February 17

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1812 Ellen Sturgis Hooper born Boston, MA (d. 1848). Transcendentalist poet.

  • 1850 Ann-Margret Holmgren born Uppsala, Sweden (d. 1940). Swedish suffragist; author; pacifist. Vice-President of Swedish Women’s Peace Society, 1901-10.

  • 1888 Dorothy Kenyon born New York, NY (d. 1972). Lawyer, judge, and civil rights activist. Adviser to Versailles Peace Conference; member of League of Nations, 1938-43, and UN Commissions on Women, 1946-50.

  • 1899 Fuki Kushida born Yamaguchi, Japan (d. 2001). Leading Japanese feminist; anti-nuclear peace advocate. President of Federation of Japanese Women’s Organizations, 1958. Protested US military presence on Okinawa and sexual assaults committed by foreign servicemen.

  • 1902 Marian Anderson born Philadelphia, PA (d. 1993). African-American singer. American Goodwill Ambassador, 1957; US delegate to UN Human Rights Commission, 1958; awarded UN Peace Prize, 1977.

  • 1918 Olive Frances Gibbs born Oxford, England (d. 1995). Pacifist activist and politician. Chaired Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1964-67; two-time mayor of Oxford, 1974-75, 1981-82.

  • 1920 Aline Boccardo-Zolondek born Danzig Free State (d. 2015). Swiss peace activist. Founded Women for Peace, Lucerne, 1977. Undertook week’s peace fast, Geneva, 1978. Sent UN petition of 18,000 signatures for nuclear disarmament.

  • 1921 Caroline Canafax born Seattle, WA (d. 2011). Peace teacher and activist. International Vice President of WILPF; sang against war with Raging Grannies. Founding editor of Pacific Vision newsletter focused on Asia-Pacific region, 1987.

  • 1935 Sara Ruddick born Toledo, OH (d. 2011). Anti-war feminist philosopher; author of Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace, 1989.

  • 1938 Mary Frances Berry born Nashville, TN. African-American historian. Chancellor of University of Colorado Boulder, 1976; Chair of US Civil Rights Commission, 1993-2004. Arrested in anti-Apartheid protest, 1984.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1958 Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament launched at a public meeting at London's Central Hall Westminster. It was followed by a protest at #10 Downing St. attended by Doris Lessing.

  • 1971 Quaker Louise Bruyn began 450-mile trek from Newton, MA to Washington DC to protest the Vietnam War.

  • 2007 100,000 Italian Women marched in protest of US airbase at Vicenza.

  • 2012 150 women protest the arrest of Bahraini women; two foreign women leaders deported.