December 8

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1626 Christina, Queen of Sweden born Stockholm (d. 1689). Patron of the father of international law, Hugo Grotius; major influence on Peace of Westphalia, which ended Thirty Years War, 1648; held Swedish throne, 1644-53; student of Islam.

  • 1878 Marie Mattingly Meloney born Bardstown, KY (d. 1943). Editor and journalist; decorated by governments of Belgium and France for postwar relief; contributor to Why Wars Must Cease, 1935.

  • 1903 Zelma Watson George born Hearn, TX (d. 1994). Musician; sociologist; African-American delegate to UN General Assembly, 1961; attendee African Ban The Bomb conference, Ghana, 1963; recipient of Dag Hammarskjöld Award, 1961; recipient of Dahlberg Peace Award, 1963; early advocate of UN.

  • 1916 Bernice Fisher born Punxsutawney, PA (d. 1966). "Godmother of the restaurant 'sit-in' technique." Civil rights activist and labor organizer. Socialist; Baptist pacifist; Gandhian nonviolent resistance advocate. Head of Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), Chicago chapter. Founding member of Committee of Racial Equality (CORE), 1942.

  • 1930 Dorothy Granada born Los Angeles, CA. Nonviolent Filipina/Chicana nurse; 40-day international fast for life against nuclear weapons, 1983; part of group to protest disappeared Guatemalans, 1985; "lived on the tracks" of Concord weapons depot in Nuremberg protest, 1987; awarded FOR Peace prize, 1997; decade-plus efforts for Nicaraguan women.

  • 1960 Helga Schmid born Dachau, Bavaria, Germany. Top German and European diplomat. Executive Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, 2010-current. Credited by UN women's report with successful nuclear treaty with Iran, 2015.

  • 1981 Cécile Lecomte born Épinal, Vosges, France. French environmental advocate and anti-nuclear activist. Called “The Squirrel” for climbing trees and bridges to protest and “air-aerobatics against nuclear transport.”

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1941 Jeannette Rankin was the only member of Congress to vote against war with Japan. "As a woman I can't go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else."

  • 1954 Kurdish activist Leyla Zana jailed by Turkish government.

  • 1977 Nine members of the Mothers of La Plaza del Mayo kidnapped and disappeared.

  • 1983 Five Puget Sound Women sentenced for Boeing trespass.

  • 2008 Jestina Mukoko released after abduction and three months of torture at the hands of Zimbabwean agents.

  • 2011 Abigail Borah interrupted conference, speaking for US, calling for climate treaty at Durban.

  • 2014: Women’s Tribunal heard Nepali women's stories of wartime abuses.