March 17

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1862 Martha Platt Falconer born Delaware, OH (d. 1941). Quaker social worker; advocate for homeless girls. Delegate to Paris International Conference on Social Work, 1928.
  • 1873 Margaret Bondfield born Somerset, England (d. 1953). British suffragist and labor leader. One of the first women in Parliament, 1923; first woman in British Cabinet as Minister of Labor, 1929. Opposed World War I and conscription.
  • 1884 Olive Pink born Hobart, Tasmania (d. 1975). Quaker; anthropologist; artist; defender of aboriginal rights. Called "the fiercest white woman in captivity."
  • 1933 Myrlie Evers-Williams born Vicksburg, MS. Civil rights activist. Widow of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, slain in 1963; sought justice for his murder for over 30 years. Appointed first full-time chair of NAACP, 1995.
  • 1955 Cynthia McKinney born Atlanta, GA. Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy PhD. Candidate; six-term US Representative, 1993-2003, 2005-2007. Served on House International Affairs Committee; headed human rights subcommittee which sponsored act to deny arms to dictators. Opposed Kosovo bombing, 1999; voiced early opposition to Iraq War, 2003; led move to impeach George W. Bush, 2006. Won 161,000 votes as Green Party presidential candidate, 2008. Detained for attempt to break Gaza blockade, 2009; opposed Libya War, 2011.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1936 Women’s Peace Union’s constitutional amendment outlawing war came to Senate and House judiciary committees.

  • 1989 Sister Amparo Escobedo, treasurer of nonviolent Serpaj Peru organization, killed in the Andes.

  • 1997 3,000 Ethiopian Women marched to improve working conditions.

  • 2003 In New York, Nobel Prize winner Mairead Corrigan arrested in St. Patrick’s Day protest against the Iraq War.

  • 2003 Ellen Barfield and 50 others were arrested for marching on the Capitol with signs and photos of Iraqi civilians endangered by the upcoming invasion.

  • 2012 In New York, Cecily McMillan arrested during Occupy protest for elbowing policeman’s eye when he grabbed her breast; later sentenced to three months (served 58 days).