19th

1917: Indira Gandhi born (politician, prime minister of India)

  • Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms (1966–77) and a fourth term (1980–84). Gandhi was the second female head of government in the world after Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka, and she remains as the world’s second longest serving female Prime Minister as of 2012. She was the first woman to become prime minister in India.
  • Gandhi was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India. She adhered to the quasi-socialist policies of industrial development that had been begun by her father. Gandhi established closer relations with the Soviet Union, depending on that nation for support in India’s long-standing conflict with Pakistan. She was also the only Indian Prime Minister to have declared state of emergency in order to ‘rule by decree’ and the only Indian Prime Minister to have been imprisoned after holding that office. She was assassinated by her bodyguards in retaliation for ordering Operation Blue Star.

 

 

1926: Jeane Kirkpatrick born (political scientist, U.S. ambassador to the U.N.)

  • (November 19, 1926 – December 7, 2006) was an American ambassador and an ardent anticommunist. After serving as Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy adviser in his 1980 campaign and later in his Cabinet, the longtime Democrat-turned-Republican was nominated as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and became the first woman to hold this position.
  • She is known for her “Kirkpatrick Doctrine,” which advocated U.S. support of anticommunist governments around the world, including authoritarian dictatorships, if they went along with Washington’s aims—believing they could be led into democracy by example. She wrote, “Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies.”
  • Kirkpatrick served on Reagan’s Cabinet on the National Security Council, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Defense Policy Review Board, and chaired the Secretary of Defense Commission on Fail Safe and Risk reduction of the Nuclear Command and Control System.

Quote for Today

I do believe that there still may be some special sort of resentment of women in high politics in this country. I think that some of the attacks on me have been motivated not only by politics, but also by that special resentment of women.

— Jeane Kirkpatrick

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