May 31

Events in Women’s History

I am unaware of any significant events in Women’s History. If you know of any, please leave a comment so that I can add it. Thank you!


Jessie Benton Frémont c. 1876 (source)

Jessie Benton Frémont c. 1876 (source)

1443 – Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother and grandmother of Henry VII and Henry VIII, respectively; key figure in the Wars of the Roses (d. 1509)

1824 – Jessie Ann Benton Frémont, American author and activist, outspoken opponent of slavery, known for her writings about her husband, John C. Frémont, and their lives in the western US (d. 1902)

1854 – Mary Hannah Fulton, American physician and medical missionary to China, established the Hackett Medical College for Women in Guangzhou, China (d. 1927)

1861 – Emily Perkins Bissell, American social worker and activist, known for her work with public kindergartens and child labor laws as well as introducing Christmas Seals to the US; she was also against women’s suffrage. (d. 1948)

1862 – Cynthia Westover Alden, American author and journalist (d. 1931)

1879 – Frances Alda, New Zealand-Australian operatic soprano, known for her outstanding voice and frequent partnerships with Enrico Caruso (d. 1952)

1890 – Hilla Rebay, German-American abstract artist, co-founder and director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (d. 1967)

1912 – Chien Shiung Wu, Chinese-American experimental physicist, worked on the Manhattan Project, known for the Wu Experiment which contradicted the Law of Conservation of Parity, first woman instructor in the Princeton University Physics Department, member US National Academy of Sciences, recipient of many honors and awards including the National Medal of Science (d. 1997)

1924 – Patricia Roberts Harris, American politician and ambassador, first African American woman to serve on the US Cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare; first African American woman to serve as a US Ambassador (d. 1985)

1931 – Shirley Verrett, African American mezzo-soprano, transitioned into soprano roles, known specifically for Verdi and Donizetti roles (d. 2010)


Edith Hamilton c. 1897 (source)

Edith Hamilton c. 1897 (source)

1495 – Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, mother of Edward IV and Richard III of England (b. 1415)

1848 – Eugénie de Guérin, French author, known for her Journals and Lettres as well as beginning a collection of the work of her brother, the poet Maurice de Guérin (b. 1805)

1910 – Elizabeth Blackwell, physician, first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, first woman on the UK Medical Register (b. 1821)

1963 – Edith Hamilton, German-American educator and author, known for her works The Greek Way and Mythology (b. 1867)

1981 – Barbara Ward, Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth, British economist and author, advocate of sustainable development (b. 1914)

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2 thoughts on “May 31

  1. May 31, 1531 – “Women’s Revolt” in Amsterdam. The Burgomasters ignored a petition by the pious women of Amsterdam not to desecrate a churchyard by building a wool storehouse there, and workmen began to dig the foundation. That night, 300 women with shovels replaced all the dirt.


    31 May 1955: Test Pilot Jacqueline Marie-Thérèse Suzanne Douet Auriol flew the Dassault MD.454 Mystère IV N to a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Speed Over a 15/25 Kilometer Straight Course at Brétigny-sur-Orge, France.¹ Her average speed of 1,151 kilometers per hour (715 miles per hour)—0.94 Mach—broke the previous record which had been set two years earlier by her friend, Jacqueline Cochran.

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