September 13

Events in Women’s History

Elizabeth McCombs, 1933 (Photographer unknown, PD in NZ)

Elizabeth McCombs  c.1933 (source)

1933 – Elizabeth McCombs takes office as a member of the New Zealand Parliament. She is the first woman to do so.

1948 – Margaret Chase Smith is elected senator, and becomes the first woman to serve in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

1982 – Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly, suffers a stroke resulting in a car crash and her death the following day



Clara Schumann by Franz von Lenbach

Clara Schumann by Franz von Lenbach (source)

64 – Julia Flavia, Roman daughter of Titus; she was offered in marriage to Domitian, but refused, though he later took her as a lover; she was deified. (d. 91)

1676 – Élisabeth Charlotte d’Orléans, Duchess of Lorraine as wife of Leopold, served as regent of Lorraine and Bar, mother of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1741)

1775 – Laura Secord, Canadian war heroine, known for walking 20 miles out of American-occupied territory to warn British troops of an attack during the War of 1812 (d. 1868)

1819 – Clara Schumann, German pianist and composer, considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era, gave the first public performances of a number of the works of Johannes Brahms (d. 1896)

1830 – Baroness Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Austrian author, known for psychological novels, regarded as one of the most important German-language writers of the 19th century (d. 1916)

1844 – Ann Eliza Webb Young, wife of Brigham Young, wrote and lectured against polygamy (d. 1917)

1844 – Anna Lea Merritt, American painter; known for portraits, landscapes and religious scenes; she lived and worked primarily in England as a professional artist. (d. 1930)

1865 – Maud Ballington Booth, religious leader, writer and prison reformer (d. 1948)

1886 – Amelie (Melli) Beese, German pilot and sculptor; she became the first female pilot in Germany when she flew in a public air show on Sept 13, 1911.  (d. 1925)

1919 – Mary Midgley, British philosopher, known for work on science, ethics and animal rights, author of over 15 books including her autobiography The Owl of Minerva

1920 – Else Holmelund Minarik, Danish-American author, known for the Little Bear series of books for children and the book No Fighting, No Biting! (d. 2012)

1923 – Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, Soviet partisan (resistance guerrilla fighter against the Axis occupation during WWII); after being captured, tortured and interrogated, she was hanged; at her execution, she declared that she wasn’t afraid to die for her people and was declared a Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously. (d. 1941)

1931 – Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, Australian athlete, Olympic medalist and politician, 33rd Governor of South Australia, recipient of two Olympic medals, seven Commonwealth Games Gold Medals and ten world records

1938 – Judith Martin, American journalist and author, etiquette authority, better-known as Miss Manners

1939 – Arleen Auger, American coloratura soprano (d. 1993)


Ann Richards in 1992, by Kenneth C. Zirkel (source)

Ann Richards in 1992, by Kenneth C. Zirkel (source)

2006 – Ann Richards, American educator, feminist and politician, 45th Governor of Texas, known for her wit and one-liners (b. 1933)

2007 – Clare Oliver, Australian activist, campaigned to raise awareness about the excessive use of solariums; she died just after her 26th birthday from melanoma. (b. 1981)

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