Alright, ladies. Let’s talk about what happened today in our history.
Though he’s not a woman, his killing had everything to do with a woman’s influence and touch. On October 23rd, 1998, Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot to death in his New York home. Dr. Slepian, an abortion provider, was found to be murdered by James Charles Kopp, an anti-abortionist who had previously wounded other doctors. In 2003, Kopp was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
In 1503, Queen Isabella (of Isabella and Ferdinand) of Spain was born.
In 1810, the feminist journalist Margaret Fuller Ossoli was born.
In 1905, Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim across the English Channel, was born. Ederle went on to win a gold medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics.
October 23 is also the day that two formative women’s history events took place. On October 23, 1850, the first national Women’s Rights Convention was held in Massachusetts. 65 years later, in 1915, 25,000 women marched together in New York City, demanding the right to vote.
Though these important contributions happened, it is still very difficult to find them. The New York Times and the History Channel mention only one of the events I’ve named: the murder of the male doctor. Maybe October 23rd will one day become the day that historians recognize the goings-on of women’s lives to be deserving of history’s short-list.