American missionary Hulda Stumpf was murdered in Kijabe, Kenya on the 3rd of January, 1930.
Stumpf, who had spoken out in opposition of Female Genital Mutilation, a widespread and often life-threatening tradition performed across Africa to this day, and practiced in the region of Kenya where she lived, was found dead in her home on the morning of Friday the 3rd. She had been brutally beaten, and then strangled.
Stumpf sits on the bottom left of this 1917 photograph
In the end, no strong conclusions could be drawn about her death.
In the nineteenth century, in the colony of Victoria in Australia, the Electoral Act 1863 was passed. According to the act, “all persons” who owned property were entitled to vote. Though it was not intended to include women in this, there were plenty in the state who did, indeed own property.
In the 1864 elections, some women took advantage of this error and went to the polling stations, where their votes were recorded:
“At one of the polling booths in the Castlemaine district a novel sight was witnessed. A coach filled with ladies drove up, and the fair occupants alighted and recorded their votes.” The Argus, 5 November 1864, p 4.
The oversight was quickly fixed, and a new law in 1865 once again took voting rights away from women. However, Australia was very early in granting women full voting rights, in 1902.
Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, USA was bombed on the 27th of July, 1996. Two people were killed and 111 injured when Eric Robert Rudolph placed a US military pack containing three pipe bombs surrounded by nails in the so-called “town square” of the Olympic venue.
He later said he committed the attack because he didn’t agree with women having the right to abortion.
Rudolph later confessed to the bombings of women’s health clinics and gay bars.
On the 10th of May, 1958, the Australian Catholic Truth Society released a pamphlet titled: Spinsters Are Wonderful People: In Praise of Unmarried Women.
It seems this pamphlet may have been produced a number of times, as a version dated 1950 can be read HERE.
THE CHURCH MAKES A CHANGE
Whatever literature may say about spinsters, and however much history may ignore them – except for outstanding spinsters like Elizabeth of England – the Church’s attitude toward unmarried women has been, from the first, one of reverence. This I came to know when my faith emerged from mere youthful practice to intelligent study and appreciation. Among the Jews a spinster was merely an unfortunate girl not lucky enough to have won a husband for herself. Among the pagans she was usually the slave or bondmaiden, the grudgingly tolerated hanger-on in the house of her parents or her luckier married sisters.
With St. Paul all that was changed. He loved virginity, and he turned to the ministrations and loyalty – as many a parish has done since – of the splendid young and older unmarried women of his time. The legends of St. Paul and St. Tecla – whose name was the Greek word for pearl – are many and beautiful. Phoebe, to whom Paul sends affectionate messages, seems to have been one of the first consecrated Catholic virgins.