known for her self-portraits, considered emblematic of national and indigenous tradition; her work is described as surrealist. (d. 1954)

1911 – LaVerne Andrews, American singer, contralto member of the Andrews Sisters, known for their 1941 hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”; the group sold well over 70 million records. (d. 1967)

1921 – Nancy Reagan, American actress, First Lady of the United States as wife of Ronald Reagan, known for the drug prevention program “Just Say No”; she remains active at the Reagan Library and in support of embryonic stem cell research.

1930 – Gloria Skurzynski, American children’s author, known for both fiction and non-fiction

1931 – Della Reese, American actress, singer, talk-show host and ordained minister, known for singing primarily gospel, pop and jazz and for her role in the television series Touched by an Angel

1939 – Dame Mary Peters, DBE, British athlete and Olympic medalist, best-known for competing in the pentathlon and shot put

1940 – Jeannie Seely, American singer-songwriter and actress, country music singer, Grand Ole Opry star and Grammy Award winner


Maria Goretti, Roman Catholic saint

Saint Maria Goretti by Giuseppe Brovelli-Soffredini (source)

1820 – Judith Sargent Murray, American author, playwright, poet and women’s rights advocate, known for her essay “On the Equality of the Sexes” published in the Massachusetts Magazine in 1790 (b. 1751)

1902 – Maria Goretti, Italian martyr and saint of the Roman Catholic Church. She died of multiple stab wounds inflicted during a rape attempt. She survived long enough to forgive her rapist and say that she wanted to see him in heaven. (b. 1890) (her feast day)

1922 – Maria Teresia Ledóchowska, Polish nun and missionary, founder of the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver, beatified in the Roman Catholic Church (b. 1863)

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