May 17

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1941 Csilla von Boeselager born Budapest, Hungary (d. 1994). "Angel of Budapest" Rescued thousands of East German refugees before fall of Iron Curtain; founded Hungarian Maltese Caritas, 1988. Awarded European Human Rights Prize, 1992; Liborius Peace Medal, 1992.

  • 1959 Michaela Sburny born Vienna, Austria. Leader of Austrian Green Party supporting nonviolence, direct democracy, feminism, and human rights.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1838 Lucretia Mott and other women linked arms with black women, as mob burned Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia.

  • 1919 In Zurich, the WILPF conference came to a close, prophesying, “the terms of peace can only lead to future wars.”

  • 1930 Sarojini Naidu led third invasion of Dharasana saltworks.

  • 1930 First Women's Yearly Peace March, Rotterdam.

  • 1960 Lotta Dempsey’s column in the Toronto Daily Star sparked major women’s revolt against nuclear threat and the founding of Voice of Women (VOW).

  • 1993 Nurse Terri Swearingen arrested at White House for chaining herself to a concrete block in protest against Ohio waste incinerator; government changed rules the next day.

  • 2014 74-year-old grandmother Bonnie Block arrested during open house at Volk Field for leafleting against drones; jailed five days. “We can’t kill our way to peace and security.”