March 12

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1879 Grace DeGraff born Thomson, IL (d. 1951). School principal. Traveled to Europe as founding member of WILPF, 1915; embarked on Henry Ford Peace Expedition, 1916.

  • 1923 Clara Fraser born East Los Angeles, CA (d. 1998). Radical feminist, socialist, internationalist and opponent of all wars. Founded Radical Women (RW), 1967; opposed Israeli settlements and occupation of West Bank.

  • 1929 Lupe Anguiano born La Junta, CO. Mexican-American civil rights activist; environmentalist; former nun. Performed nonviolent work with Cesar Chavez; opposed Iraq War as "senseless."

  • 1929 Mary N. Brownell born Maryland County, Liberia.Liberian educator; crusader for peace, women’s rights, and democracy. Founded Liberian Women’s Initiative (LWI), 1994. Active in postwar reconciliation. Honored as Ambassador for Peace by the Interreligious and International Foundation for World Peace, 2006.

  • 1953 Naomi Shihab Nye born St. Louis, MO. Palestinian-American poet; songwriter; novelist.

  • 1953 Glenda Wildschut born District Six, Cape Town, South Africa. Psychiatric nurse experienced in trauma of Apartheid; worked with WHO on trauma in war zones. Founded Cape Town's first trauma center, 1993. Commissioner of Truth & Reconciliation Commission, 1995.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1912 In Lawrence, MA, female textile workers led and won the Bread and Roses strike. James Oppenheim celebrated the event in verse:
    "As we come marching in the beauty of the day,
    A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
    Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
    For the people hear us singing "Bread and roses, bread and roses."

  • 1933 Ruth Bryan Owen became America's first female ambassador, appointed US Minister to Denmark.

  • 1959 One day after Tibet's National Uprising Day, thousands of Tibetan women held a nonviolent protest at Potala Palace, Lhasa to mark Women's Uprising Day.

  • 1983 Women in Milan and Rome protest the Comiso base.

  • 2003 Catholic Workers Catherine Morris and Martha Lewis protested the Iraq War at the Los Angeles Federal Building.

  • 2012 In a continuing campaign of violence against women in politics, Bolivian councilor Juana Quispe was murdered in La Paz.