This Week in History

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This Week in History: Events in October

October 1, 1997

Anita Diamant’s imaginative engagement with the world of biblical women emerged with the publication of "The Red Tent."

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October 2, 1949

Annie Leibovitz, known for her photographic portraits of celebrities, was born.

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October 4, 1976

When she joined the ABC evening news as a co-anchor, Barbara Walters became the highest paid journalist, male or female, up to that time.

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October 6, 2003

Aviel Barclay became the first certified female Torah scribe.

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October 7, 1889

Driven by the passionate lobbying efforts of activist Annie Nathan Meyer, Barnard College opened its doors in a rented Madison Avenue brownstone.

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October 8, 2009

Julie Seltzer, a soferet (female Torah scribe), was part of a living exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, portraying the painstaking process of writing the 304,805 Hebrew Letters of the Torah.

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October 9, 1892

Thanks to the work of Frances Jacobs, Colorado's "Mother of Charity," construction begins on a Denver hospital dedicated to the care of tuberculosis patients.

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October 10, 1980

Actress and producer Goldie Hawn had one of her biggest successes with the opening of the movie "Private Benjamin."

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October 12, 1927

Women's American ORT was founded in a Brooklyn kitchen.

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October 13, 1891

Judge Jennie Loitman Barron, the first woman to serve on the Massachusetts Superior Court, was born.

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October 13, 1986

Rita Levi-Montalcini's pioneering work on nerve growth earned her the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

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October 15, 2003

"Golda's Balcony" opened on Broadway, starring Tovah Feldshuh in a one-woman play about Golda Meir.

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October 16, 2010

The Kadima Reconstructionist Jewish Community in Seattle read from the first Torah ever commissioned to be written by women, and the first ever to be written by a group of women, known as the Women's Torah Project.

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October 16, 1955

Esther Lederer, better known as "Ann Landers," published her first advice column.

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October 17, 1988

The announcement that chemist Gertrude Elion had won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine represented the culmination of an unlikely career.

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October 18, 1948

Gertrude Berg, star and producer of the popular radio comedy "The Goldbergs," made her television debut as Molly Goldberg.

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October 18, 2004

The Jewish Women's Archive joined with National Women's Philanthropy for an historic celebration of 350 years of Jewish women in America at the International Lion of Judah conference.

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October 19, 1854

Ernestine Rose, a leading early American advocate for women's rights, presided over the Fifth National Woman's Rights Convention in Philadelphia.

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October 20, 1943

Irena Sendler Saves Jewish Children from the Warsaw Ghetto

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October 21, 1944

Frances Y. Slanger, R.N. became the first American nurse killed in Europe after D-Day.

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October 22, 1947

Ethel Stark is first woman to conduct at Carnegie Hall

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October 23, 1973

Rabbi Sally J. Priesand offered the opening prayer in the United States House of Representatives, at the invitation of Congresswoman Bella Abzug.

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October 24, 1983

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) faculty senate voted to allow women admission to the JTS Rabbinical School.

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October 27, 1994

Judith R. Shapiro was inaugurated as president of Barnard College.

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October 27, 1957

Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers put her boxing trivia to the test and came away with $64,000.

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October 28, 2000

The Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act introduced by Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky became law.

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October 29, 1945

Anna Rosenberg became the first woman to receive the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the United States.

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October 30, 1933

After trading New York City for Northern Israel’s Jezreel Valley, Lindheim became an ardent proponent of the kibbutz movement.

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October 31, 1989

US Court of Appeals says Bette Midler's voice is distinctive.

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October 31, 1989

US Court of Appeals says Bette Midler's voice is distinctive.

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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 October." (Viewed on April 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/oct>.