May 4

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1884 Margaret Ann Backhouse born Darlington, Durham, England (d. 1977). Quaker head of Friends Service Council who received Nobel Peace Prize for Quaker relief, 1947; founded British Campfire Girls, 1921; teacher Westhill College, Birmingham.

  • 1925 Ruth First born Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 1982). Journalist, author, and editor. Communist; anti-Apartheid leader; assassinated by bomb sent by South African security forces. Arrested for treason, 1956; interned 117 days; exiled, 1963.

  • 1929 Audrey Hepburn born Brussels, Belgium (d. 1993). Film actress; grew up under German occupation of Netherlands. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador with missions to Ethiopia, Somalia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, South America, 1988-93.

  • 1938 Birgit Brock-Utne born Oslo, Norway. Scholar of peace; world authority on women and peace.

  • 1952 Vera Lengsfeld born Sondershausen, Thuringia, Germany. Civil rights activist; politician. As peacemaker, co-founded Pankow Peace Circle, a nonviolent resistance organization opposed to the East German regime, 1981. Member of Reichstag, 1990-2005. Awarded Aachen Peace Prize, 1990.

  • 1857 Caroline Playne born Avening, Gloucestershire, England (d. 1948). Historian of war and peace. Anticipating WWI, co-founded National Peace Council, 1904. Attended International Peace Council, London, 1908. Banned from Hague Women's Peace Congress, 1915.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 387 Death of St. Monica, nonviolent saint of Hippo, Algeria, Berber mother of Augustine.

  • 1970 Allison Krause and Sandra Scheuer killed at Kent State University by soldiers of National Guard opposing Vietnam War protest by students, 12:22 pm.

  • 2009 In Washington DC, six members of Code Pink protested at American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference. “Want Peace? End the Occupation.”

  • 2013 In Columbus, Ohio, the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) held a Bridge of Peace meeting with Women's Auxiliary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. “Love for all, hatred for none.”