May 12

Events in Women’s History

Berengaria of Navarre by Charles A Stothard (source)

Berengaria of Navarre by Charles A Stothard (source)

1191Berengaria of Navarre marries Richard I of England and is crowned Queen consort.

1743 – Maria Theresa of Austria is crowned Queen of Bohemia.

1948 – Wilhelmina, Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands cedes throne.


Florence Nightingale by H. Lentall (source)

Florence Nightingale by H. Lentall (source)

1820 – Florence Nightingale, English nurse, social reformer and statistician, known as “The Lady with the Lamp” during the Crimean War, considered the founder of modern nursing (d. 1910)

1849 – Matilda Coxe Stevenson, American ethnologist, first president of the Women’s Anthropological Society of America (d. 1915)

1862 – Louise Phelps Kellogg, American historian, author and educator (d. 1942)

1881 – Hazel Harrison, American concert pianist and educator, prominent in Europe as well as the United States, served on the faculty of the Tuskegge Institute and Howard University (d. 1969)

1899Indra Devi, Latvian yoga teacher, author and actress (d. 2002)

1907 – Katharine Hepburn, American actress and singer, four time Academy Award winner, named the greatest female star in Hollywood history by the American Film Institute (d. 2003)

1900 – Mildred H McAfee, American educator and first director of the WAVES in the United States Navy, dean of women at Centre College and Oberlin College, president of Wellesley College (d. 1994)

1910 – Dorothy Hodgkin, British biochemist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, improved X-ray crystallography, confirmed the structure of penicillin and discovered the structure of vitamin B12 and insulin (d. 1994)

1918 – Mary Kay Ash, American businesswoman, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics (d. 2001)


Nelly Sachs in 1966, Nobel Foundation (source)

Nelly Sachs in 1966, Nobel Foundation (source)

1765 – Emma, Lady Hamilton, English model and amateur actress and singer, best known as the mistress of Lord Nelson, the subject of many paintings by George Romney (b. 1765)

1925 – Amy Lowell, American poet, Pulitzer Prize winner (b. 1874)

1949 – Neysa McMein, American artist and illustrator (b. 1888)

1970 – Nelly Sachs, German poet and playwright, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (b. 1891)

1979 – Ileana Sărăroiu, Romanian folk singer (b. 1936)

1986 – Alicia Moreau de Justo, Argentinian physician, politician, peace and human rights activist (b. 1885)

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One thought on “May 12

  1. Since 1965, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) has celebrated “International Nurse Day” on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. In 1990, the American Nurses Association (ANA) expanded the recognition of nurses in the U.S. to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6–12 as “National Nurses Week.”

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