1803 – British scientist John Dalton begins using symbols to represent the atoms of different elements.
Dalton proceeded to print his first published table of relative atomic weights. Six elements appear in this table, namely hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus, with the atom of hydrogen conventionally assumed to weigh 1. Dalton provided no indication in this first paper how he had arrived at these numbers. However, in his laboratory notebook under the date 6 September 1803 there appears a list in which he sets out the relative weights of the atoms of a number of elements, derived from analysis of water, ammonia, carbon dioxide, etc. by chemists of the time.
1829 – Maria Zakrzewska, German-American physician is born.
Marie Elisabeth Zakrzewska was a Prussian physician who made her name as a pioneering female doctor in the United States. As a Berlin native, she found great interest in medicine after assisting her mother, who worked as a midwife. Best known for the establishment of the New England Hospital for Women and Children, she opened doors to many women who were interested in the medical field and provided them with hands-on learning opportunities. Within The New England Hospital, she established the first general training school for nurses in America. Her drive and perseverance made the idea of women in medicine less daunting.
1860 – Jane Addams, American sociologist and author, Nobel Prize laureate is born.
Jane Addams was a pioneer American settlement activist/reformer, social worker, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in women’s suffrage and world peace. She created the first Hull House. In an era when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists, Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era. She helped America to address and focus on issues that were of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace. She said that if women were to be responsible for cleaning up their communities and making them better places to live, they needed to be able to vote to do so effectively. Addams became a role model for middle-class women who volunteered to uplift their communities. She is increasingly being recognized as a member of the American pragmatist school of philosophy. In 1889 she co-founded Hull House, and in 1920 she was a co-founder for the ACLU. In 1931 she became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States.
1870 – Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming becomes the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally after 1807.
On September 6, 1870, she arose early, put on her apron, shawl and bonnet, and walked downtown with a tin pail in order to purchase yeast from a merchant. She walked by the polling place and concluded she would vote while she was there. The polling place had not yet officially opened, but election officials asked her to come in and cast her ballot. She was described by a Laramie newspaper as “a gentle white-haired housewife, Quakerish in appearance.”
She was 69 years old when she cast the first ballot by any woman in the United States in a general election. Soon after the election, Stephen and Louisa Swain left Laramie and returned to Maryland to live near a daughter. Stephen died October 6, 1872, in Maryland. Louisa died January 25, 1880, in Lutherville, Maryland. Her body was buried in the Friends Burial Ground Friends Burial Ground (Baltimore, Maryland), Harford Road, Baltimore. A statue in her honor was dedicated in front of the Women’s History House, Laramie, Wyoming, in 2005.
September 6, 2008 was recognized by Congress as Louisa Ann Swain day via House Concurrent Resolution 378.
1944 – Donna Haraway, American author, academic, and activist is born.
Donna J. Haraway is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, United States. Haraway, a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology studies, was described in the early 1990s as a “feminist, rather loosely a neo-Marxist and a postmodernist”. She is the author of numerous books and essays that bring together questions of science and feminism, such as “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” (1985) and Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective (1988).
Haraway has taught Women’s Studies and the History of Science at the University of Hawaii and Johns Hopkins University. In September 2000, Haraway was awarded the highest honor given by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), the J. D. Bernal Award, for lifetime contributions to the field. Haraway’s works have contributed to the study of both human-machine and human-animal relations. Her works have sparked debate in primatology, philosophy, and developmental biology. Haraway participated in a collaborative exchange with the eminent feminist theorist Lynn Randolph from 1990 to 1996. Their engagement with specific ideas relating to feminism, technoscience, political consciousness, and other social issues, formed the images and narrative of Haraway’s book.