April 1

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1866 Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge born Lexington, KY (d. 1948). Lawyer and social worker; Hull House associate of Jane Addams; WILPF founding member. U.S. delegate of Pan American Conference, 1933; first woman PhD in political science.

  • 1875 Frederika van Wulfften Palthe born Jogjakarta, Dutch East Indies (d. 1960). WILPF founding member. Accompanied Jane Addams on WILPF mission to warring governments in a bid to stop war, 1915.

  • 1877 Aurelia Henry Reinhardt born San Francisco, CA (d. 1948). Pacifist; orator. President of Mills College, 1916-43. American Association of University Women (AAUW) representative to United Nations conference, San Francisco, 1945.

  • 1896 Juliette Derricotte born Athens, GA (d. 1931). African-American internationalist educator; Dean of Women, Fisk University. Traveled the globe as representative of the World Student Christian Federation to promote peace and justice.

  • 1940 Wangari Muta Maathai born Nyeri, Kenya (d. 2011). Nobel Peace Prize laureate, 2004; founded Green Belt movement of women planting trees 1977; her Peace Trees campaign promoted community conflict resolution.

  • 1962 Jenni Williams born Gwanda, Matabeteland, Zimbabwe. Co-founded nonviolent organization Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). Arrested over 40 times; imprisoned for protest against denial of food aid, Bulawayo, 2008. Awarded Ginetta Sagan Prize, 2012.

  • 1974 Frida Berrigan born Baltimore, MD. Second generation woman peace activist, daughter of Elizabeth McAlister; opposed nuclear weapons, Iraq and Afghan wars.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1833 In Canterbury, CT, Prudence Crandall opened her school for 20 girls of color.

  • 1974 May Picqueray put out first issue of pacifist magazine Le Réfractaire.

  • 1983 Good Friday Picnic at Greenham Common. 190 women crossed the fence into the missile base; 70,000 formed a human chain of 60 miles to link Greenham, Aldermaston and Burghfield ordinance depot.

  • 2003 On behalf of the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), Leymah Gbowee issued a peace appeal via radio broadcast, sparking the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, bringing about the end of the Second Liberian Civil War.

  • 2006 Sylvia Boyes and Helen John arrested at Menwith Hill protest.