May 3

Events in Women’s History

Nellie Tayloe Ross c 1922 (source)

Nellie Tayloe Ross c 1922 (source)

1933 – Nellie Tayloe Ross is appointed the director of the United States Mint and becomes the first woman to hold the position. She served until her retirement in 1953.

1937 – Margaret Mitchell wins the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Gone with the Wind.

1960 – The Anne Frank House opens in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

1979 – Margaret Thatcher forms her first government as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


Princess Élisabeth of France, attributed to Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun  (source)

Princess Élisabeth of France, attributed to Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (source)

1415 – Cecily Neville, Duchess of York as wife of Richard Plantagenet, mother of Edward IV and Richard III, kings of England (d. 1495)

1446Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy as wife of Charles the Bold, protector of the Duchy, daughter of Cecily Neville and Charles the Bold (d. 1503)

1632 – Catherine of St. Augustine, French nun, instrumental in founding the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1989 (d. 1668)

1764Princess Élisabeth of France, sister of Louis XVI; she remained with him and was executed during the Reign of Terror. (d. 1794)

1825 – Laura Matilda Towne, American abolitionist, physician and educator, relocated to the Sea Islands of South Carolina in 1862 to provide medical care and education to newly freed slaves, founded the Penn school (d. 1901)

1870 – Princess Helena Victoria of the United Kingdom, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, active in a number of charities, founder of the UWCA Women’s Auxiliary Force during WWI (d. 1948)

1898 – Septima Poinsette Clark, American educator and civil rights activist, known for developing literacy and citizenship workshops to support voting rights for African Americans, known as the “Grandmother of the American Civil Rights Movement”, called “The Mother of the Movement” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (d. 1987)

1898 – Golda Meir, Israeli educator and politician, 4th Prime Minister of Israel (d. 1978)

Anna Roosevelt at the Washington Kennel Club Dog Show (cropped), 1920, Library of Congress (source)

Anna Roosevelt at the Washington Kennel Club Dog Show (cropped), 1920, Library of Congress (source)

1906 – Anna Roosevelt Halsted, American journalist, newspaper editor, columnist, public relations executive and children’s book author, daughter of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt (d. 1975)

1907 – Dorothy Young, American actress, dancer and stage assistant to magician Harry Houdini (d. 2011)

1917 – Betty Comden, American comedian and screenwriter, half of the musical comedy duo Comden and Green, recipient of many Tony Awards (d. 2006)

1937 – Nélida Piñon, Brazilian author, known for her work A Republica dos Sonhos (The Republic of Dreams), form President of Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazilian Academy of Letters)

1942 – Věra Čáslavská, Czech gymnast, Olympic medalist, most decorated Czech gymnast in history, holder of more Olympic individual event titles than any other gymnast to date, known for her support of the democratization movement in Czechoslovakia which resulted in her forced retirement from gymnastic competition


1152Matilda of Boulogne, Queen consort of England as wife of King Stephen (b. 1105)

1598 – Anna Guarini, Italian virtuoso singer in the high soprano range during a time when composers were beginning to write for women’s voices (b. 1563)

1989 – Christine Jorgensen, American actress, entertainer and singer, first person to become widely known in the US for undergoing sex reassignment surgery; known for her directness and wit, she became an advocate for transgender people. (b. 1926)

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