March 4

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1815 Myrtilla Miner born Brookfield, NY (d. 1864). Pioneer of nonviolent resistance; abolitionist; educator. Founded first normal school for African-Americans in Washington DC in the face of threats to burn it down, 1851.

  • 1875 Suze Groeneweg born Strijensas, South Holland (d. 1940). Dutch teacher and politician; suffragist leader; pacifist, anti-militarist, disarmament advocate. First woman in Dutch parliament, 1918; served 20 years as Socialist.

  • 1932 Miriam Makeba born Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 2008). Singer; known as "the empress of African song"; awarded Hammarsköld Peace Prize, 1986; opposed Apartheid as exiled delegate to UN.

  • 1941 Gillian Martin Sorensen born Columbus, OH. UN Foundation leader. UN Undersecretary for Information & Public Policy, 1993-97; UN Assistant Secretary for External Affairs, 1997-2003.

  • 1954 Irina Ratushinskaya born Odessa, USSR. Dissident Russian poet; spent four years in labor camp.

  • 1973 Berta Cáceres born La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras (d. 2016). Indigenous Lenca environmental activist.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1917 Anti-war Representative Jeannette Rankin took office on Capitol Hill.

  • 1917 1,000 women surrounded White House to call for suffrage during President Wilson's inauguration.

  • 1919 As President Wilson delivered a speech promoting the League of Nations at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, 25 suffragists protested outside, burning transcripts of his speech for the hypocrisy of his words. Soldiers and police beat the protesters, and arrested six women, including Alice Paul and Doris Stevens.

  • 1976 International Tribunal on War Crimes against Women convened in Brussels.

  • 1989 Domestic violence advocate Lisa Bianco was murdered at the hands of her ex-husband.

  • 1990 First Action of FOR Action for Compassion to bring nonviolence to gender relations on college campuses.

  • 1992 Kenyan women set up protest at All Saints Cathedral Nairobi against government’s violence.

  • 2012 At Tibet's Kirti monastery, 32-year-old widow Rinchen immolated herself. "We need freedom in Tibet."