May 21

Events in Women’s History

Clara Barton commemorative stamp issued in 1948 (source)

Clara Barton commemorative stamp issued in 1948 (source)

1881 – Clara Barton establishes The American Red Cross in Washington, D.C.

1932 – Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland. She becomes the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.


Eleanor of Austria c. 1684 by Charles Brendel (source)

Eleanor of Austria c. 1684 by Charles Brendel (source)

120 BCE – Aurelia Cotta, Roman wife of senator Gaius Julius Caesar and mother of the dictator Julius Caesar (d. 54 BC)

1653 – Eleanor of Austria, Queen of Poland as the wife of Michael I, later wife of Charles V, Duke of Lorraine (d. 1697)

1780 – Elizabeth Fry, English philanthropist and reformer, known primarily for prison reform (d. 1845)

1799Mary Anning, British fossil collector and paleontologist, known for a number of important finds; although widely known for her work, she was not permitted to join the Geological Society of London because she was a woman, and did not always receive credit for her work. (d. 1847)

1832 – Elizabeth Storrs Mead, American academic, President of Mount Holyoke College (d. 1917)

1856 – Grace Hoadley Dodge, American philanthropist and organizer, founder of the first Working Girls Society in New York City, the Association of Working Girls’ Societies, and the Young Women’s Christian Association (d. 1914)

1864 – Princess Stéphanie of Belgium, Crown Princess of Austria as wife of Archduke Rudolf and inventor; she took out patents on a combination chafing dish and spirit lamp. (d. 1945)

1885 – Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg, Princess of Albania as wife of William of Wied (d. 1936)

1901 – Baroness Suzanne Lilar, Belgian journalist, author and playwright, member of the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature (d. 1992)

1913 – Gina Bachauer, Greek classical pianist; she recorded and toured extensively in Europe and the United States (d. 1976)

1934 – Jocasta Innes, Chinese-English journalist and author, known for her books the Pauper’s Cookbook, the Pauper’s Homemaking Book and the Country Kitchen (d. 2013)

1944 – Mary Robinson, President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, first woman to hold the position


Plaque of Elizabeth Pole at the Pilgrim Congregational church by Marc N. Belanger (source)

Plaque of Elizabeth Pole at the Pilgrim Congregational church by Marc N. Belanger (source)

1664 – Elizabeth Poole, English settler in Plymouth Colony, founded Taunton, Massachusetts (b. 1588)

1911 – Williamina Fleming, Scottish astronomer, catalogued thousands of stars, discovered the Horsehead Nebula (b. 1857)

1935 – Jane Addams, American social worker, suffragist, philosopher, activist and author, co-founded Hull House, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1860)

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