This Week in History

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This Week in History: Events in August

August 1, 1979

Reconstructionist rabbi Linda Joy Holtzman became the first woman to lead a U.S. Jewish congregation when she was appointed the spiritual leader of the Coatesville, PA, Beth Israel Congregation.

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August 1, 2011

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made a triumphant return to Congress to cast her vote on the debt ceiling, seven months after being shot.

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August 2, 1932

Lillian Copeland won an Olympic gold medal in discus. At the previous Olympics, in 1928, she had won the silver in the same event. Her 1932 toss set a new world record.

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August 2, 1998

Children's television favorite Shari Lewis, a puppeteer who created the characters Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse, died.

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August 2, 1924

The first issue of the "Saturday Review of Literature," founded and edited by Amy Loveman, appeared.

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August 3, 1923

Noted fashion designer Anne Klein was born.

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August 3, 1944

American Jewish journalist Ruth Gruber arrived in New York harbor with 984 refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe, which concluded her secret mission to escort the refugees from Italy to America.

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August 4, 1981

Birth of Ariel Glaser, the child whose death inspired the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

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August 5, 2010

The first woman Solicitor General of the United States becomes the fourth female Supreme Court Justice.

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August 6, 1939

A quintessential American girl, Dinah Shore mixed song and talk on the airwaves for over 50 years.

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August 8, 1922

Conservative intellectual Gertrude Himmelfarb was born.

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August 8, 1910

Actress Sylvia Sidney, who starred in 1930s-era films opposite Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant, was born.

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August 10, 2000

At the U.S. Olympic trials, swimmer Dara Torres qualified to compete in her fourth Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Eight years later, Torres made history again by competing in her fifth Olympics in Beijing.

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August 10, 1993

Ruth Bader Ginsburg took her seat as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.

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August 14, 2006

Reclaiming Jewish ceremonies and holidays for feminists, training Hebrew Priestesses of all stripes, and publishing a Siddur (prayer book) that includes earth-based rituals, the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute is a new women’s movement in Judaism.

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August 15, 2011

The documentary Gloria: In Her Own Words, telling the story of the women’s movement as seen through the eyes of Gloria Steinem, premiered on HBO.

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August 15, 1971

A new paperback version of Tillie Olsen's classic short story collection "Tell Me a Riddle" was issued.

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August 16, 1959

Harpsichordist and composer Wanda Landowska, who was credited with the 20th-century revival of harpsichord music, died.

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August 18, 1823

Phoebe Yates Levy Pember, who gained fame as a Richmond nurse during the Civil War, was born.

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August 18, 1996

The Drisha Institute for Jewish Education graduated its first class.

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August 18, 1950

"The Village I Knew," choreographed by Sophie Maslow, was first performed.

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August 19, 1895

Birth of Vera Weisbord, Radical

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August 21, 1901

Death of Pioneer Fanny Brooks

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August 22, 1893

Writer Dorothy Parker is born

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August 23, 1914

Pioneering dietician and educator Frances Stern published an article on the importance of nutrition education in the "Boston Globe."

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August 24, 1861

Eugenia Levy Phillips was arrested as a Confederate spy.

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August 24, 1855

The first issue of "Die Deborah," a German-language newspaper focused on serving women's interests, was published.

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August 26, 1980

Three generations of activist Seaman family marched together in the tenth anniversary celebration of the New York Women's Strike for Equality.

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August 26, 1970

A massive "Women Strike for Equality" march in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 19th amendment took place in New York City and other cities.

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August 27, 2006

Jackie Gothard thanks Hayley Fields for Torah scroll on behalf of Beth Israel Synagogue in New Orleans.

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August 27, 1940

Hadassah activist Alice Seligsberg died.

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August 28, 1997

The launch of a Virtual Archive as one of the first major public programs of the Jewish Women's Archive was described in an article in Boston's "Jewish Advocate."

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August 29, 2003

Louise Glück was named poet laureate of the United States.

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August 29, 1976

The first Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education began.

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August 30, 1984

Judith Resnik, first American Jewish astronaut and second woman in space

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August 31, 1990

Rabbi Bonnie Koppell, the first female Jewish chaplain in the U.S. military, was profiled in the "Omaha Jewish Press."

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This Week in History offers a unique calendar of American Jewish experience—connecting specific dates throughout the year to an array of compelling historic events related to American Jewish women.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "This Week in History: Events in August." (Viewed on April 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/aug>.