April 27th in (Feminist) History

CaptureOn April 27th in 1992, Betty Boothroyd was the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons. As a young girl who briefly worked as a dancer for the London West End Theatre, she got into politics serving as a secretary to politicians, trying five times before finally being elected into Parliament. When she served first as Deputy to the Speaker’s post (prior to becoming Speaker herself), she was asked (by all those confused men) how she wished to be addressed, and told them, “Call me Madam”. She refused to wear the traditional knee breeches and wig worn by her predecessors (solid choice tbh), and was known for calling ‘Times up’ at the end of the weekly question sessions. (To understand why this is “shocking”, the source explains it was: “a cry made familiar by barmaids in public houses and bars across the country”, gasp!) She has never married or had children, took up paragliding in her 60s (amazing), and was created a life peer in 2001, taking the title of Baroness Boothroyd. (Source.)

Also on this day in 1963, Margaret Annemarie Battavio’s single “I Will Follow Him” reached #1 on the U.S. Pop Charts. Margaret, who would come to be known as “Little Peggy March”, was barely 15 at the time, and as such became the youngest female performer to ever top the Billboard Hot 100– a title she still holds to this day. (Source)

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