June 24

Events in Women’s History

Theresa of Portugal

Theresa, Countess of Portugal (source)

1128 – Forces led by Teresa of León, Countess of Portugal, and Fernando Pérez de Traba are defeated by Alfonso I, Teresa’s son, at the Battle of São Mamede.

1509 – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon are crowned King and Queen of England.

1916Mary Pickford becomes the first female film star to sign a million dollar contract.


Philippa of Hainault pleading for the lives of the Burghers of Calais (source)

Philippa of Hainault pleading for the lives of the Burghers of Calais (source)

1314Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England as wife of Edward III, well liked by the people, often accompanied her husband on his travels and acted as regent; she persuaded Edward to spare the lives of the Burghers of Calais. (d. 1369)

1343 – Joan of Valois, Queen of Navarre as wife of Charles II  (d. 1373)

1535 – Joan of Austria, Princess of Portugal, regent of Spain for her brother Philip II  (d. 1573)

1578 – Mary Fitton (baptismal date), maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth, considered by some to be the “Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets (d. 1647)

1825 – Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna of Russia, daughter of Nicholas I of Russia and Charlotte of Prussia (d. 1844)

1831 – Rebecca Harding Davis, American author and journalist, known for her novella Life in the Iron Mills and for her advocacy for marginalized groups in society including blacks, Native Americans, women, immigrants and the working class (d. 1910)

1860 – Mercedes of Orléans, Queen of Spain as wife of Alfonso XII (d. June 26, 1878)

1880 – Agnes Nestor, American labor leader, politician, suffragist and social reformer, known for her roles in the International Glove Workers Union and the Women’s Trade Union League (d. 1948)

1912 – Mary Wesley, British novelist (d. 2002)

1914 – Pearl Witherington, British secret agent, fought in occupied France as a member of the Special Operations Executive, effectively commanded a guerrilla band of French resistance fighters; she was recommended for the Military Cross, but denied it because she was a woman. (d. 2008)

1918 – Mildred Ladner Thompson, American journalist, one of the first women reporters at The Wall Street Journal (d. 2013)

1923 – Margaret Olley, Australian painter, known for still-life paintings, recipient of the Mosman Art Prize (d. 2011)

1941 – Julia Kristeva, Bulgarian-French psychoanalyst, sociologist, philosopher, author, feminist and human rights activist, founder of the Simone de Beauvoir Prize


Rani Durgavati 17th c., unknown Mughal artist (source)

Rani Durgavati 17th c., unknown Mughal artist (source)

1519 – Lucrezia Borgia, Italian noblewoman, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, Lady of Pesaro and Gradara, Duchess of Bisceglie and Princess of Salerno, Duchess of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio through her three marriages  (b. 1480)

1564 – Rani Durgavati maravi, Indian Queen of Gond as wife of Dalpat Shah, known for courage and her patronage of the arts (b. 1524)

1909 – Sarah Orne Jewett, American writer (b. 1849)

1946 – Louise Whitfield Carnegie, American philanthropist (b. 1857)

1968Hattie Elizabeth Alexander, American pediatrician and microbiologist, developed treatments for Haemophilus influenzae infection, one of the first scientists to study antibiotic resistant bacteria, first woman elected president of the American Pediatric Society (b. 1901)

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