May 10

Events in Women’s History

Victoria Woodhull c. 1860j (source)

Victoria Woodhull c. 1860j (source)

1774 – Marie Antoinette becomes Queen of France, with her husband Louis XVI, of course.

1872 – Victoria Woodhull becomes the first woman nominated for President of the United States as the Equal Rights Party candidate.


Catherine Pavlovna by Franz Seraph Stirnbrand (source)

Catherine Pavlovna by Franz Seraph Stirnbrand (source)

1714 – Sophie Charlotte Ackermann, German actress, founder of her own troupe (d. 1792)

1788 – Catherine Pavlovna of Russia, Queen consort of Württemberg as wife of William I (d. 1819)

1800 – Sarah Anne Worthington King Peter, American philanthropist and nurse during the Civil War, founder of the School of Design for Women, now Moor College of Art and Design (d. 1877)

1872 – Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, American suffragist and reformer, chair of the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs, president of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association, vice president of the National Woman Suffage Association (d. 1920)

1889 – Mae Murray, American actress, dancer, producer, and screenwriter, during the silent film era known as “The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips” and “the Gardenia of the Screen” (d. 1965)

1894 – Elvira Popescu, Romanian-born French stage and film actress and director (d. 1993)

1898 – Ariel Durant, Russian-born American historian and author, co-author with her husband of the eleven volume The Story of Civilization (d. 1981)

1900 – Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, British astronomer and astrophysicist, first person to receive a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe, proposed an explanation for the composition of the stars in her thesis that was confirmed four years later by Henry Norris Russell; he was often given credit for the discovery even though he acknowledged Payne’s work in his paper. (d. 1979)

1911 – Bel Kaufman, American author and educator, known for her novel Up the Down Staircase

1915 – Monica Dickens, British author, columnist and occasional broadcaster (d. 1992)

Ella T Grasso, Governor of Connecticut c. 1975 (source)

Ella T Grasso, Governor of Connecticut c. 1975 (source)

1919 – Ella T. Grasso, American politician and first woman elected governor of Connecticut (d. 1981)

1920 – Helen Crummy, MBE, Scottish activist, founder of the Craigmillar Festival Society (d. 2011)

1920 – Erna Viitol, Estonian sculptor (d. 2001)

1927 – Nayantara Sahgal, Indian author, recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for English for her work Rich Like Us, one of the first women from India to recieve wide recognition for her work in English

1929 – Antonine Maillet, Acadian author, scholar, and playwright, Companion of the Order of Canada, recipient of the Lome Pierce Medal and the Prix Goncourt, member of the Order of New Brunswick and the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada

1937 – Tamara Press, Ukrainian athlete, Olympic medalist in shot put and discus throw representing the Soviet Union

1946 – Birutė Galdikas, Canadian anthropologist, primatologist, conservationist, and ethologist, known for her groundbreaking work with orangutans


 Belle de Costa Greene by Paul César Helle (source)

Belle de Costa Greene by Paul César Helle (source)

1692 – Sarah Osborne, American woman accused of witchcraft, one of the first three people accused in what became known as the Salem Witch Trials; she died jail after her arrest (b. 1643)

1775 – Caroline Matilda of Great Britain, Queen of Denmark and Norway as wife of Christian VII (b. 1751)

1775 – Marie Magdalene Charlotte Ackermann, German actress (b. 1757)

1950 – Belle da Costa Greene, American librarian for J.P. Morgan and later his son; when Jack Morgan died the library was incorporated for public use and Greene was appointed its first director. (b. 1883)

1977 – Joan Crawford, American actress (b. 1905)

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