Women peacemakers born today
1851 Anna Garlin Spencer born Attleborough, MA (d. 1931). Unitarian minister; suffragist. Co-founded American School Peace League for peace education, 1908. Founding member and National Chair of WILPF, 1919-20.
1917 Marietta Peabody Tree born Lawrence, MA (d. 1991). American diplomat appointed by JFK; US representative to UN Human Rights Commission and Trusteeship Council, 1961; mother of Vietnam author Frances Fitzgerald.
1924 Althea Simmons born Shreveport, LA (d. 1990). Civil rights activist lawyer; chief lobbyist for NAACP, esp. Mississippi voting rights. Advocated for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as national holiday.
1957 Jacqueline Moudeina born Kouma, Chad. First Chadian woman lawyer; human rights activist; began suit of 7 women against dictator Hissène Habré for genocide 2000; wounded by grenade in peaceful protest 2001; Ennals Human Rights Defender 2004; Right Livelihood award 2011.
1969 Birgitta Jónsdóttir born Rejkjavík, Iceland. "Poetician" and activist. Organized Art Against War protest against Iraq War. Member of Icelandic Parliament for Citizens Party, 2009-13, and Pirate Party, which she founded, 2013-present. Led campaign to support whistleblowing for free speech.
Women's peacemaking on this day
1943 Howard University law student Pauli Murray led 19 of her classmates in a nonviolent sit-in protest of segregated Little Palace Cafeteria, Washington DC.
1955 First conference of Federation of South African Women, Johannesburg.
1992 In Good Friday protest, Carol Carlson of Memphis was arrested for hammering nuclear missile silo at Whiteman Air Force Base; sentenced to seven months prison.
1996 Founding of Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, leading to women’s role in final peace agreement, Belfast.
2011 Zainab al-Khawaja began 10-day hunger strike to protest Bahrain violence.
2013 Sandra Steingraber jailed 15 days for nonviolent protest of fracking operation.
2013 Three women arrested for blocking road to Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.