... 1955, as 500 protesters sang and chanted outside Holloway Prison in London, Ruth Ellis was executed on the gallows, having been convicted of the Easter Sunday shooting-to-death of her racecar-driver boyfriend outside a pub. Fully 48 years later a review commission would reject her family's contention that Ellis (right), who'd miscarried after the boyfriend punched her, suffered from "'battered woman syndrome.'" Nonetheless, the notoriety of this final execution of a woman in Britain contributed to the country's 1965 suspension and 1970 abolition of capital punishment.
... 1927 (80 years ago today), Simone Veil (left) was born in Nice, France. A survivor of Auschwitz, Veil was a member of France's Conseil constitutionnel from 1998 until March of this year, and also has served as French Minister of Health (1974-79, during which time she led a successful campaign for the legalization of abortion) and President of the European Parliament (1979-82).