October 16

Events in Women’s History

Portrait of Jadwiga by Jan Matejko based on his study of her skull during the 1887 exhumation of her remains.

Portrait of Jadwiga by Jan Matejko based on his study of her skull during the 1887 exhumation of her remains. (source)

690 – Wu Zetian becomes the only female to rule China as official Emperor when she forces her son, Emperor Ruizong, to yield power to her. Although, she had wielded considerable power before as Empress consort and Empress Dowager, in 690, she establishes the Zhou Dynasty with herself as ruler.

1384 – Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland, indicating she is a ruler in her own right rather than as a consort

1793 – Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, is declared guilty of treason and executed.

1916Margaret Sanger opens the first family planning clinic in the United States.

Births

Saint Maria Goretti

Saint Maria Goretti (source)

1751 – Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt, Queen consort of Prussia as wife of Frederick William II (d. 1805)

1831 – Lucy Stanton Day Sessions, American abolitionist, educator, and writer, first known African American woman to graduate from college (d. 1910)

1890 – Maria Goretti, Italian martyr and saint (d. 1902)

1903 – Cecile de Brunhoff, French author, creator of the Babar story, classical pianist (d. 2003)

1917 – Alice Pearce, American comedic actress, best known for her role as Gladys Kravitz on the television show Bewitched (d. 1966)

1925 – Angela Lansbury, British actress, singer, writer and producer; she has won five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes, and been nominated for Academy Awards and Primetime Emmy Awards. In September of 2013, it was announced that she would receive an honorary Oscar for 70 years of work in the film industry.

1928 – Mary Daly, American feminist philosopher, academic and theologian (d. 2010)

1928 – Ann Morgan Guilbert, American actress, played Millie Helper in The Dick Van Dyke Show and Fran Fine’s grandmother in The Nanny

1929 – Fernanda Montenegro, Brazilian film and television actress, Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe nominee, BAFTA and International Emmy Award nominee

1930 – Carmen Sevilla, Spanish actress, singer and television personality

1931 – Rosa Rosal, Filipino actress and humanitarian, FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences) award winner, known as “the original femme fatale of Philippine cinema”

Deaths

1793Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, wife of Louis XVI, tried and executed by guillotine approximately ten months after her husband Louis XVI (b. 1755)

1822 – Eva Marie Veigel, Austrian dancer and wife of actor David Garrick (b. 1724)

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Marie Antoinette in her coronation robes, 1775, by Jean-Baptiste Gautier Dagoty

Marie Antoinette in her coronation robes, 1775, by Jean-Baptiste Gautier Dagoty (source)

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