Wednesday, April 1, 2009

On April 1

On this day in ...
... 1866, Sophonisba Breckinridge (left) was born in Lexington, Kentucky. Elder by 6 years than her sister Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, whom IntLawGrrls prevoiusly profiled, Sophonisba likewise devoted herself to women's rights and other causes. A graduate of Wellesley, in 1894 she became the 1st woman to pass the Kentucky bar exam. She then moved to Chicago, where in 1901 she became the 1st woman to receive a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago -- the university from which she also earned her J.D. 3 years later. (photo credit) She began to write about women workers and to collaborate with other Chicago women, among them social worker Jane Addams, an IntLawGrrls transnational foremother. Among other activities, Sophonisba attended the 1915 International Congress of Women at The Hague, took part in the work of the Women's Trade Union League and the NAACP, and lobbied against war and for women's suffrage and juvenile justice reform. She died in 1948.
... 1979 (30 years ago today), a 2-day referendum concluded with 97% of the electorate voting that Iran would be an Islamic republic. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared that the date should mark "'the first day of a Government of God.'"

(Prior April 1 posts are here and here.)

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