April 4

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1802 Dorothea Dix born Hampden, ME (d. 1887). American prison reformer, teacher and humanitarian; advocated care of the insane; superintendent of Union nurses in Civil War.

  • 1872 Mary Ware Dennett born Worcester, MA (d. 1947). Art teacher; suffragist; socialist antiwar crusader. Secretary of American Union against Militarism, 1916; co-founder of radical anti-World War I People's Council, 1917; first chairperson of World Federalists, 1941-44. Convicted of obscenity for birth control literature, 1929.

  • 1909 Verne Weed born Columbus, IN (d. 1986). Radical social worker; Hunter College professor; anti-Apartheid protester; headed Connecticut Children's Services. Opposed Vietnam War; harassed as Communist. Along with Thomas Mann, Picasso, and Chagall, signed Stockholm Peace Appeal for absolute ban on nuclear weapons, 1950.

  • 1928 Maya Angelou born St. Louis, MO. Poet; civil rights leader.

  • 1929 Rosalie Bertell born Buffalo, NY. Anti-nuclear scientist; mathematician; nun. Awarded Right Livelihood Award, 1986; Sean MacBride Peace Prize, 2001.

  • 1944 Magda Aelvoet born Steenokkerzeel, Flemish Brabant, Belgium. Belgian politician. Helped draft St. Michael's Accords, Belgian state reforms which made Belgium a fully federalized nation, 1993. Minister of State, 1995; member European Parliament, 1994-99. Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, until resignation in protest of sale of arms to Nepal, 1999-2002.

  • 1950 Christine Lahti born Birmingham, MI. Actress and film producer. Spoke out against nuclear weapons, 1986; portrayed Vietnam War napalm protestor/fugitive in Running On Empty, 1988. Actively opposed Iraq War in Lysistrata Project, 2003; sent pink slip to White House, 2003; participated in Julia Ward Howe's Mothers Day against war, 2009.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1958 The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament held the first Aldermaston March, with 5,000 anti-nuclear protesters traveling from Trafalgar Square to the British atomic center at Aldermaston.

  • 1984 500 police failed to close Greenham camp.

  • 2003 11 women arrested at Los Angeles federal building in clothesline of bloody children’s clothes put up by Women of Conscience and Global Women.

  • 2004 Death of Casey Sheehan in Iraq caused Cindy Sheehan to start antiwar protests.

  • 2006 Camp Casey Peace Day marking deaths of Casey Sheehan and Martin Luther King.