WOMEN PEACEMAKERS BORN IN FEBRUARY

FEBRUARY 12

 

Hanna RYDH born Stockholm 1891 (d. 1964). Swedish archaeologist, women’s rights advocate; delegate to League of Nations 1938; member of parliament 1942-3. “Women must unite in something greater than national or race loyalties, and that is the motherhood of the whole wide world.” (Sept 1949 Pres. Address Int. Assn. Women, in K.Offen 380, 506).

 

Federica MONTSENY Mañé born Madrid 1905 (d. 1994). Spanish Anarchist, first woman cabinet officer in Western Europe, novelist; As Minister of Health she legalized abortion. “Love, as the basis of life will bind us together.” (Speech on postwar aims, Serenini 31 Jan., Militant Anarchism 18).

 

Anne Olive KRUEGER born 1934. Chief Economist of World Bank 1982-6; Acting head of IMF 2004. “Helping to reduce poverty is a challenge for which we should all feel some responsibility. It is unequivocally desirable. And it is achievable. Ulysses was right: there is a newer, better world to find.” (SAIS 9 May 2005).

 

Judy (Sussman) BLUME born Elizabeth NJ 1934. Children’s author.

 

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1972: Jeannette Rankin named “the world’s outstanding living feminist” by NOW’s Eastern Region Conference New York.

 

 

FEBRUARY 13

 

Sarojini NAIDU born Hyderabad 1879 (d. 1949). Nonviolent leader, arrested for Gandhian actions 1930, 1932, 1942-3. First woman president of Indian National Congress 1925. Lectured on Nonviolence in US 1928. Poetess “Nightingale of India”. Poem “In Salutation to Eternal Peace”:

Men say the world is full of fear and hate,
And all life’s ripening harvest-fields await
The restless sickle of relentless fate.

But I, sweet Soul, rejoice that I was born,
When from the climbing terraces of corn
I watch the golden orioles of Thy morn.

 

Lella Faye Secor FLORENCE born Battle Creek MI 1887 (d. 1966). War resister World War I, founder American Peace Federation. Ford Peace Ship passenger 1916, later member of British WILPF.

 

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1689: Glorious Revolution of William and Mary.

 

1967: 2500 Women Strike for Peace protest at Pentagon.

 

1991: Emergency International Women’s meeting against Gulf War at WILPF headquarters Geneva.

 

1993: Four Global Peace Farm Women arrested at Concord Naval Base.

 

 

FEBRUARY 14

 

Julia BERTRAND born Vosges, France 1877 (d. 1960). Radical anti-militarist, nonviolent anarchist, put into concentration camp 1914-5 for opposition to war; president of League of Feminists Against War (LFCG).If men cannot assure the peace of the world, we, the women, give our work and our voice…Creators of life, defend it!” (Éliane Gubin, Siècle de Féministes, 199).

 

Jessie Lloyd O’CONNOR born Winnetka IL 1904 (d. 1988). International journalist 1925-30; Pacifist; second generation WILPF; delegate to People’s World Convention Geneva 1950; opposed Vietnam War.

 

Donna SHALALA born Cleveland 1941. One of first Peace Corps Volunteers, Iran 1962-4; College president; US Secretary of Health and Human Services 1993-2001. “Violence is not some mysterious bacterial infection or inexplicable new disease; rather, it is a phenomenon for which we are responsible, and we can prevent it. It is time we stopped the denial and claimed our power to halt the bloodshed and save lives.” (Health Affairs 1993).

 

Alla JAROSCHYNSKA born Silomir, Ukraine 1953. Ukrainian Journalist; Alternate Nobel Prize 1992.

 

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1945: Virginia Gildersleeve appointed only American woman delegate at founding conference of UN, San Francisco.

 

 

FEBRUARY 15

 

Susan B. ANTHONY born Adams MA 1820 (d. 1906). “Mother of us all” (G. Stein). Quaker abolitionist, founder of International Council for Women 1899, International Women’s Suffrage Alliance 1904. Opposed US imperialism of Spanish American War. Active in Universal Peace Union.

Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God, and I shall never pay a penny for this unjust claim” (on conviction for voting 1872).

 

Rebecca Cox JACKSON born Hornstown PA 1795 (d. 1871). Black Quaker Eldress of Shaker community in Philadelphia.

 

Elisabeth ROTTEN born Berlin 1882 (d. 1964). German founder of WILPF, Quaker educational reformer, Swiss internationalist with League of Nations.

 

Klara FASSBINDER born Trier 1890 (d. 1974). German radical pacifist who opposed both World Wars. Author and educator.

 

Marjorie SWANN born 1921. Quaker peace worker 68+years. AFSC Director New England, founder CORE; Coordinator New England Committee for Nonviolent Action. Helped organize Omaha Action against nuclear missles, Quebec-Guantanamo Walk, Polaris Action, San Francisco-Moscow Walk. Imprisoned for six months for civil disobedience; 22 months liquid only fast in jail.

 

Susan BROWNMILLER born Brooklyn 1935. Journalist and author. “The sickness of warfare feeds on itself…war provides men with a tacit license to rape.” (Against Our Will, 1975).

 

Clare SHORT born Birmingham, England 1946. British Minister of International Development who resigned in protest against Iraq War. The war creates “the risk of instability, bitterness, and growing terrorism that will threaten the future for all of us. (Speech to Parliament 12 May 2003).

 

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1971: Black Sash Convention Cape Town, president Jean Sinclair opposed Apartheid.

 

1982: White House fence scaled by Congressional Union women; 16 arrested.

 

1983: 500 Greenham Women protested Newbury court trial.

 

 

FEBRUARY 16

 

Leonora O’REILLY born New York City 1870 (d. 1927). Labor leader, anarchist and socialist who opposed World War I. Founder of WILPF, at Hague Conference 1915. ““You men made a mess of it, and you know it. Your political house needs cleaning and a man is not earthly good when it comes to housecleaning; let us do it.” (N.Y. Call 1 March 1909).

 

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1943: Mildred Fish-Harnack guillotined by Hitler for resistance to Nazi regime.

 

1986: Start of civil disobedience in Manila, supporting Corazon Aquino.

 

1989: Gunilla Ikenberg arrested in Sweden for damaging missile launcher.

 

 

FEBRUARY 17

 

Ellen Sturgis HOOPER born 1812 (d. 1848). Transcendentalist poet.

 

Dorothy KENYON born New York City 1888 (d. 1972). Lawyer, judge and civil rights activist. Adviser to Versailles Peace Conference. Member of both League of Nations and UN Commissions on Women (1938-43, 1946-50). “I am a lover of democracy, of individual freedom and of human rights for everybody, a battler…for the rights of the little fellow, the underdog, the fellow who gets forgotten or frightened or shunned because of unpopular views, but who is a human being just the same and entitled to be treated like one.” (14 March 1950 quoted at her memorial service 1972).

 

Fuki KUSHIDO born 1899 (d. 2001 age 101). Anti-nuclear peace leader. (obit. NYTimes 11 Feb. 2001).

 

Marian ANDERSON born Philadelphia 1902 (d. 1993) . Black singer, US delegate to UN Human Rights Commission; American Goodwill Ambassador 1957. “No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger that its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.

 

Julia DE BURGOS born Carolina, Puerto Rico 1914 (d. 1953). Puerto Rican nationalist and island’s foremost poetess.

 

Olive Frances (Cox) GIBBS born 1918 (d. 1995). Second chairperson of CND 1964-9. Twice mayor of Oxford.

 

Mary Francis BERRY born Nashville 1938. Black Historian, College president 1973, 25 year member of US Civil Rights Commission, 11 years Chairperson 1993-2004. Arrested Thanksgiving 1984 in protest against Apartheid. “Talking is a better way than watching people kill each other”. (4 April 2002).

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1958: CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament born Central Hall, Westminster; protest at #10 Downing St. included Doris Lessing.

 

2007: 100,000 Italian Women march to protest US airbase at Vicenza.

 

 

FEBRUARY 18

 

ALMA DOLENS (Teresita Pasini) born Perugia 1876. Journalist, feminist and leading Italian peace advocate who organized first Italian women’s peace organization. Opposed Italian war against Libya 1911. “The enemy is not at the border; it is all around us: it is poverty, tuberculosis, unemployment. The cure for these diseases is the end of formidable and costly weaponry.” (Brussels 2 June 1914, in Sandi Cooper, Bertha von Suttner, 13).

 

Norma Lee (Pliskin) BECKER born 1930 (d. 2006). “Peace movement’s organizer-in-chief”. Teacher who organized first major demonstration against Vietnam War, Fifth Ave. Peace Parade 1965 and anti-nuclear Mobilization for Survival 1982; Chairperson of War Resisters League 1977-83. “The peace movement must be a mass movement embracing women with widely differing viewpoints on every conceivable issue…’Unity in diversity’ is not only possible, but desirable.” (WRL Calendar 1986).

 

Yoko ONO born Tokyo 1933. Nonviolent pacifist singer; “Give Peace a Chance” (1969); established peace prize 2002 . “When you go to war, both sides lose totally.”

 

Julia “Butterfly” HILL born Jonesboro AR 1974. Lived 738 days in redwood tree “Luna” in nonviolent protest against logging. “Love in action has the answer…All life is created in love, and thus in the depths of every human being lies a good heart. Some have lost their path from this love, so it up to us to show them the way.

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1943: Sophie Scholl arrested by Nazis 1943 for distributing resistance leaflets Munich.

 

1960: Eroseanna Robinson sentenced to one year prison for refusing to pay taxes for war, Chicago.

 

1991: Sadako Ogata appointed UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

 

1992: Dr. Linda Reiser discharged from US Army as conscientious objector.

 

 

FEBRUARY 19

 

Marie LOUS-MOHR born Mandal, Norway 1892 (d. 1973). Norwegian nonviolent resister who spent two years in Nazi concentration camp for not following Nazi orders about teaching. International President of WILPF 1952-6. “We have learned that no sacrifice is too great or great enough in building an enduring peace.” (July 1945 Dalecarlia, Sweden WILPF meeting, in Randall, Improper Bostonian, 417n).

 

Kay BOYLE born St. Paul MN 1902. Poet and author of 40 books who opposed Vietnam War and nuclear weapons; activist with Amnesty International; twice arrested and jailed 31 days for Oakland protest 1967, fired by college president S.I. Hiyakawa as “the most dangerous woman in America!”; Peace mission to Cambodia 1966. “The poet has always lived in defiance of all that society demanded…” (Being Geniuses 1968).

 

Karen Gay SILKWOOD born Longwood TX 1941 (d. 1974). Anti-nuclear activist, chemist and union leader who revealed plutonium hazards at Kerr-Magee plant at Crescent OK that courts later proved true.

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1942: Norwegian teachers began resistance to Nazi orders to teach.

 

 

FEBRUARY 20

 

Angelina GRIMKÉ Weld born Charleston SC 1805 (d. 1879). Garrisonian abolitionist and nonviolent pacifist, Quaker women’s rights speaker. “If a law commands me to sin I will break it; if it calls me to suffer, I will let it take its course unresistingly.

 

Buffy SAINTE-MARIE born Piapot, Sask. 1941. Canadian First Nation (Cree) singer and teacher; Follower of Ba’h’ai faith of international peace; song “Universal Soldier” (1963) protest on Vietnam War; “He’s the one who gives his body as a weapon to a war and without him all this killing can’t go on”.

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1957: UN General Assembly approved Convention on Nationality of Women.

 

1983: German Green Party’s Nuremberg Appeal against nuclear weapons; appeal for nonviolence and love; led by Petra Kelly.

 

1985: “Peace Exercises” of Songsters Opposed to Nuclear Genocide, New Haven.

 

1995: Four Women arrested at Livermore Lab for climbing fence in protest against violations of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

 

 

FEBRUARY 21

 

THE MOTHER (Mirra Alfassa) born Paris 1878 (d. 1973). Follower and successor to Indian spiritual leader Aurobindo, dedicated to peace and global oneness.

 

Barbara JORDAN born 1936 (d. 1996). US House of Representatives 1973-9; Black Professor of Law. “The resolution of disputes by peaceful means rather than violent means is a preferred view widely shared… One must ask, how serious is our commitment to peace?” (Commencement Middlebury 1987).

 

Tyne DAILEY born 1947. Actress and peace activist.

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1838: First woman to speak before a US legislature: Angelina Grimké, age 33, Quaker abolitionist, addressed Mass. House on petition against slavery.

 

 

FEBRUARY 22

 

Meridel Wharton LE SUEUR born Murray IA 1900 (d. 1996). Feminist Socialist author and poet, defender of poor and Native Americans. “Survival is the form of resistance” (Civil disobedience 1983).

 

Drew Blythe BARRIMORE born Culver City CA 1975. World Food Program Ambassador against Hunger 2007. I can’t think of any issue that is more important than working to see that no schoolchild in this world goes hungry.”

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1297 AD: ST. MARGARET of Cortona’s feast day, the day of her death. Franciscan Tertiary who settled local quarrels.

 

1914: Death of first Satyagrahi martyr, Valliamah Moonsamy Mudaliar, age 16 from fever caught in Johannesburg jail where she was sentenced for nonviolent protest of pass laws.

 

1944: Death of second great Nonviolent women: Kasturba Gandhi died 7:35 pm Delhi.

 

1943: Sophie Scholl hanged by Nazis in Munich for resistance.

 

1955: First meeting of women leading to CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) Golders Green, Vera Leff, Marion Clayton, Agnes Simpson and three other women.

 

1983: Greenham Women swamped Newbury courthouse.

 

1995: Helen John sentenced to six months for breaking 13 windows at US spy base Menwith Hill.

 

2001: First Conviction for War Crime of Sexual Slavery: UN Tribunal Judge Florence Mumba convicts three Bosnian Serbs for crime at Foca 1992.

 

 

FEBRUARY 23

 

Emma Hart WILLARD born Berlin CT 1787 (d. 1870). Educator who founded first women’s seminary 1814, proposed one of first plans for international organization, Universal Peace (1820).

 

Marguerite GOBAT born Delémont, Switzerland 1870 (d. 1937). Pioneer peace educator, journalist, feminist, co-founder of Swiss WILPF 1919, Secretary of Universal Union of Women for International Harmony 1915; Urging nonviolence she said “We have to be radical; it’s not possible to be too much so”. (1924).

 

Helen Knothe NEARING born Ridgewood NJ 1904 (d. 1995). Gandhian Nonviolent Theosophist. “We are all here for some purpose: I believe that it is to live a good life, individually and collectively. That means for us humans to do as little harm as possible, to other humans, to animals and to the whole environment, and to do as much good as possible…If you have any religion, let it be helpfulness, love and unity.” (The Hague 1994).

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1909: Second International Womens Day New York City. 2000 women gather at Murray Hill Lyceum.

 

1966: Ruth Tinsley arrested Richmond VA in lunch counter protest.

 

1986: 81 year old woman, Mrs. Monzon, stopped tanks in Manila. “Stop! I am an old woman. You can kill me, but you shouldn’t kill your fellow Filipinos.

 

 

FEBRUARY 24

 

Eléanore de ROYE born 1535 (d. 1564). Peace princess.

 

Mildred Esther WHITE born Raisin Valley MI 1894. Quaker teacher at Ramallah, Palestine 1922ff.

 

Margaret Ann HERCUS born New Zealand 1942. UN representative Cyprus 1998; New Zealand Ambassador to UN 1988; First Minister of Women’s Affairs 1984-7, member of parliament.

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1912: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn led Bread & Roses Textile strike of 20,000 women.

 

1964: Barbara Deming released from 27 days in Albany GA jail, to make Quebec-Guantanamo Walk thru town.

 

1984: “Mrs. Mopps” (“charwomen” protesters) broke into Cornwall satellite dish.

 

 

FEBRUARY 25

 

Elizabeth Marshall Evans BAKER born Montclair NJ 1902 (d. 1990). Peace Studies philanthropist for programs at Juniata College 1971, Ohio State 1981. “I believe that the majority of people have goodwill towards each other…If only they were not continually being scared to death by their leaders who use this fear for their own purposes. (Jan. 1982).

 

Millicent (Hammond) FENWICK born New York City 1910 (d. 1992). US Representative 1972-84 who opposed Vietnam War, capital punishment and military spending. Author of resolution monitoring 1975 Helsinki Accords. US Ambassador to FAO (UN Food & Agricultural Organization).

The only people who would be in power are those who care more about people than they do about power.

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1838: “We Abolition Women are turning the world upside-down”, Angelina Grimké reporting on success of nonviolence. (to Sarah Douglass in Alonso Peace as a Women’s Issue 35)

 

1984: Rooftop Protest of Greenham Women at Holloway Prison.

 

1986: Corazon Aquino inaugurated President of Philippines after nonviolent revolution.

 

1997: Bofors Factory Protest by Rev. Cecilia Redner and Marija Fischer convicted of entry into plant to plant an apple tree and disarm a naval cannon destined for Indonesian war against Timor.

 

 

FEBRUARY 26

 

Lavinia Lloyd DOCK born Harrisburg PA 1858 (d. 1956). Nurse, opposed World War I; militant suffragist, one of first arrested picketing White House 1917.

 

Gabrielle Lafourcade DUCHÊNE born Paris 1878 (d. 1954). French radical pacifist journalist, founded French WILPF. Organized national Peace Action Week 1930, Women’s Congress Against War and Fascism 1934. As “enfant terrible” of WILPF she called for sanctions against Mussolini’s attack on Ethiopia.

 

Marie-Hélène LEFAUCHEUX (née Postel-Vinay) born Paris 1904 (d. 1964). Leader of women’s resistance to Hitler; only French woman delegate to first General Assembly of UN.

 

Helen CLARK born Hamilton, New Zealand 1950. Professor of Political Science who favored peace and disarmament, opposing Vietnam War, and promoting nuclear free zone. Prime Minister of New Zealand 1999ff. Opposed US invasion of Iraq. “As New Zealanders, we’ve been in on the United Nations from the very beginning, played a role in the drafting of the charter – it means a lot to us that those processes are followed.

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1911: Fourth International Women’s Day: Bertha Fraser gave antiwar speech at Carnegie Hall.

 

1915: British Women Met to plan WILPF, Caxton Hall, London.

 

2002: Lindis Peroy and Anni Rainbow arrested for protest at Menwith Hill, England.

 

 

FEBRUARY 27

 

Dr. Alice HAMILTON born New York 1896 (d. 1970 age 101). Physician, pioneer in industrial toxicology, co-founder of WILPF 1915 who went on peace mission with Addams. US representative to League of Nations Health Committee. Opposed Cold War and Vietnam War. “We may come to see that they who appear to be the victors have lost the things that really matter, and that the losers may in the end have won them; that they who drew the sword have perished by the sword while the dumb, mute masses whom they led into war remain to possess the earth.” (New Republic 24 June 1919, p. 245, cited by Vicki McCoy thesis).

 

Alona Elizabeth EVANS born Providence RI 1917 (d. 1980). International lawyer, first woman president of American Society of International Law 1972, Prof. Wellesley 1945, expert on terrorism and extradition.

 

Joanne WOODWARD born Thomasville GA 1930. Academy Award actress and peace activist, esp. with founding of Another Mother for Peace opposing Vietnam War 1967. “ many people don’t seem to observe what’s happening to the environment, what’s happening in terms of global warming, the loss of habitats and wild things.” (Earth Day 2006). “An activist is someone who makes an effort to see problems that are not being addressed and then makes an effort to make their voice heard.” (Nature Conservancy interview).

 

WOMEN’S PEACEMAKING THIS DAY:

 

1910: Third celebration of Womens Day, New York City, called “AN ANTICIPATION DAY”; Women gathered outside Carnegie Hall to sing “Marseillaise”.

 

1960: Diane Nash arrested Nashville Sit-in, beginning of mass arrests of Sit-in movement.

 

Scroll down for Feb. 1-11.

 

 

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