Suffragettes Pardoned

Bastille Day spells prison for sixteen suffragettes who picketed the White House. Miss Julia Hurlbut of Morristown, New Jersey, leading the sixteen members of the National Womans Party who participated in the picketing demonstration in front of the White House, Washington, District of Columbia, July 14,1917, which led to their arrest. These sixteen women were sent to the workhouse at Occoquan, on July 17, 1917, upon their refusal to pay fines of $25 each, but were pardoned on July 19, 1917.

July 19, 1848: The Seneca Falls Convention Begins

On this day in 1848, more than 300 men and women assembled in Seneca Falls, New York, for the nation’s first women’s rights convention. Convention organizers, Lucreita Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, spearheaded the two day convention. At the gathering, Stanton presented their Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, a document she composed.  The Declaration and its 11 resolutions demanded social and political equality for all women, including the most controversial claim, the right to vote.  

As a result, the women’s suffrage movement was born. In the coming years, the movement began to gain steam throughout the United States.  

Learn more about the Seneca Falls Convention at Ken Burns’s site Not For Ourselves Alone.

Photo: Our roll of honor, signatures to the “Declaration of Sentiments” 1848. (Library of Congress)

On this date, July 19, in 1925, entertainer and singer, Josephine Baker, makes her Paris debut.

Josephine Baker sashayed onto a Paris stage during the 1920s with a comic, yet sensual appeal that took Europe by storm. Famous for barely-there dresses and no-holds-barred dance routines, her exotic beauty generated nicknames “Black Venus,” “Black Pearl” and “Creole Goddess.” Admirers bestowed a plethora of gifts, including diamonds and cars, and she received approximately 1,500 marriage proposals. She maintained energetic performances and a celebrity status for 50 years until her death in 1975. Unfortunately, racism prevented her talents from being wholly accepted in the United States until 1973.  [Continue reading biography.]

A Day In The Life: 19 July 1964

The Beatles make an appearance on the live ABC television show Blackpool Night Out, filmed at Blackpool’s ABC Theatre. They also participate in comedy sketches as doctors operating on Ringo and as refuse collectors.


The Great Fire of Rome was an urban fire that started on the night between 18 and 19 July in the year 64 AD. It caused widespread devastation before being brought under control after six days. Differing accounts either blame Emperor Nero for initiating the fire or credit him with organizing measures to contain it and provide relief for refugees.

At least five separate stories circulated regarding Nero and the fire:

  • Motivated by a desire to destroy the city, Nero secretly sent out men pretending to be drunk to set fire to the city. Nero watched from his palace on the Palatine Hill singing and playing the lyre.
  • Motivated by an insane whim, Nero quite openly sent out men to set fire to the city. Nero watched from the Tower of Maecenas on the Esquiline Hill singing and playing the lyre.
  • Nero sent out men to set fire to the city. Nero sang and played his lyre from a private stage.
  • The fire was an accident. Nero was in Antium.
  • The fire was caused by Christians.

The population fled first to areas unaffected by the fire and then to the open fields and rural roads outside the city. Looters and arsonists were reported to have spread the flames by throwing torches or, acting in groups, to have hindered measures being made to halt or slow the progress of the flames.