1485 – Veronica Gambara, Italian poet, stateswoman and political leader.
Veronica Gambara (November 30, 1485 – June 13, 1550) was born in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, Italy. Gambara received a humanist education, studying Latin, Greek, philosophy, theology and scripture.
In 1502, at the age of 17, she began corresponding with the leading neo-Petrarchan, Pietro Bembo, who became her poetic mentor two years later when she began sending him her compositions. After her husband died in 1518, she took charge of the state (including management of Correggio’s condottieri). Under Gambara’s rule, the small court of Correggio became something of a salon, visited by such important figures as Pietro Bembo, Gian Giorgio Trissino, Marcantonio Flaminio, Ludovico Ariosto, and Titian.
Gambara organized a successful defense of the city, and between 1546 and 1550, saw that Charles V paid for improved fortifications. She died June 13, 1550 in Correggio, Italy.
1924 – Shirley Chisholm, American educator, politician, and author. She was the first African-American woman elected to Congress and the first black candidate from a major party.
Shirley Anita St. Hill was born in Brooklyn, New York, to immigrant parents from the Caribbean region. At age three, Shirley was sent to Barbados to live with her maternal grandmother. Shirley Chisholm taught in a nursery school while furthering her education, earning her MA in elementary education from Teachers College at Columbia University in 1952. In the June 18, 1968, Democratic primary, Chisholm defeated two other black opponents, State Senator William S. Thompson and labor official Dollie Robertson. In the general election, she staged an upset victory over James L. Farmer, Jr., the former director of the Congress of Racial Equality who was running as a Liberal Party candidate with Republican support, winning by an approximately two-to-one margin. Chisholm thereby became the first black woman elected to Congress. Chisholm retired to Florida in 1991. In 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated her to be United States Ambassador to Jamaica, but she could not serve due to poor health and the nomination was withdrawn. In the same year she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
1928 – Takako Doi, Japanese politician and lawyer, advocated signing of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1985. She was the first woman to lead a political party division as vice chair and then chairwoman of the Japan Socialist Party.
Takako Doi (November 30, 1928 – September 20, 2014) was born in Hyōgo Prefecture and graduated from Doshisha University, where she studied law. She spent her first ten years in the House on the sidelines, but came to national attention in 1980 when she was highly critical of Japan’s unequal treatment of women, specifically about women-only home economics degrees and the father-dominated family registration law. Doi became Vice Chair of the JSP in 1984 and the first female leader of a political party division in Japan’s history in 1986, as chair of the JSP Central Policy Division. In 1996, Doi returned to lead the JSP party. Doi lost her directly elected seat in the House of Representatives in the 2003 election but remained in the House, having won a seat under the proportional representation system. She lost this seat in 2005 elections. She died in a hospital in Hyogo Prefecture of pneumonia on September 20, 2014.