Today in History · Women in History

Women in History: April 4th

PzX4D1492653850Born on this day in…

1436 – Amalia of Saxony, Duchess of Bavaria-Landshut (d. 1501). She married Louis IX, Duke of Bavaria-Landshut in 1452 and the couple had four children: Elizabeth, George, Margaret, and Anna. At the time, her wedding was a lavish affair with 22,000 guests invited. A religious woman, she was a foundress of the Holy Spirit Church in Burghausen.

1785 – Bettina von Arnim (d. 1859) was a German authoress and novelist. Her hobbies included: writing, composing music, singing, illustrating, and social activism. A patron of young talent, Ms. von Arnim surrounded herself with the great minds of her day such as Beethoven, Goethe, and Pückler where she was often the artistic mediator. As a composer, she married folk melodies and historical themes with innovations and improvisations. She was highly admired by Liszt, Schumann, Kinkel, and Brahms.

1802 – Dorothea Dix (d. 1887) was an American activist who spoke out on the behalf of the indigent insane. Through lobbying of state legislatures and the United States Congress, she created first generation mental asylums in America. When the Civil War broke out, Ms. Dix served as a Superintendent of Army Nurses. Later, she was granted the title “President for Life” of the Army Nurses Association.

Died on this day in…

1933 – Elizabeth Bacon Custer (b. 1842) was an American authoress and public speakers as well as wife to Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer, United States Army. While most wives of army men remained at home, she was never too far from her husband when he travelled from one location to another, giving up the creature comforts. When her husband died, Ms. Custer remained an advocate for her deceased husband and advertised “Custer’s Last Stand.” She wrote popular books about him (such as Boots and SaddlesTenting on the Plains, and Following the Guidon) and delivered speeches. She wrote in her debut novel Boots and Saddles (1885):

The next day the general thought I might rather not go with him than run the risk of such frights; but I well knew there was something far worse than fears for my own personal safety. It is infinitely worse to be left behind, a prey to all the horrors of imagining what may be happening to one we love. You eat your heart slowly out with such anxiety, and to endure such suspense is simply the hardest of all trials that come to the soldier’s wife. (Custer)

1941 – Nazikeda Kadın (b. 1866) was Consort of Sultan Mehmed VI of the Ottoman Empire. It was said that in 1884 that Şehzade Vahideddin Efendi (the future Mehmed VI) fell immediately in love with Nazikeda Kadın the moment he saw her. When the Turkish War of Independence took place, she played a large part in supporting charitable organizations, schools, hospitals, and mosques. She was mother to three: Münire Sultan, Fatma Ulviye Sultan, and Rukiye Sabiha Sultan Hanım Efendi.

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