February 28

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1795 Sidney Ann Lewis born Wilmington, DE (d. 1882). Quaker; abolitionist leader. Founded American Anti-Slavery Society, Philadelphia, 1833; Secretary of Women's Anti-Slavery Convention, 1838, when mob burned down the hall.

  • 1808 Sybil Jones born Brunswick, ME (d. 1873). Powerful Quaker orator. Founded Ramallah School in Palestine, 1869.

  • 1856 Elizabeth Glendower Evans born New Rochelle, NY (d. 1937). Socialist; penal reformer. Co-founder of WILPF. Publicized socialist causes, including the plight of Lawrence textile strikers, and the criminal trial of anarchists Sacco & Vanzetti. Sacco's last words, "Farewell, Mother," were addressed to her.

  • 1942 Fidelma O'Kelly Macken born Ireland. First female judge appointed to the European Court of Justice, 1999-2004; Irish Supreme Court justice, 2005-2012.

  • 1946 Valentina Melnikova born Moscow. Founding head of Committee of Soldiers Mothers of Russia (CSMR), 1989; chair of United People's Party of Soldiers' Mothers. Opposed Chechen War, 1994; participated in Mother’s March for Life and Compassion, 1995; opposed 10,000 Russian troops in Ukraine, 2014. Received Sean MacBride Peace Prize, 1995.

  • 1954 Julia Sebutinde born Entebbe, Uganda. Trainer in peace and conflict resolution; Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 1996. First female African judge appointed to World Court, 2012; presided over trial of Charles Taylor for war crimes.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1908 First National Women's Day celebrated in New York City by female members of the Socialist Party of America.
  • 1915 Sweden celebrated Women’s Peace Sunday, organized by Anna Whitlock.
  • 1932 Maude Royden proposed a Peace Army to stop Japanese aggression in Manchuria.
  • 1968 Auroville, a city in India dedicated to peace and unity, founded by Mirra Alfassa.
  • 1993 Two women from the Global Peace Farmers organization arrested at Concord Naval Station.