June 21

Events in Women’s History

Sheryl Swoopes, the first player signed to the WNBA (shown in 2008) (Photo credit: Two Gypsy Hearts (photo taken by Kate), This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, Wikimedia Commons)

Sheryl Swoopes, the first woman signed to the WNBA (Photo credit: Two Gypsy Hearts, photo taken by Kate) (source)

1734 – Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave in New France, is put to death, having been convicted of setting the fire that destroyed much of  Old Montreal. Today there is no consensus on her guilt or innocence, but her testimony provides valuable insight into the condition of slavery in Canada at the time.

1810 – Margaret Mackall Smith, future First Lady of the United States, marries Zachary Taylor.

1957 – Ellen Fairclough is sworn in as Canada’s first woman Cabinet Minister.

1997 – Women’s National Basketball Association began its 1st season in US.

Births

Holy Roman Empress; Queen consort of Germany, Hungary and Bohemia

Maria of Austria c. 1557 (source)

1528 – Maria of Austria, Holy Roman Empress as wife of Maximilian II; she also served as regent of Spain on two different occasions. (d. 1603)

1646 – Maria Francisca of Savoy, Queen consort of Portugal as wife of Afonso VI and again as wife of Peter II (d. 1683)

1788 – Princess Augusta of Bavaria, Duchess of Leuchtenberg (d. 1850)

1870Clara Immerwahr, German chemist and wife of Nobel Prize winning chemist Fritz Haber, committed suicide in part due to her husband’s involvement with chemical warfare during WWI (d. 1915)

1881 – Jessie Field Shambaugh, American educator, school superintendent, known as the “Mother of 4-H clubs” (d. 1971)

1883 – Daisy Turner, American storyteller, known for her oral recording of her family history traced back to Africa and England (d. 1988)

1906 – Helene Costello, American silent film actress (d. 1957)

1906 – Grete Sultan, German-American pianist; gave her last recital at Merkin Concert Hall in New York at the age of 90.  (d. 2005)

1912 – Mary McCarthy, American author and activist, contributor to publications such as The Nation, The New Republic, and Harper’s Magazine (d. 1989)

1931 – Margaret Heckler, American politician, member of the United States House of Representatives, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Ambassador to Ireland

1934 – Maggie Jones, British actress, best known for playing Blanche Hunt on Coronation Street (d. 2009)

1947 – Shirin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer, judge, and human rights activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003

1953 – Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani stateswoman and politician, Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms (d. 2007)

Deaths

Bertha von Suttner c. 1907 (source)

Bertha von Suttner c. 1907 (source)

1865 – Frances Adeline Seward, American wife of William H. Seward (b. 1824). She died in June after her husband survived an assassination attempt in April on the same day Abraham Lincoln was shot.

1914 – Baroness Bertha Sophie Felicita von Suttner, Austrian novelist, journalist and pacifist, first woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1905), known for her novel Lay Down Your Arms and organizing pacifist organizations (b. 1843)

1968 – Ingeborg Spangsfeldt, Danish actress (b. 1895)

1969 – Maureen Catherine Connolly Brinker, American tennis champion, first woman to win all four Grand Slam tournaments during the same calendar year, known as “little Mo” (b. 1934)

1976 – Margaret Herrick, American librarian and director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (b. 1902)

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