June 6

Events in Women’s History

Sophia of Nassau by Gösta Florman (source)

Sophia of Nassau by Gösta Florman (source)

1654 – Queen Christina abdicates the Swedish throne and is succeeded by her cousin Charles X Gustav. She had been Queen from 1632 when her father died and abdicated in order to become Roman Catholic.

1857 – Sophia of Nassau marries the future King Oscar II of Sweden–Norway.


Eliza Orzeszkowa c. 1904 (source)

Eliza Orzeszkowa c. 1904 (source)

1772 – Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, last Holy Roman Empress as wife of Francis II and first Empress of Austria (d. 1807)

1826 – Sarah Parker Remond, American abolitionist, lecturer, and physician; as an agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society, she traveled to England during the Civil War to gather support for the anti-slavery cause and for the Union Army, later she moved to Italy and became a physician. (d. 1894)

1834 – Annie Adams Fields, American author, philanthropist and social reformer, known for biographical sketches and editing collections of letters (d. 1915)

1841 – Eliza Orzeszkowa, Polish author and Nobel Prize nominee, known for her work dealing with the social conditions in her country (d. 1910)

1872 – Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress consort of Russia as wife of Nicholas II, canonized in the Russian Orthodox Church as a passion bearer in 2000 (d. 1917)

1885 – A’Lelia Walker, American businesswoman and patron of the arts, daughter of Madame C.J. Walker (d. 1931)

1898 – Dame Ninette de Valois, Irish dancer, choreographer, and director, founder of The Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School in Great Britain (d. 2001)

1901 – Jan Struther, pseudonym of Joyce Anstruther, British author and hymn writer, known for her character Mrs. Miniver (d. 1953)

1925 – Maxine Kumin, American poet and author, Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress 1981-1982 (d. 2014)

1932 – Anne Claire Poirier, Canadian director, producer, and screenwriter, considered one of the most important female filmmakers in Canadian history

1939 – Marian Wright Edelman, American lawyer and activist, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund


Lillian Russell c. 1905, Library of Congress (source)

Lillian Russell c. 1905, Library of Congress (source)

1922 – Lillian Russell, American actress and singer, known for roles in comic opera, for her beauty, voice and stage presence, and also for her long relationship with Diamond Jim Brady; after retiring from the stage Russell wrote a newspaper column and lectured advocating women’s suffrage. (b. 1860)

1980 – Ruth Aarons, American world champion table tennis player, vaudeville entertainer and talent manager (b. 1918)

2014Lorna Wing, British physician and psychiatrist, pioneer in childhood developmental disorders, developed the approach to Autism as a spectrum disorder, introduced the term Asperger’s  Syndrome, instrumental in founding the National Autistic Society in the UK (b. 1928)

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