October 21

Events in Women’s History

Florence Nightingale c. 1850

Florence Nightingale c. 1850 (source)

1854 – Florence Nightingale embarks for the Crimean War with a staff of 38 nurses, which she had trained as well as  15 Catholic nuns. They arrive at Scutari in November to find an overworked medical staff, poor hygiene, and no equipment to prepare food for the wounded.

1945 – Women vote in parliamentary elections in France for the first time.


Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin (source)

1851 – Louisa Knapp Curtis, American publisher, author of a column for women in the Tribune and Farmer which became the women’s magazine Ladies’ Home Journal (d. 1910)

1884 – Claire Waldoff, German singer (d. 1957)

1895 – Edna Purviance, American actress (d. 1958)

1911 – Mary Blair, American illustrator and animator (d. 1978)

1921 – Sena Jurinac, Bosnian operatic soprano (d. 2011)

1922 – Liliane Bettencourt, French businesswoman and philanthropist

1924 – Joyce Randolph, American actress, best known for her role as Trixie Norton in The Honeymooners

1926 – Marga Richter, American composer

1927 – Nadia Nerina, South African ballerina, one of the first western ballerinas to dance in Moscow with the Bolshoi Ballet during the Cold War (d. 2008)

1929 – Ursula K. Le Guin, American author, primarily known for science fiction and fantasy, winner of many awards for her fiction

1931 – Vivian Pickles, English actress with a long career beginning as a child star and continuing to the present; a few notable roles are Isadora Duncan in the BBC film Isadora Duncan, the Biggest in the World, Mary Queen of Scots in Elizabeth R, and Mrs. Chasen in Harold and Maude (her only American-based role to date)

1940 – Frances FitzGerald, American journalist and author, best known for her book Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam for which she won a Pulitzer Prize


1221 – Alix, Duchess of Brittany (b. 1201)

1775 – Maria Wilhelmina, Princess of Auersperg, mistress of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (husband of Maria Theresa of Austria) (b. 1738)

1904 – Isabelle Eberhardt, Swiss explorer and journalist. She lived and traveled in North Africa, dressing as a man for more freedom. (b. 1877)

1938 – Dorothy Hale, American socialite and actress; she was beautiful, but not considered very talented. After a stalled career and a series of failed love affairs, she gave a farewell party and the next morning jumped out of the window of her 16th floor apartment.  (b. 1905)

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Isabelle Eberhardt

Isabelle Eberhardt (source)

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