May 16

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1882 Elin Wagner born Lund, Sweden (d. 1949). Swedish journalist and novelist; feminist; pacifist; radical environmentalist. Covered Hague Women's Conference, 1915; led Women's Unarmed Uprising Against War, 1935. Authored plan for world parliament, 1935. Published The Alarm Clock, 1941.

  • 1882 Anne O'Hare McCormick born Wakefield, Yorkshire, England (d. 1952). First American delegate to UNESCO, 1946-48. First woman awarded Pulitzer Prize, for foreign news, 1937.

  • 1887 Maria Lacerda de Moura born Monte Alverne farm, Manhuaçu, Brazil (d. 1945). Brazilian anarcha-feminist; teacher and journalist. Founded Women’s Anti-war Committee, São Paulo, 1923.

  • 1919 Molly Klopot (née Eisenstat) born Detroit, MI. Co-founder Raging Grannies; arrested in Times Square protest 2005; chair New York WILPF 1998; co-founder Not in Our Name: We Pledge to Resist (NION) against Iraq War 2001; Clara Lemlich awardee 2013.

  • 1924 Marion Adams Macpherson born Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Canadian ambassador to UN, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Denmark; first career woman diplomat, 1947.

  • 1925 Doris Gunn born Nashville, TN (d. 2003). Native American protester against nuclear weapon manufacture in Oklahoma; agitated for desegregation of Oklahoma schools and for Native American rights.

  • 1929 Adrienne Rich born Baltimore, MD. Anti-war poet. Published essays against racism, growing inequality and imprisonment.

  • 1954 Annette Groth born Gadderbaum, Bielefeld, Westphalia, Germany. Sociologist; member of German Reichstag, 2009, chaired Human Rights Committee; took part in Gaza Freedom flotilla in which 9 protesters were killed, 2010.

  • 1958 Kristin Lund born Norway. First woman commander of UN peacekeeping force, Cyprus, 2014; previous served in UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon and Bosnia.

  • 1983 Nancy Ajram born Beirut, Lebanon. Popular Middle Eastern singer. UNICEF Ambassador of Peace, 2009. Her song “A Message to the World” called for peace and love as the answer to war, 2005.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1838 Lucretia Mott calmed Philadelphia mob opposing Anti-Slavery Convention.

  • 1930 Sarojini Naidu pushed back by British police at nonviolent protest of Salt March.

  • 1967 Nhat Chi Mai immolated herself, leaving poem: "I wish to use my body as a torch/to dissipate the darkness/To waken Love among men/And to bring Peace to Vietnam."

  • 2006 Congresswomen Eleanor Holmes Norton and Barbara Lee arrested for Darfur protest at Sudan embassy.