English nurse, writer, and statistician FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE was born on this date (d. 1910). She came to prominence during the Crimean War for her pioneering work in nursing, and was dubbed “The Lady with the Lamp” after her habit of making rounds at night to tend injured soldiers.
Nightingale laid the foundation stone of professional nursing with the principles summarized in the book Notes on Nursing. The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses was named in her honor, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday.
Historians like writing her up as a saintly prude but she was alleged to have once said, “I have lived and slept in the same bed with English countesses and Prussian farm women…No woman has excited passions among woman more than I have.”