May 26

Events in Women’s History

1647 – Alse Young is hanged in Hartford, Connecticut, becoming the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies.


Mamie Smith (source)

Mamie Smith (source)

1867 – Mary of Teck, Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Empress of India, as wife of George V (d. 1953)

1881 – Julia Catherine Stimson, American nurse, Major in the United States Army, superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps during WWI, chief of the Nursing Council on National Defense during WWII, recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal as well as Victory Medals for WWI and WWII (d. 1948)

1883 – Mamie Smith, American singer, dancer, pianist, and actress; in 1920, she was the first African American artist to make a vocal blues recording. (d. 1946)

1893 – Norma Talmadge, American silent film actress and movie producer (d. 1957)

1895 – Dorothea Lange, American photographer and journalist, known for her work for the Farm Security Administration documenting the effects of the Great Depression (d. 1965)

1899 – Muriel McQueen Fergusson, PC, OC, QC, Canadian politician, Senator and first woman Speaker of the Senate (d. 1997)

1909 – Helen Moore Anderson, American diplomat to Bulgaria and Denmark, first woman appointed chief of mission at the ambassador level (d. 1997)

1915 – Antonia Forest, pseudonym for British author Patricia Giulia Caulfield Kate Rubinstein, known for the Marlow series of children’s books (d. 2003)

1916 – Henriette Roosenburg, Dutch journalist, courier for the Dutch resistance during WWII and political prisoner, known for her memoir The Walls Came Tumbling Down (d. 1972)

1917 – Éva Szörényi, Hungarian actress, recipient of the Kossuth Prize (d. 2009)

Peggy Lee publicity photo c. 1950, General Artists Corporation (source)

Peggy Lee publicity photo c. 1950, General Artists Corporation (source)

1920 – Peggy Lee, American singer-songwriter, actress and composer; she wrote several songs as well as providing singing and voices for Disney’s The Lady and the Tramp (d. 2002)

1921 – Inge Borkh, German operatic soprano, known for her acting ability as well as her voice

1938 – Teresa Stratas, Canadian operatic soprano, known for her recording of Alban Berg’s Lulu

1940 – Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, French-Canadian politician

1951 – Sally Ride, American physicist and astronaut, first American woman in space, physics professor, member of committees to investigate the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters (d. 2012)


Susette La Flesche Tibbles, Nebraska State Historical Society (source)

Susette La Flesche Tibbles, Nebraska State Historical Society (source)

1647 – Alse Young, first woman executed for witchcraft in the American colonies (b. 1600)

1651 – Jeane Gardiner, British woman executed for witchcraft in the West Indies

1903 – Susette La Flesche, Inshata Theumba (Bright Eyes), Native American writer, interpreter, lecturer and artist, member of the Omaha tribe and the Nebraska Hall of Fame (b. 1854)

1907 – Ida Saxton McKinley, First Lady of the United States as wife to William McKinley (b. 1847)

1943 – Alice Tegnér, Swedish organist, composer, and educator, known primarily for children’s songs (b. 1864)

1966 – Elizabeth Dilling, American author and activist, anti-communist and antisemitic; she was one of the defendants in the Great Sedition Trial of 1944 which ended in a mistrial. (b. 1894)

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