June 20

Events in Women’s History

Queen Victoria in her coronation robes by George Hayter (Wikimedia Commons)

Queen Victoria in her coronation robes c. 1860 by George Hayter (source)

1837 – Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne. She would reign for 63 years and 7 months, to-date the longest of any female monarch in history.

1893 – Lizzie Borden is acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother. No one else is charged with the crime.


Gail Patrick publicity photo from Paramount Pictures (PD, Wikimedia Commons)

Gail Patrick publicity photo from Paramount Pictures in 1939 (source)

1754 – Princess Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt, Princess of Baden (d. 1832)

1891 – Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, Italian spinto soprano and educator (d. 1951)

1897 – Elisabeth Hauptmann, German writer, co-author of The Threepenny Opera (d. 1973)

1903 – Glenna Collett Vare, American golfer, member of the Hall of Fame, known for dominating women’s golf in the 1920s (d. 1989)

1905 – Lillian Hellman, American playwright, known for refusing to answer questions from the House Un-American Activities Committee and being blacklisted in Hollywood; her play The Little Foxes is semi-autobiographical. (d. 1984)

1910 – Josephine Johnson, American novelist, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1935 for her novel Now in November (d. 1990)

1911 – Gail Patrick, American actress and executive producer, known for producing the Perry Mason television series (d. 1980)

1914 – Zelda Schneersohn Mishkovsky, Israeli poet, recipient of the Brenner Prize, the Bialik Prize for Literature and the Wertheim Prize (d. 1984)

1917 – Helena Rasiowa, Polish mathematician, known for her work in foundations of mathematics and algebraic logic (d. 1994)

1929 – Anne Weale, pseudonym for Jay Blakeney, British journalist and romance writer (d. 2007)

1930 – Magdalena Abakanowicz, Polish sculptor, fiber artist and educator

1931 – Olympia Dukakis, American actress, recipient of an Academy Award, a Golden globe and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nomination


Emma Nevada c. 1885 (source)

Emma Nevada c. 1885 (source)

1351 – Margareta Ebner, German nun and mystic, beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1979 (b. 1291)

1940 – Emma Nevada, American operatic coloratura soprano, particularly known for her performances of Bellini and Donizetti (b. 1859)

1984 – Estelle Winwood, British stage, film and television actress, known for her long and varied career and wit (b. 1883)

2001 – Gina Cigna, Italian French-born opera singer, dramatic soprano (b. 1900)

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2 thoughts on “June 20

  1. • June 20, 1921 – Alice Robertson ((R-Oklahoma) becomes the first woman to chair the US House of Representatives

  2. June 20,1895 – Carolyn Willard Baldwin receives the first ever PhD in Science awarded to a woman by an American university, from Cornell University, graduating third in her class; Baldwin had previously been the first woman to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Mechanics at the University of California

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