Saturday, July 21, 2007


So, I turned 24 a couple of weeks ago. I realize this is belated, but here are some interesting related trivia tidbits. From Wikipedia, of course...

June 15th in History

At the Age of 24...

Elizabeth I at her coronation

Elizabeth I 1533-1603

["Bloody Mary" Tudor died in November 1558.] Upon Mary's death there was rejoicing in the streets of London, and in November 1558 Elizabeth was set to succeed to the throne. Legend has it that she was sitting beneath an oak tree reading the Bible at Hatfield when the news reached her - although this is unlikely given the winter season. A manservant approached her and breathlessly said, "Your Majesty…". Elizabeth then quoted Psalm 118 in response: "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes".

St. Ivo of Kermartin 1253-1303 (patron saint of lawyers)

He went to Orléans in 1277 to study Canon law.

Louise Arbour b. 1947 (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights)

[She] proceeded to the Université de Montréal where she completed an LL.L. with distinction in 1970. She became the Law Clerk for Mr. Justice Louis-Philippe Pigeon of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1971-1972 while completing graduate studies at the Faculty of Law (Civil Section) of the University of Ottawa.

Shirin Ebadi b. 1947 (Iranian jurist and activist)

Ebadi was admitted to the law department, University of Tehran in 1965 and upon graduation in 1969 passed the qualification exams to become a judge. After a six-month internship period, she officially started her judging career in March 1970. She continued her studies in University of Tehran in the meanwhile and received a master's degree in law in 1971.

Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor b. 1930 (first woman on the US Supreme Court)

O'Connor attended Stanford University, where she received her B.A. in economics in 1950. She continued at the Stanford Law School for her LL.B, serving on the Stanford Law Review, and graduating toward the top of a class of 102, of which future Chief Justice William Rehnquist was valedictorian. O'Connor briefly dated Rehnquist during this time.

In 1952 she married John Jay O'Connor III, with whom she has three sons: Scott, Brian, and Jay.

...She therefore turned to public service, taking a position as Deputy County Attorney of San Mateo County, California from 1952–1953 and as a civilian attorney for Quartermaster Market Center, Frankfurt, Germany from 1954–1957.

Rosalyn Higgins b. 1937 (President of the International Court of Justice)

Judge Higgins, President of the ICJ.

[She] married the politician Terence Higgins in 1961 (Sir Terence from 1993, Lord Higgins since 1997). ...Higgins studied at Girton College, University of Cambridge receiving her B.A. in 1959 and LL.B in 1962.

Theodora, detail of a Byzantine mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna.

Empress Theodora c. 500-548

In 523 Theodora married Justinian, the nephew of Emperor Justin I. On his accession to the Roman Imperial throne in 527, he made her joint ruler of the empire, and appears to have regarded her as a full partner in their rulership.

Cleopatra VII of Egypt 69-30BCE

Image:Lawrence Alma-Tadema- Anthony and Cleopatra.JPG

Cleopatra and Caesarion visited Rome between 47 BC and 44 BC and were probably present when Caesar was assassinated on 15 March 44 BC. Before or just after the assassination she returned to Egypt. When Ptolemy XIV died due to deteriorating health, Cleopatra made Caesarion her co-regent and successor. To safeguard herself and Caesarion she also had her sister Arsinoe killed, a common and necessary practice of the times.

Vijayalakshmi Pandit (1935)

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit 1900-1990 (first female President of the UN General Assembly)

In 1921 she married Ranjit Sitaram Pandit. She was the first Indian woman to hold a cabinet post.

Sonia Gandhi b. 1946 (Italian-Indian politician and widow of former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi)

Sonia Gandhi

[She and Rajiv Gandhi] were married in 1969, after which she moved into the house of her mother-in-law and then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. ... The couple had two children, Rahul Gandhi (born 1970) and Priyanka Gandhi (born 1972).


Aphra Behn 1640-1689 (English writer, scientist, and spy)

In 1663 Aphra visited an English sugar colony on the Suriname River, on the coast east of Venezuela (a region later known as Suriname). During this trip Aphra is supposed to have met an African slave leader, whose story formed the basis for one of her most famous works, Oroonoko. The veracity of her journey to Suriname has often been called into question; however, enough evidence has been found that most Behn scholars today believe that the trip did indeed take place. ...Shortly after her return to England in 1664 Aphra married Johan Behn, who was a merchant of German or Dutch extraction.

Madame Curie 1867-1934 (Polish-French scientist)

Maria Skłodowska-Curie.

Eventually in 1891, having saved up some money earned working as a governess, Maria went to join her elder sister in Paris.

Skłodowska studied mathematics, physics and chemistry at the Sorbonne. (Later, in 1909, she would become the Sorbonne's first female professor, when she was named to her late husband's chair in physics, which he had held for only a year and a half before his tragic death). In early 1893, she graduated first in her undergraduate class.


Saint Teresa of Avila 1515-1582 (Spanish mystic)

Leaving her parents' home secretly one morning in 1534, at the age of 20, Teresa entered the Monastery of the Incarnation of the Carmelite nuns at Avila.[citation needed] In the cloister, she suffered greatly from illness. Early in her sickness, she experienced periods of spiritual ecstasy through the use of the devotional book, Abecedario espiritual, commonly known as the "third" or the "spiritual alphabet" (published in six parts from 1537-1554).

Image:Stamp Hannah Arendt.jpg

Hannah Arendt 1906-1975 (German philosopher and political scientist)

She married Günther Stern, later knowns as Günther Anders, in 1929 in Berlin (they divorced in 1937).

The dissertation was published the same year, but Arendt was prevented from habilitating, a prerequisite for teaching in German universities, because she was Jewish. She worked for some time researching anti-Semitism before being interrogated by the Gestapo, and thereupon fled Germany for Paris.

Aspasia c. 470-400BCE (Milesian sex worker, philosopher, and political strategist)


Being a foreigner and possibly a hetaera, Aspasia was free of the legal restraints that traditionally confined married women to their homes, and thereby was allowed to participate in the public life of the city. She became the mistress of the statesman Pericles in the early 440s. After he divorced his first wife (c. 445 BC), Aspasia began to live with him, although her marital status remains disputed.Their son, Pericles the Younger, must have been born by 440 BC.

Image:Christine de Pisan - cathedra.jpg

Christine de Pizan 1364-1430 (French writer and philosopher)

She successfully educated herself by immersing herself in languages, the rediscovered classics and humanism of the early Renaissance, and within Charles V’s royal archive that housed a vast amount of manuscripts. De Pizan did not, however, assert her intellectual abilities, or establish her authority as a writer until she was widowed at the age of twenty-four.

Christine married Etienne du Castel, a royal secretary to the court, at the age of fifteen. She bore three children, a daughter (who went to live at the Dominican Abbey in Poissy in 1397 as a companion to the king's daughter, Marie), a son Jean, and another child who died in childhood. De Pizan’s familial life was threatened in 1390, however, when Christine’s husband, while in Beauvais on a mission with the king, suddenly died in an epidemic (Willard 39). Following du Castel’s death, Christine was left to support a large household, and to pay off her husband's extensive debts. When she tried to collect money due to her husband’s estate, she faced complicated lawsuits regarding the recovery of salary due to her husband. In order to support herself and her family, Christine turned to writing.

Isabelle Allende b. 1942 (Chilean novelist and activist, related to assassinated Chilean leader Salvador Allende)

From 1959 to 1965, Allende worked with the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization in Santiago, then later in Brussels, Belgium, and elsewhere in Europe. For a brief while in Chile, she also had a job translating Romance novels from English to Spanish. However, she was fired for making unauthorized changes to the dialogue of the heroines to make them sound more intelligent as well as altering the Cinderella endings to let the heroines find more independence and do good in the world. Her daughter Paula was born in 1963. In 1966, Allende returned to Chile, and her son Nicolás was born there that year.

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