November 17

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1874 Elsbeth Bruck born Ratibor, Silesia (d. 1970). German actress; opposed both World Wars; leader of German Peace Society; charged with high treason and spying; imprisoned 1916, 1918.

  • 1878 Grace Abbott born Grand Island NB, Canada (d. 1939). Quaker; pacifist; internationalist; founder of WILPF; first US delegate to League of Nations, 1923; US representative to ILO, 1935, 1937; decade-long associate of Jane Addams's Hull House, 1908; organized Women's Peace Party Conference of Oppressed for Dependent Nationalities Washington DC, 1916.

  • 1878 Berta Lask born Wadowice, Poland (d. 1967). German communist poet and dramatist. Feminist; pacifist. Wrote anti-war poems in World War I and novels in Weimar Germany.

  • 1900 Padmaja Naidu born Hyderabad, India (d. 1975). Gandhian independence leader; daughter of Indian National Congress President Sarojini Naidu; arrested for civil disobedience, 1942; Governor of West Bengal, 1956.

  • 1916 Winson Hudson born Harmony, MS (d. 2004). African-American pioneer of Mississippi voter registration, 1937; Freedom Summer activist, 1964.

  • 1923 Ruth Bleier born New Kensington, PA (d. 1988). Neurologist. Feminist and peace activist. Chair of Maryland Committee for Peace, which called for end of Korean War and the draft, 1950-51. Due to her activism, blacklisted by Joseph McCarthy and lost her hospital privileges.

  • 1933 Anne H. Ehrlich born Des Moines, IA. Environmental scientist. With her husband Paul, co-authored works on overpopulation and environment.

  • 1939 Elizabeth McAlister born Orange, NJ. Leader of Vietnam War opposition; opposed all subsequent wars (Central America, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan); 25 years Good Friday vigil at Pentagon; Catholic nun; wife of Philip Berrigan; co-founder of Jonah House Baltimore, 1973; activist, Plowshares nonviolent movement against nuclear weapons. Arrested many times; imprisoned for 3 years, 1983.

  • 1964 Dekha Ibrahim Abdi born Wajir, Kenya (d. 2011). Kenyan peacemaker.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1915 Mrs. Barbour's Army of tens of thousands of women (with children) protested rent hikes in Glasgow.

  • 1917 "Night of Terror," suffragist picketers at White House arrested.

  • 1917 Occoquan Prison began force-feeding fasting suffragists Lucy Burns, Dora Lewis, and Elizabeth McShane.

  • 1980 In Washington D.C., 2,200 women took part in Women's Pentagon Action DC; 140 arrested. "We fear for the life of this planet, our earth, and the life of our children."

  • 1980 Women chained selves to Mormon temple for Equal Rights Amendment, Bellevue, WA.

  • 1982 London prostitutes occupied Holy Cross church, London.

  • 1997 1,500 women from La Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres (“Women's Peaceful Road”) protested Colombia's ongoing civil conflict, southwest Antioquia.

  • 2018 Gail Bradbrook led Extinction Rebellion sit-in blocking London’s five bridges.