April Birthdays

April Highlights in US Women's History
Historic Events
April 2, 1931 - 17-year-old Jackie Mitchell, the second woman to play baseball in the all-male minor
leagues, pitches an exhibition game against NY Yankees and strikes out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
The next day, the Baseball Commissioner voided her contract, claiming baseball was too strenuous for
women. The ban was not overturned until 1992.
April 5, 1911 - 100,000 to 500,000 people march in New York City to attend the funeral of 7 unidentified
people who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in late March.
April 7, 1805 - Sacagawea begins helping the Lewis and Clark Expedition as an interpreter.
April 7, 1987 - Opening of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, the first
museum devoted to women artists.
April 9, 1939 - Marian Anderson sings an Easter Sunday concert for more than 75,000 at Lincoln
April 13, 1933 - Ruth Bryan Owens is the first woman to represent the U.S. as a foreign minister when
she is appointed as envoy to Denmark.
April 19, 1977 - 15 women in the House of Representatives form the Congressional Caucus for Women's
April 22, - Earth Day -honor Rachel Carson today, a woman who changed America and greatly
influenced the environmental movement.
April 26, 1777 - American Revolution heroine Sybil Ludington, 16 years old, rides 40 miles by horseback
in the middle of the night to gather the American militia to fight against the British invasion.
April 28, 1993 - First "Take Our Daughters to Work" day, sponsored by the Ms. Foundation; in 2003 it
became "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work" day.
April Birthdays
April 1, 1911-(1998) Augusta Braxton Baker -- African- American librarian and storyteller renowned for
her contributions to children’s literature by including African-American history and culture
April 3, 1898-(1997) Katherine Esau – Ukrainian refugee whose scientific discoveries are documented in
the classic Plant Anatomy (1953)
April 3, 1899 (1979) Katherine Ordway - Philanthropist, Established the Goodhill Foundation (1954)
granting over 64 million dollars to save natural land in Minnesota, Kansas, and South Dakota
April 4, 1928 - Maya Angelou, author, poet, civil rights activist, actress; composed and read her poem at
President Clinton's inauguration in 1993.
April 5, 1908 (1989) Bette Davis - Renowned movie star whose career spanned "Of Human
Bondage"(1934) to "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane"(1962)
April 5, 1949 (1986) Judith Resnik - Second American woman in space in 1984, who perished in
Challenger explosion
April 7, 1890 (1998) Marjory Douglas - Environmentalist, suffragist, women’s rights activist, championed
Indian culture and the need for preserving the Everglades
April 7, 1891 (1978) Martha Eliot - Life-long child health advocate who worked for dependent and
disabled children through Social Security Act (1935)
April 7, 1944 (2002) - Julia Miller Phillips, film producer; first woman to win a Best Picture Academy
Award (1973, "The Sting") as a producer; also produced "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Taxi
April 8, 1892 (1979) Mary Pickford – Most successful actress of the silent screen from 1898 to 1927;
created with 5 others the United Artists production company
April 9, 1887 (1953) - Florence Price, first African American woman symphony composer
April 9, 1936 (1988) Valerie Solanas – Feminist provocateur, wrote “Scum Manifesto”(1967) translated in
many languages , shot Andy Warhol in 1968
April 10, 1882 (1965) - Frances Perkins, first woman cabinet member, Secretary of Labor in 1933; key
contributor to the Social Security Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act
April 10, 1903 (1987) - Clare Booth Luce, playwright, Congresswoman (R-CT), Ambassador to Italy
April 10, 1926 (1995) Johnnie Tillmon – Director of the National Welfare Rights Organization from 1962
to 1972
April 10, 1930 - Delores Huerta, Chicana activist; co-founder United Farm Workers union
April 11, 1910 (1997) Annie Wauneka – Navajo leader, elected to Navajo Tribal Council in 1951, served
27 years, lead the campaign to eradicate TB on reservations, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
April 12, 1903 (1987) Justine Polier - First woman in New York Workmen’s Compensation Division,
appointed as a judge in Domestic Relations Court (1935) and served for 38 years
April 12, 1883 (1976) Imogen Cunningham – Acclaimed photographer, especially noted for portraits
April 12, 1909 (2001) - Eudora Welty, writer, won Pulitzer prize for Fiction in 1973; winner of Presidential
Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Literature, and the French Legion d'Honeur
April 12, 1915 (1984) Soia Mentschikoff –Russian émigré (1917) became first woman partner in a Wall
Street firm (1945). .
April 13, 1919 (c.1995) Madalyn O’Hair –Atheist who championed and won the case opposing prayer in
school, which the Supreme Court found unconstitutional (1962), she along with 2 others were kidnapped
and murdered
April 13, 1892 (1990) Clara M. Beyer – Worked with Frances Perkins on Social Security Act(1935) and
worked to abolish child labor and for minimum and maximum hour scales
April 14, 1866 (1936) - Anne Sullivan Macy, famous teacher of Helen Keller who was blind, deaf, and
mute; the two worked and traveled together throughout Macy’s lifetime.
April 15, 1896 (1980) May Edward Chinn – First African American doctor in Harlem(1936) who worked
with George Papanicolaon to develop the Pap smear
April 16, 1971 (1995) Selena – Popularized the Tejano sound of Mexican music with her siblings in the
1990s, fatally shot by manager in 1995
April 17, 1913 (1997) Dorothy Fosdick - International relations official, worked to develop the Truman
Doctrine and the Marshall plan for international relief.
April 18, 1898 (1990) Ruth Bunzel – Anthropologist who studied women’s art and respected the culture
of Pueblos in 1924. She learned the Zuno language , and pottery skills, how to grind corn and make
ceremonial food
April 19, 1917 (2007) Irene Kirkaldy – July, 1944, defied bus driver in Virginia who demanded she give
up her seat (in the back of the bus), and was jailed. Thurgood Marshall won her case in the Supreme
Court (6 to 1) received Freedom Medal from President Clinton
April 20, 1890 (1983) Carmelita Hinton – Founder of Putney School in Vermont( 1935), a co-ed boarding
school. lived and worked at Hull House, had commitment to John Dewey’s education goals and to
environment and internationalism and to arts and crafts
April 20, 1895 (1986) Mary Pukul – Descendant of native Hawaiian high priestesses, she researched
ancient history, collected stories and oral histories, translator at the Bishop Museum
April 22, 1891 (1979) Laura Gilpin – Photographed and worked with Navajo people 35 years to complete
a record of rural American, pioneered auto chromes which won acclaim for still-lives and portraits in the
platinum printing process from 1911 to 1914
April 25, 1917 (1996) - Ella Fitzgerald, "First Lady of Song", internationally renowned jazz singer, winner
of 13 Grammy Awards
April 26, 1888 (1981) Anita Loos – Screenwriter, novelist, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1925)
April 26, 1907 (1991) Julia Godman Ruuttila - CIO recruiter, (1935), raised community support and
welfare benefits and birth control so men could maintain solidarity. Continued to be union publicist,
protested Vietnam War, retired at ago 80, plagued with asthma, ulcers, arthritis and angina, still often
walked in picket lines
April 27, 1906 (1993) Alice Dunnigan – First African/American accredited to cover the US Congress in
June 1947 and first journalist of color to travel with President Truman on his train trip. She had to pay for
her own ticket. In 1961 Johnson appointed her to the staff of the President’s Committee on Equal
Employment Opportunity
April 27, 1927 (2006) - Coretta Scott King, civil rights, human rights, and peace April 29, 1913 (1999)
Margaret Owings – California artist of wild life and founder of Friends of the Sea Otters in 1968; also she
helped the Environmental Defense F Fund.
April 30, 1909 (1990) Eve Arden – She acted in many theater and movie roles; most famous for teacher
Connie Brooks on radio and TV from 1952 to 1956 in “Our Miss Brooks"
April 30, 1939 - Ellen Zwilich, first woman to win a Pulitzer