There is no one stand-out event or person to discuss today, so you get FOUR for the price of one instead:
• On this day in 1819, the birth of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. She inherited the throne at 18, and reigned for over 63 years. She was the longest reigning Monarch in Britain until she was recently surpassed by her Great-Great Granddaughter, Elizabeth II, who has currently reigned for 64+ years. Queen Victoria’s era of reign was known as the Victorian era– a period of cultural, scientific, industrial, political, and military change and growth, as well as the great expansion of the empire. Her nine children with her husband, Prince Albert, were married across Europe, bearing 42 grandchildren and earning her the nickname of the “Grandmother of Europe”.
• On this day in 1870 was the birth of Ynez Enriquetta Julietta Mexia, a Mexican-American botanist who was the most accomplished female plant collector of her time. She was known for her collection of plants from Mexico and South America, and discovered the genus of Compositae. She discovered several species named after her, including Mimosa mexiae, and a genus named Mexianthus (a genus of Asteraceae, flowering plants).
• On this day in 1899 was the birth of Suzanne Lenglen, a French tennis player who won 31 Championship titles (between 1914-1926), and was one of the first international female sports celebrities (and the first female tennis celebrity). She was nicknamed La Divine (the Divine One) by the French Press, and her record included: 241 titles, a 181 match-winning streak, and a 341-7 match record (97.99% wins).
• On this day in 1930, Amy Johnson became the first female pilot to fly to Australia from Britain. The plane she used during this flight can be found now in the Science Museum in London, and in recognition of her achievement she received the Harmon Trophy, and was honored with the No. 1 civil pilot’s licence under Australia’s 1921 Air Navigation Regulations. In the 1930s, she set numerous flying records either solo, or with her husband. She flew in the Air Transport Auxiliary in World War II, and died during a ferry flight.