May 19

Events in Women’s History

Catherine of Aragon at age 11 c. 1496 by Juan de Flandes (source)

Catherine of Aragon at age 11 c. 1496 by Juan de Flandes (source)

1499Catherine of Aragon and Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales are married by proxy. They are 13 and 12, respectively.

1536Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, is executed for adultery, treason, and incest.

1568 – Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots.

1952 – Lillian Hellman sends her famous letter to the US House Committee on Un-American Activities stating that she refused to testify agains friends and associates, saying “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.”


Maria Isabel of BRaganza by Vicente López y Portaña (source)

Maria Isabel of Braganza by Vicente López y Portaña (source)

1744 – Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland as wife of George III (d. 1818)

1797 – Maria Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Spain as wife of Ferdinand VII (d. 1818)

1800 – Sara Miriam Peale, American portrait painter, painted primarily politicians and military figures such as Lafayette (d. 1885)

1820 – Margaret Junkin Preston, American author and poet (d. 1897)

1834 – Fidelia Bridges, American painter and illustrator, known for her delicate detail in painting aspects of nature, considered an expert in watercolor painting (d. 1923)

1861 – Dame Nellie Melba, Australian operatic soprano, teacher at the Melbourne Conservatorium, first Australian to receive international recognition as a classical musician (d. 1931)

1879 – Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, American-born British politician, first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons (d. 1964)

1890 – Eveline Adelheid von Maydell, German silhouette artist (d. 1962)

1930 – Lorraine Hansberry, American playwright and director, best known work is the play A Raisin in the Sun, first black woman to have one of her plays performed on Broadway (d. 1965)

1932 – Alma Cogan, English singer, known for traditional pop music in the 1950s and 60s (d. 1966)

1941 – Nora Ephron, American author, journalist, director, producer, and screenwriter, three time Academy Award nominee for Best Writing, for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, and Sleepless in Seattle (d. 2012)


Jacqueline Kennedy at the White House in 1961 (source)

Jacqueline Kennedy at the White House in 1961 (source)

1536Anne Boleyn, Queen of England as wife of Henry VIII, beheaded after being tried for high treason (b. 1501)

1994Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, First Lady of the United States as wife of John F. Kennedy, book editor, known for her style, elegance and grace, as well as her contributions to the arts and historic preservation (b. 1929)

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