"There is no reason why the aeroplane should not open up a fruitful occupation for women. I see no reason they cannot realize handsome incomes by carrying passengers between adjacent towns, from parcel delivery, taking photographs or conducting schools of flying. Any of these things it is now possible to do." (Harriet Quimby, about 1911)
Harriet Quimby's career as a pilot lasted only eleven months, but she managed to set a few records in that time. She was the first American woman to earn a pilot's license, and the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel, the latter on April 16, 1911.
She's not as well known as her sister, Lucretia Mott, but Martha Coffin Wright was an abolitionist (her daughter married the son of abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison) and an early women's rights advocate. Contributed by the author of an upcoming biography of Martha Coffin Wright, James D. Livingston.
The Japanese royal family faces pressure because the current crown princess -- a Harvard-educated diplomat before she married the Japanese crown prince, mother of one daughter, and now more than 40 years old -- has not produced a son to succeed as Japanese emperor. But Japan has been ruled by reigning empresses before. Here's a profile of the Empress Suiko, who ruled Japan at the end of the 5th and beginning of the 7th century. Under her rule, China recognized Japan and Buddhism flourished: Empress Suiko
On April 5, 1758, Mary Jemison was captured by French soldiers and Shawnee Indians. Her later telling of her story of life in captivity is one of the best-known examples of this genre of American colonial literature.
- A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison - full copy of the narrative written in 1823 by James E. Seaver based on interviews with Mary Jemison
- Women in Captivity Narratives - perspective on the stereotypes perpetuated and violated by these stories, once very popular
- About Mary Rowlandson - another famous "captive"
- Women in Colonial America
Jane Goodall, primatologist, was born on April 3, 1934.
On April 2, 1917, Jeannette Rankin, from Montana, became the first woman to take a seat in the US Congress. Four days later, she voted against American entry into World War I. During her term, she also began the debate on the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, the women's suffrage amendment that gave women the vote and became the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Rankin was not reelected, but ran again and was elected in 1939. She voted against American entry into World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Beginning April 20, 2014, in the US, WGNAmerica is airing a "bold new vision" of what happened in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692.
Unfortunately, from the preview material available, "bold new vision" equates to "highly fictionalized and sensationalized manipulation of the information."
One thing about the history of the Salem witch trials and that time: quite a bit of historical documentation was kept. So debunking the wild ideas is not so difficult, even though there are enough holes in the record -- and enough claims at the time -- to still have a lot of questions about motivations of those who accused their neighbors and friends and relatives of what was, at the time, a horrific crime.
Read more about the real history:
- The Historical Mary Sibley
- The Historical John Alden
- Tituba's Race - Black, Indian, Mixed?
- Salem Witch Trials Timeline
- Victims of the Salem Witch Trials
- Judges in the Salem Witch Trials
- Salem Witch Trials Bibliography
- Salem Witch Trials Theories - Recommended Books
- The "new" version: Salem - WGNAmerica
Don't be an April Fool and believe -- or perpetuate -- these myths of women's history, from bra-burning demonstrations to Betsy Ross and the first American flag. There's room for disagreement among historians, of course, but here's my opinion on the balance of facts.
She is the first author and poet in the world we know by name. A daughter of the great Akkadian king, Sargon, she helped solidify his power by raising the goddess Inanna into a superior position over all other deities. Learn more:
Abigail Adams was married to John Adams, the second U.S. President. During John's many absences from home working with the Continental Congress and as a diplomat in Europe, Abigail managed the farm and family finances. No wonder she expected that the new nation would "remember the ladies"!
On March 31, 1776, Abigail wrote to her husband, "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation." It would be nearly 145 years before women were allowed a formal voice and representation through the vote.