The Mathematical Girl

Ruth Lawrence, a child prodigy in math who at the age of 10 placed first among 530 candidates in the Oxford University entrance exam in that subject, was born in Brighton, England on this date in 1971. Her parents were both computer consultants, and her father gave up his work when she was 5 to […]

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Barbara Bergmann’s Feminist Economics

Barbara Bergmann, a senior staffer for President Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisors, a senior economist at the Agency for International Development, and an advisor to the Congressional Budget Office and the Census Bureau, was born in the Bronx to immigrant parents on this date in 1927. Bergmann was educated at Cornell and Harvard, and taught at the University of Maryland […]

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The First Woman Anchor

Dorothy Fuldheim, a journalist who interviewed both Hitler and Mussolini before World War II and was the first woman to anchor a television news broadcast, was born in Passaic, New Jersey on this date in 1893. Fuldheim began her career in radio as the first woman commentator on the WABC network. At age 54 she […]

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A Holocaust Survivor, Still Loyal to Germany

Jeanette Wolff, a German Jewish social activist who helped rebuild the Jewish presence in Germany after surviving imprisonment in several Nazi concentration camps and enduring the murders of her husband, daughter, and other family members, was born in Westphalia, Germany on this date in 1888. “One of the best-known German Jewish women in post-war Germany, she […]

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The Sister

Yiddish writer Esther Kreitman, sister to the world-famous I.B. Singer and Yiddish writer I.J. Singer, died in London at age 63 on this date in 1954. Kreitman was a highly intelligent child who, as a girl, was denied education and attention in her Orthodox family. According to Faith Jones at the Jewish Women’s Archive, Kreitman “nevertheless […]

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Flora Lewis

Journalist, political essayist, and international correspondent Flora Lewis died at 79 on this date in 2002. Lewis wrote for the New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune and other newspapers, and blazed a trail for women as international reporters. Among the historical events she covered were the 1948 and 1967 Israeli-Arab wars, the 1956 Soviet crackdown […]

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Rabbi Sandy Sasso

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso became the first woman ordained as rabbi by the Reconstructionist movement on this date in 1974. She was also the first woman to serve as rabbi in a Conservative congregation (Indianapolis’ Beth-El Zedeck), and she and her husband Rabbi Dennis Sasso were likely the first rabbinical couple in Jewish history and certainly […]

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The Poetry of Maxine Kumin

Maxine Kumin (1925-2014) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize on this date in 1973 for Up Country: Poems of New England. Kumin, who was appointed the Library of Congress’ Poet Laureate in 1981–82, wrote eighteen books of poetry as well as novels, memoirs, essay collections, and children’s books. While studying at Radcliffe, she helped try to […]

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The Brothel-Owner and the Milkman

SHOLEM ASCH’S GOD OF VENGEANCE COMES TO LIFE by Susan Reimer-Torn ON MARCH 26, 1923, shortly before curtain time, the cast and producers of Sholem Asch’s play, God of Vengeance (pictured above) were arrested by a vice squad and thrown into jail to await trial on obscenity charges. The arrest took place fifteen days after […]

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April 28: Hertha Ayrton, Inventor

British scientist and inventor Hertha Ayrton (Phoebe Sarah Marks), the first woman to be proposed for the fellowship of the Royal Society (in 1902), was born in Portsea, Hampshire, England, on this date in 1854. Ayrton was refused admission to the Society because, as a married woman, she had no legal status under British law. Four […]

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