March 26

Events in Women’s History

1974 – Gaura Devi leads a group of 27 women of Reni village of the Garhwal Himalayas, to prevent the cutting of trees. They resort to hugging the trees to protect them and give rise to the Chipko Movement in India.

Surviving Members of the Original Reni Squad at the Chipko 30th Anniversary 2004 by Ceti (source)

Surviving Members of the Original Reni Squad at the Chipko 30th Anniversary 2004 by Ceti (source)

Births

Sophia Dorothea of Hanover c. 1737 by Antoine Pesne (source)

Sophia Dorothea of Hanover c. 1737 by Antoine Pesne (source)

1687 – Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, Queen consort of Prussia as wife of Frederick William I, mother of Frederick II (d. 1757)

1876 – Kate Richards O’Hare, American socialist, editor, orator and activist, known primarily because of her arrest and incarceration after giving an anti-war speech during WWI; given a five-year sentence in 1919, she was pardoned in early 1920.

1888 – Elsa Brändström, Swedish nurse, philanthropist and aid worker, known as the “Angel of Siberia” for her work with German and Austrian prisoners of war in Russia during WWI (d. 1948)

1894 – Viorica Ursuleac, Romanian operatic soprano (d. 1985)

1913 – Jacqueline de Romilly, French philologist, author, and scholar, of Jewish ancestry, she was prohibited from teaching during the occupation of France by the Vichy government, later first woman nominated to the Collège de France, second woman in the Académie française (d. 2010)

1930 – Sandra Day O’Connor, American lawyer and judge, first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court

1940 – Nancy Pelosi, American politician, Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, first and to-date only woman to be Speaker of the House

1942 – Erica Jong, American educator, author and poet, known for her first novel Fear of Flying

1944 – Diana Ross, American singer, record producer and actress, founding member of The Supremes, 70 hit singles with both The Supremes and as a solo artist, inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Deaths

Sarah Bernhardt c. 1865 by Nadar (source)

Sarah Bernhardt c. 1865 by Nadar (source)

1091 – Wallada bint al-Mustakfi, Andalusian poet, daughter and heir of Muhammad III of Córdoba, used her inheritance to open a literary hall where she taught poetry and the arts of love to women (b. 1001)

1923 – Sarah Bernhardt, French stage and film actress, “The Divine Sarah” (b. 1844)

1929 – Katharine Lee Bates, American educator, poet and songwriter, known for the lyrics to the anthem “American the Beautiful” (b. 1859)

2011 – Geraldine Ferraro, American journalist, author, businesswoman, lawyer and politician, member of the United States House of Representatives, US Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, vice-presidential candidate with Walter Mondale in 1984 (b. 1935)

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