June 16

Events in Women’s History

Liu Yang in 2012, by Tksteven at Wikimedia Commons (source)

Liu Yang in 2012, by Tksteven at Wikimedia Commons (source)

1915 – Foundation of the British Women’s Institute, currently the United Kingdom’s largest women’s volunteer organization.

1963 – Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space when she pilots Vostok 6.

2012 – Pilot and astronaut Liu Yang becomes the first Chinese woman in space as a crew member of the Shenzhou 9 mission.


Henrietta of England c. 1665 by Antoine Mathieu (source)

Henrietta of England c. 1665 by Antoine Mathieu (source)

1332 – Isabella de Coucy, Countess of Soissons, daughter of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault (d. 1382)

1644 – Princess Henrietta of England, Duchess of Orléans, instrumental in negotiating the Secret Treaty of Dover (d. 1670)

1738 – Mary Katherine Goddard, American publisher and first postmistress, first to print the Declaration of Independence (d. 1816)

1862 – Alma White, American bishop, founder of the Pillar of Fire Church, first female bishop in the United States, known for association with the Ku Klux Klan, feminism, antisemitism, racism and hostility to immigrants (d. 1946)

1881 – Natalia Goncharova, Russian painter, costume designer, and illustrator, co-founder of artistic groups Jack of Diamonds and Donkey’s Tail (d. 1962)

1898 – Marita Bonner, American author and playwright, associated with the Harlem Renaissance, founding member of the Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority (d. 1971)

1899 – Helen Francesca Traubel, American dramatic soprano, known for her Wagnerian roles especially Brünnhilde and Isolde (d. 1972)

1902Barbara McClintock, American cytogeneticist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983 (d. 1992)

1917 – Katharine Graham, American publisher, led her family’s newspaper, The Washington Post, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for her memoir Personal History (d. 2001)

1920 – Isabelle Holland, Swiss-American author, known for books for both adults and children; two of her novels were made into movies, Bump in the Night and The Man Without a Face (d. 2002)

1938 – Joyce Carol Oates, American author


1707 – Marie d’Orléans-Longueville, Duchess of Nemours, sovereign Princess of Neuchâtel (b. 1625)

1953 – Margaret Bondfield, British Labour politician and feminist, first woman Cabinet minister in the United Kingdom, one of the first three women to be Labour Members of Parliament (b. 1873)

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