February 9

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1810 Betsy Mix Cowles born Bristol, CT (d. 1876). “The Maria Chapman of the West.” Leading abolitionist and suffragist educator. Quaker; absolute pacifist.

  • 1811 Mary Anna Longstreth born Philadelphia, PA (d. 1884). Quaker, absolute pacifist, and educator. Founder and headmistress of Quaker girl's school, Philadelphia, 1829-77. Co-founded world’s first Women's Medical College, Philadelphia, 1850. Promoted Hampton Academy for Indians and Blacks.

  • 1854 Aletta Jacobs born Sappemeer, Netherlands (d. 1929). First Dutch female physician; militant pacifist. Helped organize and hosted WILPF at Hague Congress, 1915.

  • 1879 Narcissa Cox Vanderlip born Quincy, IL (d. 1966). Internationalist; organizer; suffragist. Chairperson of New York League of Women Voters, 1919-23. Promoted League of Nations and World Court with Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • 1910 Anna Sokolow born Hartford, CT (d. 2000). American dancer and choreographer. Produced “Anti-war Trilogy” at the First Anti-War Congress, sponsored by the American League Against War and Fascism, 1933. Established Mexico's first modern dance academy, 1939.

  • 1944 Alice Walker born Eatonton, GA. Author; essayist; poet; activist. With husband Melvyn Leventhal, first legally married interracial couple in Mississippi, 1967. Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1983; recipient of National Book Award, 1983.

  • 1945 Mia Farrow born Los Angeles, CA. American actress and humanitarian. As UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, active in campaign for African children’s welfare, 2000.

  • 1947 Carla Del Ponte born Lugano, Switzerland. Swiss Attorney General, 1994-99. Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, 1999-2008.

  • 1953 Michèle Rivasi born Montélimar, Drôme, France. Ecologist. Founded Radiological Research Commission following Chernobyl disaster, 1986; co-sponsor of forum on nuclear pollution, Polynesia, 1999. Director of Greenpeace France, 2003-04. Member of National Assembly; Green Party member of European Parliament, 2009; Green Party candidate for French Presidency, 2017.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1915 Peace organization The World Union of Women for International Concord founded in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • 1919 Led by Alice Paul, suffragist group The Silent Sentinels burned Woodrow Wilson in effigy at Lafayette Park, opposite White House.

  • 1919 39 women arrested in large-scale watchfire protest; those jailed began hunger strike.

  • 1991 Women Against the War in the Gulf rallied London with the motto, "Stop the War: International Sisterhood."

  • 2003 Anna Smedema arrested Volkel, Netherlands for hammering US satellite dishes used for Iraq War.