Women's Peace Crusade

Women's Peace Crusade

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Two days after the British government declared war on Germany on 4th August 1914, Millicent Fawcett announced that the NUWSS was suspending all political activity until the conflict was over. Her biographer, Ray Strachey, argued: "She stood like a rock in their path, opposing herself with all the great weight of her personal popularity and prestige to their use of the machinery and name of the union."

The leadership of the WSPU began negotiating with the British government. On the 10th August the government announced it was releasing all suffragettes from prison. In return, the WSPU agreed to end their militant activities and help the war effort.

Emmeline Pankhurst announced that all militants had to "fight for their country as they fought for the vote." Ethel Smyth pointed out in her autobiography, Female Pipings for Eden (1933): "Mrs Pankhurst declared that it was now a question of Votes for Women, but of having any country left to vote in. The Suffrage ship was put out of commission for the duration of the war, and the militants began to tackle the common task."

Annie Kenney reported that orders came from Christabel Pankhurst: "The Militants, when the prisoners are released, will fight for their country as they have fought for the Vote." Kenney later wrote: "Mrs. Pankhurst, who was in Paris with Christabel, returned and started a recruiting campaign among the men in the country. This autocratic move was not understood or appreciated by many of our members. They were quite prepared to receive instructions about the Vote, but they were not going to be told what they were to do in a world war."

After receiving a £2,000 grant from the government, the WSPU organised a demonstration in London. Members carried banners with slogans such as "We Demand the Right to Serve", "For Men Must Fight and Women Must work" and "Let None Be Kaiser's Cat's Paws". At the meeting, attended by 30,000 people, Emmeline Pankhurst called on trade unions to let women work in those industries traditionally dominated by men.

Most members of the Women's Freedom League, were pacifists, and so they become involved in the British Army's recruitment campaign. The WFL also disagreed with the decision of the NUWSS and WSPU to call off the women's suffrage campaign while the war was on. Leaders of the WFL did not believe that the British government did not do enough to bring an end to the war and in 1915 eastablished the Women's Peace Council for a negotiated peace. Members included Charlotte Despard, Selina Cooper, Margaret Bondfield, Ethel Snowden, Katherine Glasier, Helen Crawfurd, Eva Gore-Booth, Esther Roper, Teresa Billington-Greig, Elizabeth How-Martyn, Dora Marsden, Helena Normanton, Margaret Nevinson, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington and Mary Barbour.

War was the only course for our country to take. This was national militancy. As Suffragettes we could not be pacifists at any price. Mother and I declared support of our country. We declared an armistice with the Government and suspended militancy for the duration of the war. We offered our service to the country and called upon all members to do likewise. As Mother said, "What would be the good of a vote without a country to vote in!". Mother seemed for the time to dismiss her ill-health in her ardour for the national cause. She spoke to Servicemen on the war front and to Servicewomen on the home front. She called for wartime military conscription for men, believing that this was democratic and equitable, and that it would enable a more ordered and effective use of the nation's man power.

The great discovery of the war is that the Government can force upon the capitalistic world the superlative claims of the common cause… The Board of Education has concluded that one in six childhood was so physically and mentally defective as to be unable to derive reasonable benefit from the education, which the State provides… My message to the government is "take over the milk as you have taken over the munitions".

I know there is not one member of this howling crows that would willingly send their men-folk to an unnecessary death, but that is what you are doing by your attitude… Russia has shown us the way out, and has asked the people of this country to take our stand on the side of democracy and peace… The people who are asking us to save our children today because there is a war on are the people who have doomed us to live under conditions which cause our babies to die.

In the Summer of 1917, the Women's Peace Crusade (WPC) was formed with Helen Crawfurd as honorary secretary. Groups spread across the country, campaigning in working-class communities. Some like the ILP-er and suffrage campaigner Florence Exten-Hann, the Glaswegian trade unionist and socialist feminist Jessie Stephen, and the radical suffragist Selina Cooper from Nelson ILP were part of this grass-roots anti-war movement which retained a strong commitment to democracy and social reform.

Heroines of peace – the nine Nobel women, 1901-1992

The Nobel Peace Prizes at their best set before us an array of great human spirits. The nine women Prizewinners clearly belong in this list. They come from a variety of backgrounds and represent a variety of forms of peace making.

The earliest of these heroines of peace was the Austrian baroness who inspired the Prize, while the most recent was the Indian from Guatemala who rose to leadership overcoming poverty and oppression. They include the woman regarded as the greatest of her generation in the United States the scholar and reformer who was the acknowledged intellectual leader of the American peace movement two Northern Irish advocates of nonviolence who made a dramatic effort to resolve the longstanding violent conflict in their land a saintly missionary working in the slums of Calcutta a Swedish social reformer who became a cabinet minister and ambassador and a Burmese intellectual who led the opposition to a brutal military dictatorship.

They were not only of different nationalities and different classes, but of different faiths among them were Catholics and freethinkers, a Buddhist and a Quaker. They worked against war in peace societies and in political life, as humanitarians and defenders of human rights. This small group of nine Laureates represents the diverse paths to peace which the Norwegian Nobel committees have recognized over the years. But they are most interesting in themselves each has a fascinating story to tell.

The purpose of this paper is to consider the lives and peace efforts of these nine laureates, picturing them as the members of the Nobel Committee described them in presenting them with their prizes at the award ceremonies. Thereafter we shall reflect on what, if anything they had in common. In the Appendix are some notes on the contributions of other women, the wives and mothers of the men who won the Prize. But first a few words about Alfred Nobel’s intentions regarding women and the Prize and how the Norwegian committee have followed his wishes in this respect.

Women’s Peace Crusade 1928

The Women’s Peace Crusade (WPC) was re-formed in 1928 following the success of the Peacemakers’ Pilgrimage in 1926 and the granting of equal suffrage in 1928, thus continuing the work of the organisation of the same name founded during the First World War. The WPC was an umbrella group comprising political, religious and women’s groups, coordinated by a national committee. The aim of the WPC was to make peace a central issue in the forthcoming 1929 election. Members demanded that prospective parliamentary candidates of all parties stated publicly their position on peace. With this aim they sent a written questionnaire to candidates in 300 constituencies. (1)

The WPC organised meetings and carried out house-to-house canvassing to encourage the public to take an interest in global affairs. It was claimed that 50 meetings were held in Huddersfield. (2) The aim was to ensure the 1929 election ushered in a ‘Parliament of Peacemakers’.

References/Further Reading:

(1) G. Bussey & M. Timms, 1965. Pioneers for Peace: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915-1965. London: WILPF, p.86.
(2) Women’s Outlook, 9 Mar 1929.

C. Morrison, 1996. World Without War: A Study of Women’s Involvement in the Peace Movement 1914-1939. PhD thesis, Lancaster: Lancaster University.
J. Liddington, 1989. The Long Road to Greenham: Feminism and Anti-Militarism in Britain since 1820. London: Virago.
The Women’s Peace Crusade in the North West

Women's Peace Crusade - History

July 1, 1917

8000 anti-war marchers demonstrated in Boston. Their banners read:

The parade was attacked by soldiers and sailors,
on orders from their officers.

July 1, 1944

A massive general strike and nonviolent protest in Guatemala led to the resignation of dictator Jorge Ubico who had harshly ruled Guatemala for over a decade.

On March 15 of the following year, Dr. Juan José Arévalo Bermejo took office as the first popularly elected president of Guatemala, and promptly called for democratic reforms establishing the nation&rsquos social security and health systems, land reform (redistribution of farmland not under cultivation to the landless with compensation to the owners), and a government bureau to look after native Mayan concerns.

A decade of peaceful democratic rule followed, until a CIA-backed coup in 1954 ushered in a new, even more brutal era of dictatorial and genocidal regimes . [see June 27, 1954]

July 1, 1946

July 1, 1968

Sixty-one nations, including the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union, signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) which set up systems to monitor use of nuclear technology and prevent more nations from acquiring nuclear weapons. 190 countries are now signatories Israel, India and Pakistan remain outside the Treaty. North Korea joined the NPT in 1985, but in January 2003 announced its intention to withdraw from the Treaty.

July 1, 1972

Publication of the first monthly issue of Ms. Magazine , founded by Gloria Steinem &ldquoThe truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off,&rdquo
Letty Cottin Pogrebin &ldquoHousework is the only activity at which men are allowed to be consistently inept because they are thought to be so competent at everything else,&rdquo and others.

July 1, 2000

Vermont's civil unions law went into effect, granting gay couples most of the rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities of marriage under state law.
In the first five years, 1,142 Vermont couples,
and 6,424 from elsewhere, had chosen
a Vermont civil union.

July 2, 1776

July 2, 1777

July 2, 1809

Alarmed by the growing encroachment of whites squatting on Native American lands, the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh called on all Indians to unite and resist. By 1810, he had organized the Ohio Valley Confederacy, which united Indians from the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Winnebago, Menominee, Ottawa, and Wyandotte nations.
For several years, Tecumseh's Indian Confederacy successfully delayed further white settlement
in the region.

July 2, 1839

Early in the morning, captive Africans on the Cuban slave ship Amistad, led by Joseph Cinquè (a Mende from what is now Sierra Leone), mutinied against their captors, killing the captain and the cook, and seized control of the schooner. Jose Ruiz, a Spaniard and planter from Puerto Principe, Cuba, had bought the 49 adult males on the ship, paying $450 each, as slaves for his sugar plantation.

July 2, 1964

Jobs and Freedom march April 28, 1963
Washington DC

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, thus barring discrimination in public accommodations (restaurants, stores, theatres, etc.), employment, and voting.

July 2, 19

July 3, 1835

Children employed in the silk mills at Paterson, New Jersey, went on strike for an eleven-hour workday and a six-day workweek rather than 12-14 hour days. With the help of adults, they won a compromise settlement of a 69-hour week.

More on the Baby Strikers

July 3, 1966

4000 Britons chanting, &ldquoHands off Vietnam,&rdquo demonstrated in London against escalation of the Vietnam War. U.S. warplanes had recently bombed the North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi as well as the port city of Haiphong. Police moved in after scuffles broke out at the demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square 31 were arrested.

Actress Vanessa Redgrave joins 25,000 two years later at Anti-Vietnam war protest, Grosvenor Square .

July 3, 1974

At the Moscow Summit talks between President Richard Nixon and President Leonid Brezhnev, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to hold bilateral talks on the prohibition of chemical weapons.

July 4, 1776

The United States declared its independence from King George III and Great Britain, thus beginning the first successful anti-imperial revolution in world history. Signed in Philadelphia by 56 British subjects who lived and owned property in thirteen of the American colonies, the document asserted the right of a people to create its own form of government. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of the 2nd Continental Congress which had voted two days earlier to separate from the British crown.

July 4, 1827

July 4, 1829

Speaking at Boston&rsquos Park Street Church, newspaper editor and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison gave a seminal speech on &ldquoDangers to the Nation.&rdquo Though Massachusetts had banned slavery in 1781 and there was strong anti-slavery sentiment, most understood that a national ban of slavery would threaten the union of the states. Compensation to slaveholders and return of the enslaved to Africa was considered the best solution.
Garrison, on the other hand, called attention to the hypocrisy of celebrating the the day the document was signed declaring, &ldquoAll men are created equal&rdquo while two million were in bondage. He proposed four propositions that day to guide the abolitionist movement:

1. Above all others, slaves in America deserve &ldquothe prayers, and sympathies, and charities of the American people.&rdquo
2. Non-slave-holding states are &ldquoconstitutionally involved in the guilt of slavery,&rdquo and are obligated &ldquoto assist in its overthrow.&rdquo
3. There is no valid legal or religious justification for the preservation of slavery.
4. The &ldquocolored population&rdquo of America should be freed, given an education, and accepted as equal citizens with whites.

July 4, 1894

July 4, 1965

&ldquoBy those protesters coming out publicly, and placing themselves very strategically in front of the building that evoked the Declaration of Independence and the idea that all men are created equal, it suggested it [gay rights] was no longer a moral or national security or psychiatric issue . it was a civil-rights issues,&rdquo David K. Johnson wrote in The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government.

July 4, 1966

July 4, 1969

&ldquoGive Peace a Chance&rdquo by the Plastic Ono Band was released in the United Kingdom.
The song was recorded May 31, 1969, during the &ldquoBed-In&rdquo John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal as part of their honeymoon. John and Yoko stayed in bed for 8 days, beginning May 26, in an effort to promote world peace.
Some of the people in the hotel room who sang on this were Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and Petula Clark.
Smothers also played guitar. This event promoting peace received a great deal of media attention.

A national anti-war conference in Cleveland, Ohio, mapped out activities against the Vietnam War and resulted in the founding of New Mobe (mobilization).

Follow the route of the parade

The Pullman Strikers’ Statement

July 5, 1934

July 5, 1935

The National Labor Relations or Wagner Act (named for New York&rsquos Senator Robert Wagner) became law, recognizing workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively. It was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

July 5 , 1989

Former National Security Council aide Oliver North received a $150,000 fine and a suspended prison term for his part in the Iran-Contra scandal. The scandal was a secret arrangement directed from the Reagan White House that provided funds to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels

(despite specific congressional prohibition) from profits gained by selling arms to Iran (at war with Iraq at the time) in hopes of their releasing hostages, despite President Reagan&rsquos claim that he would never negotiate with hostage-takers.

North&rsquos conviction was later overturned because evidence revealed in the congressional Iran-Contra hearings had compromised his right to a fair trial.

T he real details on Ollie North’s activities

In one of the worst cases of violent union-busting, a fierce battle broke out between the striking employees (members of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers) of Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead Steel Company and a Pinkerton Detective Agency private army brought on barges down the Monongahela River in the dead of night. Twelve were killed.
Henry C. Frick, general manager of the plant in Homestead, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had been given free rein by Carnegie to quash the strike. At Frick's request, Pennsylvania Governor Robert E. Pattison then sent 8,500 troops to intervene on behalf of the company.

Read more

July 6, 1942

I n Nazi-occupied Holland, thirteen-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family were forced to take refuge in a secret sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse under threat of arrest and deportation to a concentration camp by the Einsatzgruppen (Task Force), a part of the German Gestapo.

July 6, 1944

Irene Morgan, a 28-year-old black woman, was arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus eleven years before Rosa Parks did so. Her legal appeal, after her conviction for breaking a Virginia law (known as a Jim Crow law) forbidding integrated seating, resulted in a 7-1 Supreme Court decision barring segregation in interstate commerce.

July 6, 1965

July 7, 1863

July 7, 1903

Labor organizer Mary Harris "Mother" Jones led the "March of the Mill Children" over 100 miles from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt's Long Island summer home in Oyster Bay, New York, to publicize the harsh conditions of child labor and to demand a 55-hour work week. It is during this march, on about the 24th, she delivered her famed "The Wail of the Children" speech.
Roosevelt refused to see them.

The March of the Mill Children watch a video - highly recommended

“Fifty years ago there was a cry against slavery and men gave up their lives to stop the selling of black children on the block. Today the white child is sold for two dollars a week to the manufacturers.”
from Mother Jones’s autobiography

July 7, 1957

Bertrand Russell

Wealthy industrialist and Pugwash son Cyrus Eaton had invited the world’s greatest minds to his family home in Nova Scotia and address the emerging threat of nuclear war. The Conference became the basis for an ongoing organization that deals with issues of weapons of mass destruction. The 1995 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Joseph Rotblat (one of the original signatories of the Pugwash Manifesto) and to the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.
Albert Einstein

Pugwash home

July 7, 1977

A neutron bomb explosion at a test site

July 7, 1979

July 8, 1777

Vermont became the first British colony in America to abolish slavery when adopting its first constitution following its breaking away from New York.

Read more on slavery in Vermont

July 8, 1917

The Women's Peace Crusade organized a protest against the first world war in Glasgow, Scotland. Processions from two sides of the city, accompanied by bands and banners, wound their way toward the Glasgow Green where they merged into one demonstration of some 14,000 people.

Read about the Women's Peace Crusade

July 8, 1958

In an effort called "Omaha Action," by the Committee for Nonviolent Action (CNVA),
anti-nuclear activist Don Fortenberry was arrested after climbing a fence to protest against the building of ICBM sites in Nebraska.
Also arrested during this series of actions was
internationally known peace activist A. J. Muste.

July 8, 1959

Vietnamese guerillas ambushed two U.S. advisors, Major Dale Buis and Sgt. Chester Ovnand, are killed by Viet Minh guerrillas at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, making them the first U.S. casualties in Vietnam
since 1946.

July 8, 1965

Roy Wilkins became the executive director of NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He had edited the organization’s magazine, Crisis, for fifteen years, and was one of the most articulate of civil rights leaders.

the Roy Wilkins Memorial in Minneapolis

July 8, 1996

July 9, 1917

During World War I, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, leaders of the No-Conscription League, spoke out against the war and the draft. Both were found guilty in New York City of conspiracy against the draft, fined $10,000 each and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with the possibility of deportation at the end of their terms.

Emma Goldman's address to the Jury "History is a Weapon"

July 9, 1955

Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell and nine other scientists warned that the development of weapons of mass destruction had created a choice between war and survival of the human species.

The Russell-Einstein Manifesto was published in London and became the basis for the Pugwash Conference of scientists two years later.

“Here, then, is the problem which we present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race or shall mankind renounce war? People will not face this alternative because it is so difficult to abolish war.
The abolition of war will demand distasteful limitations of national sovereignty. ”

“We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to learn to ask ourselves . what steps can be taken to prevent a military contest of which the issue must be disastrous to all parties?”

July 10, 1976

The ugly history of the KKK

July 10, 1985

The attack had been authorized by French President François Mitterand because the environmental organization had plans to protest France’s nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific.

The Rainbow Warrior today

July 11, 1905

The Niagara Movement's manifesto was, in the words of DuBois, "We want full manhood suffrage and we want it now . . . We are men! We want to be treated as men. And we shall win."

July 11, 1968

American Indian Movement background

July 11, 1969

July 12, 1974

Ellsberg, a former Defense Department analyst, had been responsible for public release of The Pentagon Papers, a collection of documents outlining the U.S. history and strategy in Vietnam, that had been classified as secret to avoid public scrutiny.

July 13, 1863

B y the time troops returning from the Battle of Gettysburg finally restored order, 1200 had died over five days.
New Yorkers, spurred on by the Democratic leadership of Tammany Hall and tired of the seemingly endless war, had been angered by Pres
ident Abraham Lincoln&rsquos recent call for 300,000 more troops.

They especially resented the legal provision allowing a cash payment ($300 commutation fee) as a way for those with the means to avoid military service in the Union Army.

Read more about the 1863 draft riots

In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863 by Leslie M. Harris

July 13, 1905

A Declaration of Principles was issued by the Niagara Movement (the precursor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) following their conference in Buffalo, New York. Matters of concern included: realization of suffrage for all black men, as well as other civil liberties economic opportunities for black Americans, especially in the South access to education, especially high schools, trade and technical schools, and colleges fair treatment in the courts and an end to the convict-lease system fair treatment in employment wherein employers brought in black workers temporarily to keep down wages, and labor unions refused membership to blacks an end to the color line, particularly in public transporation fair treatment for black soldiers and access to military training schools enforcement of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution passed in the wake of the Civil War.

&ldquoThe Negro race in America, stolen, ravished and degraded, struggling up through difficulties and oppression, needs sympathy and receives criticism needs help and is given hindrance, needs protection and is given mob-violence, needs justice and is given charity, needs leadership and is given cowardice and apology, needs bread and is given a stone. This nation will never stand justified before God until these things are changed.&rdquo

Additionally, they urged upon the African-American community:
The duty to vote.
The duty to respect the rights of others.
The duty to work.
The duty to obey the laws.
The duty to be clean and orderly.
The duty to send our children to school.
The duty to respect ourselves, even as we respect others.

July 13, 1985

Watch a video about the concert

July 14, 1789

July 14, 1798

&ldquoAn act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States&rdquo

July 14, 1887

July 14, 1955

July 14, 1958

A group of Iraqi army officers staged a coup in Iraq and overthrew the monarchy of King Faisal II (who had ascended to the throne at age four). The new government, led by Abdul Karim el Qasim, was ousted in 1963 by a coup helped by the CIA and led by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party—later dominated by Saddam Hussein.

July 15, 1834

July 15, 1919

July 15, 1978

July 16, 1099

Pope Urban II initiated this effort to wrest the Holy Land from the hands of the &ldquoInfidel&rdquo (the city had been under Islamic rule for 460 years) and assured those who joined the first crusade that God would absolve them from any sin associated with the venture.

July 16, 1877

July 16, 1945

July 16, 1979

July 16, 1979

July 16, 1983

July 17, 1927

In a significant early use of close air support, a U.S. Marine squadron of seven airplanes dive-bombed rebels and peasants surrounding Marines and Nicaraguan military (then under direct U.S. control) in Ocotal, Nicaragua, killing more than 100. The rebels were opposed the presence of U.S. forces, essentially continuously in their country since 1909.

July 17, 1970

July 17, 1976

The opening ceremony of the 21st Olympic Games in Montreal was marked by the withdrawal of more than twenty African countries, Iraq and Guyana, and their 300 athletes. They had demanded that New Zealand be banned from participation because its national rugby team had toured South Africa, itself banned from the Olympics since 1964 for its refusal to end the racially separatist policy of apartheid.

July 17, 1979

Fighters of the Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew the U.S.-supported dictatorial regime of Anastasio Somoza in the Central American republic of Nicaragua and forced him to flee the country. The notorious and feared U.S.-trained National Guard crumbled and its surviving commanders negotiated a surrender, despite their superiority in armaments.

July 18, 1872

July 18, 1918

Mandela photo gallery

Nelson Mandela was born. He was one of the leaders in the successful fight against apartheid in South Africa and became its first black president. In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

A short bio of Nelson Mandela by the Nobel Committee

July 19, 1848

The Declaration used as a model the U.S. Declaration of Independence, demanding that the rights of women as individuals be acknowledged and respected by society. It was signed by sixty-eight women
and thirty-two men.
The impetus came from Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, both of whom had been excluded, along with all the other female American delegates, from the World Anti-Slavery Convention (London, 1840) because of their sex.

July 19, 1958

This was the first instance of a sit-in to protest segregationist policies. Less than a month later, a white man around 40 walked in and looked
at those sitting in for several minutes. Then he looked at the store manager, and said, &ldquoServe them. I'm losing too much money.&rdquo
That man was the owner of the Dockum drug store chain.
That day the lawyer for the local NAACP branch called the store&rsquos state offices, and was toldby the chain&rsquos vice president that &ldquohe had instructed all of his managers, clerks, etc. (statewide), to serve all people without regard to race, creed or color.&rdquo

July 19, 1974

President Bill Clinton announced regulations to implement his "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays in the military, saying that the armed services should put an end to &ldquowitch hunts.&rdquo The policy was developed by General Colin Powell, then Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and eventually summarized as &ldquodon&rsquot ask, don&rsquot tell, don&rsquot pursue, don&rsquot harass.&rdquo

A federal administrative law judge ordered white supremacist Ryan Wilson to pay $1.1 million in damages to fair housing advocate Bonnie Jouhari and her daughter, Dani. The decision stemmed from threats made against Jouhari by Wilson and his Philadelphia neo-Nazi group, ALPA HQ.

July 20, 1967

The first Black Power conference was held in Newark, New Jersey, calling on black people in the U.S. &ldquoto unite, to recognize their heritage and to build a sense of community.&rdquo

Read more

July 20, 1971

The first labor contract in the history of the federal government was signed by postal worker unions and the newly re-organized U.S. Postal Service. This contract was made possible by the postal strike of March 1970, in which 200,000 postal workers walked off the job, defying federal law.

Since that time, postal unions have successfully negotiated or arbitrated wages and benefits that provide a secure standard of living for their members.

R ead about the history of the APWU (American Postal Workers Union)

Publication of "Eight Hours," written by Reverend Jesse H. Jones (music) and I.G. Blanchard (lyrics), the most popular labor song until "Solidarity Forever" was published by the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) in 1915.

“Eight hours for work,
Eight hours for rest
Eight hours for what we will.”

Interest in the trial by the populace and the media (and the heat in the courtroom) prompted Judge John T. Raulston to move the trial outdoors to the courthouse lawn. Bryan himself was called as a witness on the literal interpretation of scripture.
Attorney General Thomas Stewart, in response to Darrow’s questioning, asked,
"What is the meaning of this harangue?" "To show up fundamentalism," shouted Mr. Darrow, "to prevent bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the educational system of the United States."
Mr. Bryan sprang to his feet, his face purple, and shook his fist in Darrow’s face:

"To protect the word of God from the greatest atheist and agnostic
in the United States."

More about the Monkey Trial

July 21, 1954

Major world powers, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, reached agreement on the terms of a ceasefire for Indochina, ending nearly eight years of war. The war began in 1946 between nationalist forces of the Communist Viet Minh, under leader Ho Chi Minh, and France, the occupying colonial power after the Japanese lost control during World War II.
The Geneva conference included France, the United Kingdom, the U.S., the U.S.S.R., People&rsquos Republic of China, Cambodia, Laos, and both Vietnamese governments (North and South).

The peace treaty called for independence for Vietnam and a 1956 election to unify the country. However, only France and Ho Chi Minh's DRV (Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North)) signed the document.
The United States did not approve of the agreement. Instead, they backed Emperor Boa Dai and Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem&rsquos government in South Vietnam and refused to allow the elections, knowing, in President Eisenhower&rsquos words, that &ldquoHo Chi Minh will win.&rdquo The result was the Second Indochina War, more commonly known as the Vietnam War.

The treaty is signed

July 21, 1976

Plaza de Mayo mother

July 22, 1756

The &ldquoThe Friendly Association for gaining and preserving Peace with the Indians by Pacific Measures.&rdquo was founded in Philadelphia. It was comprised primarily of Quakers (members of the Society of Friends) who wished to pursue peaceful coexistence between the native peoples and the European immigrants to the Pennsylvania region.

July 22, 1877

A general strike, part of the railroad strike that had paralyzed the country, was called in St. Louis, where workers briefly seized control of the city. Within a week after it began in Martinsburg, West Virginia, the railroad strike reached East St. Louis,Illinois, where 500 members of the St. Louis Workingmen's Party joined 1,000 railroad workers and residents.

Strikers in St. Louis continued operation of non-freight trains themselves, collecting the fares, making it impossible for the railroads to blame the workers for loss of passenger rail service.

More about the 1877 general strike

July 22, 1966

July 22, 1987

July 23, 1846

Author Henry David Thoreau was jailed for refusing to pay the poll tax as a protest against the Mexican war, which in turn led to his writing "Civil Disobedience." This essay became a source of inspiration for Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
From Thoreau&rsquos essay:
&ldquoUnjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?&rdquo

Out of Thoreau's jailing grew a legend: The great Ameriacan philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson visited Thoreau in jail. Emerson asked, "Henry, why are you here?" Thoreau replied, "Why are you not here? Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison."

Thoreau was not alone in his opposition: Thomas Corwin of Ohio denounced the war as merely the latest example of American injustice to Mexico: “If I were a Mexican I would tell you, ‘Have you not room enough in your own country to bury your dead.’ ” Henry Clay [former speaker of the House and presidential candidate] declared, "This is no war of defense, but one of unnecessary and offensive aggression."
Abraham Lincoln also opposed the war, and lost his seat in Congress as a result.

The entire essay (in annotated form)

July 23, 1967

July 24, 1974

The United States Supreme Court (U.S. v. Nixon) unanimously ordered President Richard Nixon to surrender tape recordings of White House conversations regarding the Watergate affair. Speaking for the Supreme Court in front of a packed and hushed courtroom, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (a Nixon appointee) rejected President Nixon's claims of executive privilege (virtually total confidentiality for the White House) because the need for fair administration of criminal justice must prevail.

The White House feared review of the recordings by a U.S. district judge would reveal, among other crimes, impeachable offenses.

Listen to the tapes online

July 24, 1983

Canadians and Americans spanned the international border at Thousand Islands Bridge, linking New York and Ontario, to protest nuclear weapons and border harassment of peace activists.

July 24, 1983

Women tagged a U.S. warplane with anti-nuclear graffiti at Greenham Common, an air base in England. The Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp had been set up just outside the perimeter of the base in 1981 to get U.S. Cruise missiles, some of which were deployed at the base, out of their country. Other tactics included disrupting construction work at the base, blockading the entrance, and cutting down parts of the fence.

Read more about The Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp

July 25, 1898

With 16,000 troops, the United States invaded Puerto Rico at Guánica, asserting that they were liberating the inhabitants from Spanish colonial rule, which had recently granted the island&rsquos government limited atonomy. The island, as well as Cuba and the Philippines, were spoils of the Spanish-American War which ended the following month. Puerto Rico remains a U.S. commonwealth today.

July 25, 1946

The first underwater atomic device was detonated at Bikini Atoll, one of the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. It was the second of two bombs, Able and Baker, that comprised Operation Crossroads each weapon had a yield equivalent to 23,000 tons of TNT (23 kilotons).

The U.S. Navy conducted the tests to determine the effect of such weapons on ships at sea. More than 130 newspaper, magazine and radio correspondents from seven nations were present for the tests.

July 25, 1947

July 25, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr., participated in protests against housing segregation in Chicago. His Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) joined with the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO), led by Al Raby, a black schoolteacher, in the Chicago Freedom Movement.

Martin Luther King talks to Al Raby of Chicago's Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO)

as they lead the march down State Street.

To King's right is Jack Spiegel of the United Shoeworkers, and to Raby's left is King assistant Bernard Lee.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. It prohibited discrimination based on disability in employment, in public accommodation (e.g., hotels, restaurants, retail stores, theaters, health care facilities, convention centers), in transportation services, and in all activities of state and local governments.
The law did not go into effect until January 26, 1992.

July 27, 1919

A riot began in Chicago when police refused to arrest a white man who was responsible for the death of a young black man, Eugene Williams. The 29th Street Beach on Lake Michigan was used by both black and white Chicagoans. But the man had been throwing stones at the black boys swimming there before hitting Williams.

Gangs and the 1919 Chicago Race Riot.

July 27, 1953

The armistice signed this day ended hostilities and created the 4000-meter-wide (2.5 miles) demilitarized zone (DMZ), a buffer between North and South Korean forces, but was not a permanent peace treaty. It also set up a system for exchanging prisoners of war: 12,000 held by the North, 75,000 by South Korea, the U.S. and the U.N. allied forces.

Known as the &ldquoWeep for Children Plowshares,&rdquo four women were arrested for pouring their own blood on weaponry at the Naval Submarine Base at Groton, Connecticut, on the morning of the launch of the last-built Ohio-class submarine, the U.S.S. Louisiana. The 18 such submarines carry about half of the U.S. nuclear deterrent &ndash 24 Trident I & II missiles with a range of 7400 km (4600 miles), each with several warheads known as MIRVs (multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles).

July 28, 1868

July 28, 1917

July 28, 1932

July 28, 1965

I am trying everyone to please
Though it isn’t really

We’re sending fifty thousand more

President Johnson explained: &ldquoWe intend to convince the communists that we cannot be defeated by force of arms or by superior power.&rdquo

Women's Peace Crusade - History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is a library and archives collecting material on non-governmental efforts for peace, social justice, and internationalism, around the world. Resources in the Peace Collection on women's activism date back to the early nineteenth century and continue to the present day, in a wide variety of formats, and from many countries. Well over fifty percent of all the holdings in the Peace Collection concern women's activism around the world. This exhibit is an introduction to only some of those resources. For the full listing of all Peace Collection resources, see the home page.

The page, "Women's Voices From Around the World," includes information about Peace Collection resources on women and women's organizations fron over 60 countries. The links provided link to detailed descriptions for larger manuscript collections, links to some digitized files, including photographs, posters, and memorabilia. This material has been divided by country of origin of an individual woman or women's organization, with an additional section on international organizations and activists. This page only includes Peace Collection resources which are the words or voices of women about themselves. The Peace Collection also has additional and siginificant resources about women, written by others-men, and women from other countries-but that material has not been included here. As Peace Collection resources on women in the U.S. are voluminous, US women have not been included in the lists here. Only collections of papers or organizational records created by American women and which include material of writings, etc. by women from other countries are listed here. Please contact Peace Collection Curator, Wendy Chmielewski at: [email protected]> for further information on other resources or accessing this material.

Eleanor M. Moore [items from 1914-1981]
Women's Inter-Church Council of Victoria, 1947
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
-- General correspondence 1920s, 1934, 1960s
--- Peacewards, 1916-1919
--- Peace and Freedom (Perth) 1957-1996
---W.I.L.P.F. bulletin / Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, N.S.W. Branch, 1978
Women's Peace Army [5 items, 1915-1917]
Women's Peace Crusade [4 items, 1914, 1948]

"La Femme Belge"
Voix Feminines Records

Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence with Bolvian women and women's organizations, 1930s-1950]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence with Bolvian women and women's organizations, 1930s-1950]

Fellowship of Reconciliation [Bosnian Student Project] [essays, correspondence, video and audio recordings from young Bosnian women refugees, 1990s]

Peoples Mandate Committee Records
-- correspondence with Brazilian women and organizations, 1920s-1950s
-- membership list for the Woman's Club of Rio de Janeiro]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
-- correspondence with Brazilian women and organizations, 1930s-1950s
--Mujer [1 issue of the magazine, 1936]
--"O Trabahlo Feminino" [pamphlet by Bertha Lutz, 1937]

Committee of the Movement of Bulgarian Women
Jenny B. Payewa
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [Correspondence from the Bulgarian Section of WILPF, 1930s]

Voice of Women/Voix des Femmes Records [various organizational materials, 1960-1969]
--Women Strike for Peace [correspondence and other materials Voice of Women Canada, 1960s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
--general correspondence with Canadian section of WILPF, 1920s-1960s program files, 1980s
--Congress of Canadian Women [organizational material, 1982]
--Voice of Women: The First Thirty Years [video recording, 1992]
Women's Conference for International Cooperation Records, [5 items, 1962]
Women's League of Nations Association Records, [1931-1933]

Hortensia Bussi De Allende, "Chile: The Struggle To Restore Democracy" [radio interview, 1975]
Anna Melissa Graves Papers [correspondence with Chilean women, such as Gabriela Mistral and others]
Peoples Mandate Committee Records
--correspondence with Chilean women and women's organizations, 1930s-1950s
--Movimento pro Emancipacion de las Mujeres de Chile [correpsonendence, reports, newspaper clippings, 1940s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
--correspondence with Chilean women and women's organizations, 1930s-1970s
--material on Chilean political prisoners, 1970s
--Movimento pro Emancipacion de las Mujeres de Chile [correpsonendence, reports, newspaper clippings, 1940s]

Anna Melissa Graves Papers
--correspondence with Chinese women, 1920s-1950s
--correspondence on feminism in China, 1920s
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence with Chinese women, 1920s-1950s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence with Chinese women, 1920s-1950s]

"Para Que Tu Voz No Caiga en el Vacio LIMPAI - Colombia Y La Liga de Mujeres Desplaza," [videorecording, 2000]
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [corrsespondence with Colombian women and organizations, 1930s-1940s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
-- corrsespondence with Colombian women and organizations, 1930s-1950
--Union Femenina de Colombia [correspondence and organizational material, 1940s]

Peoples Mandate Committee Records
--correspondence with Cuban women and organizations, 1930s-1950
--Federacion de Mujeres Cubanas [correpsondence 1930s-1970]
--"Woman as a Factor of Peace" [radio broadcast from Havana, no date]
Women Strike for Peace Records [correspondence 1970s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
--correspondence with Cuban women and organizations, 1930s-1950s
--Intercambio Femenino Internacional [correspondence and organizational material, 1930s]

Ellen Starr Brinton Papers [correspondence from Kulka sisters, members of the Czech WILPF, trying to leave the country immediately before World War II]
Milarda Marsalka Papers [collection of papers from Czech-born WILPF activist 1960s-1990s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Czech WILPF section 1922-1960s]

Anna Melissa Graves Papers
Kvinder for Fred [Women for Peace], 1980
Women for Peace
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
--[general correspondence from Danish Section of WILPF, 1926-1960s]
-- Fred og Frihed [Danish newsletter, 1926 ]
--Meddelelsesblad for Danske Kvinders Fredskæde [Danish newsletter 1926]

Dominican Republic
Peoples Mandate Committee Records
-- correspondence from Domincan women, 1940s
--Accion Feminista Domincana [correspondence and organizational files, 1940s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Domincan women, 1930s-1950]

Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from Ecuadoran women about conflict between Ecuador and Peru, 1940s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
-- correspondence from Ecuadoran women, 1930s-1950
--correspondence from Ecuadoran women about conflict between Ecuador and Peru, 1940s

El Salvador
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from El Salvadoran women, 1930-1950]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from El Salvadoran women, 1930-1950]

Women for Peace in Finland [organizational material, correspondence with Finnish women]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [organizational material, correspondence with Finnish women]

Anita Augspurg
-- material from Augspurg pacifist and feminist, 1937-1944
--Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Augspurg about WILPF issues, 1915-1940s]
-- Die Frau im Staat [magazine published by Augspurg, 1919-1933]
-- "Some Glimpses of the Maison Internatinale," [contains film footage of Anita Augspurg, 1940s in Switzerland]
Gertrude Baer
--correspondence and other materials
--Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Baer, international WILPF secretary, 1930s-1960s]
Deutscher Frauenausschuss zur Bekämpfung der Schuldlüge, [organizational materials, 1924-1929]
Anna B. Eckstein [writings of world peace activist, 1880s-1940s]
Frauen-Werkrut [magazine, 1929]
Martha Freund-Hoppe [Freund-Hoppe collected propaganda materials about German militarism in the first decades of the 20th century and through World War I]
--online exhibit of some Freund-Hoppe materials
Anna Melissa Graves Papers
Alice Herz and Helga Herz [mother and daughter activists, refugees from Germany, 1940s-2002]
Margret Hofmann
Internationales Frauenfriedensarchiv Fasia Jensen
Petra Kelly
-- writings of Green Peace and Green party activist, 1970s-1980s
--Radio interview, 1983
Käthe Kollwitz, [documents and art work from artist and anti-war activist, 1918-1964]
Martha Kühl [Trinker]
Margarethe Lachmund, , [1952-1975]
Gertrude Lukner [7 items, 1948]
"Military Bases: In Whose Interest?" [Audio cassette, interviews with German women, 1989]
Dr. Elisabeth Rotten, [5 items, 1920-1963]
John Nevin Sayre [correspondence with various German women peace activists, 1940s-1970s]
Helene Stöcker Papers [correspondence and writings of Stöcker, feminist, peace activist, novelist, 1920s-1940s]
"Weaving Project," [audio cassette, interviews of German women from anti-nuclear peace camps, 1983]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
--general correspondence from German women activists, 1923-1936, 1950s-1960s
--correspondence with Lida Gustava Heymann, feminist and peace activist, 1939-1940
-- Informationsblatt / Deutsche Sektion. Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [magazine issues, 1975-1977]
--Pax et libertas : Vierteljahresblatt der Internationalen Frauenliga fűr Frieden und Freiheit [magazine issues, 1986]

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Greek members of WILPF]

Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from Guatemalan women's organization, 1930s-1940s]
Rigoberta Menchu Tum [Nobel Peace Prize winner>
--In Pursuit of Peace [video recording, includes interview with Menchu Tum]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
--correspondence from Guatemalan women's organization, 1930s-1950]
--Congreso Interamericano de Mujeres [correspondence, 1947]
--Women for Guatemala [organizational material, 1982]

Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from Haitian feminists and women's organizations, 1930s-1950s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Haitian feminists and women's organizations, 1930s-1950s]

"Military Bases: In Whose Interest?" [audio recording with Marta Sandoval, 1989]
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from Honduran feminists and women's organizations, 1930s-1950s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Honduran feminists and women's organizations, 1930s-1950s]

Iraqi Women's League, Damascus, (Syria) [organizational material, 1981]
Women Say No to War: Iraqi & American Women Speak Out [video recording, 2007]

Irish Women for Disarmament [organizational material]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Irish women, 1921]
Women's Peace Movement [organizational material, 1976-1980]

Flying Focus Video Bus-Middle East WILPF Women [video recording of interviews of Lebanonese, Israeli and Palestinian women, 2006]
Haifa Feminist Center [organizational material]
Dorothy Hutchinson Papers [correspondence from Israeli WILPF members, and newspaper clippings, 1960s]
Movement of Democratic Women in Israel [organizational material, 1980]
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from Israeli women, 1940s-1960s]
Miriam Sharon
Women in Black, Israel [audio cassette, Hannah Kenaz of Women in Black in Israel, 1992]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Israeli women, 1940s-1960s]
Women's Organization for Political Prisoners, Tel Aviv [organizational material, 1988]

Committee of Japanese Women Working for Ending the War in Vietnam, Tokyo [organizational material 1960s]
Help, If I May Ask [video recording, Hiroshima Day commemoration, includes stories told by survivors Ms. Masako Hashida, and others, 2005]
Japanese Women's Committee to Appeal to American Mothers on Withdrawal of U.S. Troops and Nuclear Weapons from South Korea [organizational material, 1977]
Tano Jodai
-- correspondence from peace activist
-- Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Jodai, 1960s-1970s]
Kurihara, Sadako [young, inspirational survivor of atomic bombing, 1950s]
"Military Bases: In Whose Interest?" [Audio cassette, interviews with Japanese women, 1989]
Mother's Association of Eiken Kindergarten, [1982]
Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence,[ ca. 1997-1998]
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from women's organizations, 1920s-1960s]
Nagako Sugimori [writings of Japanese WILPF member and academic on women and peace issues, 1990s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
-- correspondence with Japanese WILPF members, and other women's organizations, 1925-1938, 1950s-1960s
--Federation of Japanese Women's Organizations [organizational material and correspondence, 1970s-1980s]
Western Japan Women's United Association, [ca. 1922]

"Military Bases: In Whose Interest?" [audio recording with Bok-Him Yu, 1989]
Korean Democratic Women's Union [organizational material]
Women Outside, The: Korean Women and the U.S. Military [video recording, includes interviews with women who work in the bars and nightclugs outside US military bases, 1996]

Arab Women's Information Committee The Friends of Jerusalem, Beirut (Lebanon) [organizational material, 1982]
Flying Focus Video Bus-Middle East WILPF Women [video recording of interviews of Lebanonese, Israeli and Palestinian women, 2006]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom: [correspondence from Lebanese members of WILPF, 1960s]

Emily Greene Balch Papers [correspondence on conditions in Liberia, 1930s-1940s]
Dorothy Detzer Papers [correspondence on conditions in Liberia, 1930s-1940s]
Anna Melissa Graves Papers [correspondence from women in Liberia, 1930s-1940s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence, resolutions, reports from Liberian women, 1930s]

Anna Melissa Graves Papers [correspondence with feminists and women's organizations, 1920s-1960s]
"La Mujer y la Paz," by Guadelupe Gutierres de Joseph, 1930
Peoples Mandate Committee Records
--correspondence on conditions in Liberia, 1930s-1940s
--Universidad Femenina de Mexico [organizational material, 1940s]
Women Strike for Peace [Union Nacional de Mujeres Mexicanas, 1970]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Mexican women, 1922-1939, 1950s-1960s]

New Zealand
LIMIT [organizational material]
Susanna Ounei [audio cassette, interview, 1986]
New Zealand Women's Crusade for World Peace
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence, 1930s-1940s]
Women's Crusade for World Peace [3 items]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence, 1923-1924, 1925, 1929, 1960s]

Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from Nicaraguan women, 1920s-1940s]
Witness for Peace [writings from Nicaraguan women during covert wars of the 1980s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence, 1927-1933-1950 1980s]

Gro Harlem Brundtland [former prime minister of Norway]
--"Gro Harlem Brundtland at the U.N." [audio cassettes of interviews and speeches, 1988-1989]
Nordiska Kvinnors Fredsinitiativ, 1984 [women's peace camps]
Sheridan, Diana Brown [intervews with Norwegian peace activists, 1980s]
Women for Peace, 1981
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
-- correspondence from Norwegian women, 1933, 1960s
--Norwegian section of WILPF newsletter Fred og Frihet 1939-date

Palestine / Gaza Strip
Flying Focus Video Bus-Middle East WILPF Women [video recording of interviews of Lebanonese, Israeli and Palestinian women, 2006]
Palestinina Arab Women League [organizational material, 1960s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence, 1956-1957, 1960s]

Anna Melissa Graves Papers [correspondence with Peruvian women about feminism, 1938]
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence with women's organizations, 1930s-1940s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence with women's organizations, 1930s-1950]

Concerned Women of the Philippines, 1988
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [National Federation of Women's Clubs of the Philippines, correspondence and organizatinal material, 1930s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence with women, 1921-1951]

"Military Bases: In Whose Interest?" [audio recording with Elzbieta Piwowarska 1989]
Wiszniewska, [Her Highness Princess]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Polish women, late 1960s]

Puerto Rico
Hannah Clothier Hull Papers [correspondence with Puerto Rican Women on independence for Puerto Rico, 1930s-1940s]
"Military Bases: In Whose Interest?" [audio recording, includes interview with Maria Isabel Fidalgo, 1989]
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence with Puerto Rican Women on independence for Puerto Rico, 1930s-1940s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [general correspondence, 1934-1970s correspondence with Puerto Rican Women on independence for Puerto Rico, 1930s-1940s]

Catharine Breshkovsky [some published writings of activist]
Anna Melissa Graves Papers [correspondence with Russian women]
Mothers Against Violence, 1991

Liga Universal Femina Contra la Guerre, 1931
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence Spanish women, 1937-1939, 1946]

Gunnar and Alva Myrdal [material from Nobel Prize winner]
Sveriges Kvinnliga Fredsförening [Swedish Women's Peace Society], Stockholm [organizational material, 1902-1910]
Helene Stoecker [correspondence from Swedish women, 1930s]
Women for Peace, [organizational material, 1990s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Swedish WILPF members, 1934-1935, 1956-1957, 1960s]

Alliance Internationale pour le Suffrage et l'Action Civique et Politique des Femmes, [1929]
Camp pour la Paix
Helene Claparde-Spir, [5 items, 1920s]
Comité du Désarmament Créé par les Organizations Feminines Internationales
Marguerite Debrit,
Alice Descoeudres, [1928-1948]
Peace and Disarmament Committee of the Women's International Organisations [1931-1940]
Anna Melissa Graves Papers
Groupe du Locle de l'Association Nationale Suisse popur la Suffrage Feminin, [1917]
Union Mondiale de la Femme la Concorde Internationale, Geneva, [1915-1960]
Women for Peace
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from Swiss women, 1939, 1960s]
Women's Organisation for World Order [organizational material]

Anna Melissa Graves Papers [correspondence from Syrian woen on family life and conditions in Syria, 1930s-1940s, correspondence about women's congress, 1930]
Iraqi Women's League, Damascus, (Syria) [ 1981]

Emily Greene Balch Papers [Ukrainian Women's Congress report, 1934]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
--National League of Ukrainan Women [history of organization, 1930s]
--Photographs of Ukrainian delegates to WILPF Congress in Vienna, 1921

Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from women and women's organizations, 1930-1940s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from women and women's organizations, 1930-1950]

Anna Melissa Graves Papers [correspondence on Soviet life
Peoples Mandate Committee Records [correspondence from Soviet women, 1920s-1930s, 1950s-1980s]
Leningrad Women's Peace Conference, September 4-9, 1984
Soviet American women’s summit [audio recording, congressional reception and news conference, 1990]
Soviet Women's Committee
--Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence and reports, 1960s]
--Women Strike for Peace Records [correspondence and reports, 1960s]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence and organizational material especially on the visit of Soviet women to US, and return visit of US women to the USSR, 1960s correspondence 1950s-1980s]

Madame Nguyen thi Binh [Foreign Minister]
--Interview with Madame Binh [audio recording, 1970]
--Interview with Madame Binh from Women Strike for Peace [audio recording, no date]
--"Conference on Ending the War in Indochina: PRG Presentation, intrview with Madame Binh [audio recording, 1971]
South Vietnam Women's Union for Liberation
--Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence, 1960s]
-- Women Strike for Peace Records [correspondence, 1960s]
Madame Ngo Ba Thanh [Third War activist, feminist, lawyer]
-- correspondence, 1960s-1970s
--speech by. Ngo Ba Thank [audio recording, no date]
Vietnam Women's Union
-- correspondence and organizational material, 1960s-1970s
-- Women of Viet Nam [magazine, 1965-1978]
-- Women Strike for Peace Records [correspondence from the VWU, 1960s]
--Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [correspondence from the VWU, 1960s]
Vietnamese Women's Movement for the Right to Live
--Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [organizational materials from the VWMFRL1970s]
Voice of Women, Canada [reports from Vietnamese women meeting in Canada about IndoChina war, 1960s]
Cora Weiss Papers [correspondence and writings from Vietnamese women, 1960s-1970s]
Woman speaking Vietnamese describing her experience as a political prisoner [audio recording, no title, no date]
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
-- correspondence, 1960s-1970s

Women, Peace and Security

4. Ensure that mission personnel including leadership are accountable for including gender disaggregated data and integrating gender perspectives to inform peace and conflict analysis, planning processes, and reporting on peace operations.
Stakeholder action: Member States, Secretariat, Field Missions

5. Undertake comprehensive analysis on uniformed women’s participation at different stages of peace operations to gain further information on the barriers to their participation and identify mechanisms to encourage T/PCCs to increase women deploying to the field, including various incentives.
Stakeholder action: Member States, Think tanks/researchers

6. Support the ongoing inclusion of gender adviser posts within missions and at an appropriate level of seniority throughout mandating and budgetary processes, with mission leadership held accountable for their effective utilisation of these posts in the field.
Stakeholder action: Member States, Security Council, Field missions

Challenges Forum International Secretariat is hosted by FBA – the Swedish Agency for Peace, Security and Development – on behalf of the Challenges Forum Partnership.

Challenges Forum International Secretariat
c/o Folke Bernadotte Academy Drottning Kristinas väg 37
114 28 Stockholm

For specific inquiries, please contact the International Secretariat Staff

8 Michigan women who changed history for the better

To celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s take a look through the stories of some of the most impactful women in Michigan history.

There are countless women who have changed the landscape in Michigan, from all types of backgrounds and areas. Check out the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame to learn more. All of the information below was compiled by the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.

Rosa Parks - Detroit

Rosa Parks made history not just because of what she did, but because of what she refused to do. On December 1, 1955, Mrs. Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, after a long day's work as a seamstress. When the bus driver called out, "N***ers, move back," Rosa Parks refused. Her eloquent "No" sparked a 301-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system by Black citizens and her moment of personal courage helped inspire twenty years of civil rights reform, not only in Alabama but across the nation.

She has received numerous awards and tributes, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Non-Violent Peace Prize and the Distinguished Service Award of Delta Sigma Theta, a national sorority of Black professional women. She has also had a major street named in her honor in Detroit and a scholarship fund which is intended to help Michigan students who display potential for the kind of courage and leadership Mrs. Parks evidenced in Montgomery in 1955.

Ruth Ellis - Detroit

An African-American entrepreneur and open lesbian at a time when few people were comfortable revealing their sexual orientation, Ruth Ellis lived her long life on her own terms.

After moving to the Motor City in 1938, she tried her hand at factory work but found she was better suited to typesetting. Using money from an inheritance, she set up a print shop in her home and began to produce donation envelopes, raffle tickets, letterhead, posters, and other items for nearby churches, businesses, and residents: this at a time when African-American women owned fewer than one percent of the businesses in Detroit.

Starting in the 1940s, Ruth Ellis' home also served as a haven for gay African Americans who had few social venues at which to meet. People gathered from around the region to sing, dance, and play cards there. They also drew support from Ellis, and counsel during tough times. Ellis was known for giving everything she had to those in need, particularly young people for whom she bought books and food, and even assisted with college tuition. Inspired by her example, friends developed Detroit's Ruth Ellis Center in 1999, which provides social services for runaway, homeless, and at-risk lesbian, gay, biattractional and transgender youth.

Helen Thomas - Detroit

Known as the dean of the White House Press Corps, journalist Helen Thomas covered the presidents of the United States since John Kennedy. She served as White House bureau chief for United Press International (UPI) and, as senior wire service correspondent, officially closed all presidential press conferences.

Thomas graduated from Wayne State University in 1942, majoring in English.

Originally assigned to cover Jacqueline Kennedy during the 1960 presidential campaign, she "assigned herself" as one of UPI's three White House correspondents after the election and covered that beat for every administration until President Barack Obama’s.

Thomas has been honored by her peers with many journalism awards, including the National Press Club's Fourth Estate Award and membership in the Gridiron Club, a formerly all-male journalism fraternity.

Sojourner Truth - Battle Creek

The woman known as Sojourner Truth, a legendary crusader for the cause of human rights, was born into slavery in New York as Isabella Baumfree in the year 1797. In 1827, she escaped from her owner and took refuge with a Quaker family with whom she resided until the New York State Emancipation Act was approved a year later.

At the invitation of Quaker friends, Truth moved to their village of Harmonia, Michigan on the outskirts of Battle Creek in 1857. Although she continued to travel widely, Battle Creek would thereafter be home to Truth, her children, and grandchildren.

During the Civil War, Truth worked tirelessly to ensure that troops of color were treated fairly, even assembling care packages for them on Thanksgiving Day.

Leg ulcers forced Sojourner Truth to return to Battle Creek for good in 1875. Though treated by a variety of practitioners including Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, she died on November 26, 1883. She is buried in Battle Creek's Oak Hill Cemetery.

Agnes Mary Mansour - Detroit

Agnes Mary Mansour distinguished herself in the corporate, academic, religious, and political arenas as professor of chemistry and president of Mercy College of Detroit, and as a member of the board of directors of Michigan Bell Telephone and the National Bank of Detroit. She also was a 1982 candidate for Congress (17th District), director of the Michigan Department of Social Services, and founding director of the Poverty and Social Reform Institute.

Mansour became a national symbol during her first year as director of the Michigan Department of Social Services when controversy arose regarding her role as a nun and that of a human services administrator of Medicaid funding for abortion. She was given an ultimatum by a papal emissary to leave the Department of Social Services or leave the Sisters of Mercy. She chose the latter.

Beyond her accomplishments as director of the Michigan Department of Social Services, Mansour took every opportunity to educate elected officials and the public on the growing feminization of poverty. She endeavored to make the Department of Social Services more responsive to the needs of the poor, especially women and children, and raised the consciousness and concern of all citizens for the less fortunate.

Esther K. Shapiro - Detroit

Esther K. Shapiro has led a life of effective contributions to civil rights, voting rights and consumer rights, all of which have had significant positive local, state and national impact.

She was the first director of Detroit's Consumer Affairs Department, appointed by Mayor Coleman Young in 1974, and held this position until her retirement in 1998.

Shapiro, along with her husband, labor union organizer Harold Shapiro, was at the forefront of getting support for voting rights and civil rights, and helping get African Americans elected to local and national offices. She worked in the campaign offices of Congressman John Conyers and Congressman George Crockett, and was an early supporter of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. through the Michigan Friends of the South—an informal Detroit women's group that raised funds for the civil rights activities of Dr. King and the Freedom Marchers.

Dr. King acknowledged the importance of these efforts in a meeting with Shapiro and the other members of this group when he came to Detroit in the 1960s.

She was the first non-lawyer to achieve the State Bar of Michigan's Frank Kelly Consumer Award. The Detroit Urban League recognized the civil rights advocacy of Shapiro and her husband with a Distinguished Warrior Award. The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business named its annual award after Shapiro, now given to those who share her visionary leadership and ethical standards in consumer affairs.

Helen W. Milliken - Traverse City

Helen Milliken, wife of the former Governor of Michigan, has long been identified with women's issues and concerns. She was a distinguished national co-chair of ERAmerica and traveled throughout the country speaking on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment. She also freely gave her time and energy to raising needed funds to support this major cause.

In addition, she was a convener of the International Women's Year Delegation in Michigan and a member of the delegation to the IWY Conference, which met in Houston in 1977.

She is associated with The Women's Research in Education Institute in Washington, D.C., and chaired the National Women's Conference Committee.

Helen Milliken has been a major patron of the arts in Michigan. She was in no small measure responsible for the development of a state public arts project and for the growth in public support of the arts. Since its inception, she has served as chair of the Michigan Artrain, which has toured Michigan and 23 other states.

Ethelene Crockett - Detroit

Dr. Ethelene Crockett was a Detroit physician who became well known as a community leader and humanitarian. 'She was involved in the betterment of society in areas beyond medicine. Her unselfish contributions of time, knowledge, energy and leadership served to rectify social inequality to help those whose need was immediate, and those who could not speak for themselves,' stated a 1978 New Detroit, Inc. resolution.

In 1972 she led the fight to liberalize Michigan's abortion laws. In 1977, the Detroit Medical Society selected her 'Physician of the Year.' She was the first woman to be president of the American Lung Association, the nation’s largest and oldest voluntary health organization.

She served on the Detroit Public Library Commission and as an officer for the Michigan Cancer Society. In 1971 the Detroit Free Press cited Dr. Crockett as one of "nine of Detroit's Most Successful Women."

Women's Reactions to War

Women's position in the First World War was split. The suffragette movement split in diametrically opposed attitudes. In Glasgow Helen Crawfurd signified the anti-war grouping and became a major force. While Helen Fraser led the push for support of the war.

The first world war was the first total war. It introduced massive civilian mobilisation into the army. It forced the domestic economy to swing over totally to the war effort.

With this came the flood of female labour into industry. Here we saw contradictions emerging, women's industrial ability contrasting with the accepted female virtues of wife, mother and nurse. With men away at the war it showed women very capable of organising when faced with new challenges. Two examples of this were the rent strikes, and the peace movement.

The fact that the peace movement survived at all in the face of massive government anti-German, pro-war propaganda and a vicious jingoistic pro-war press stands as testament to the tremendous courage and principles of all those involved. Women were also involved in other struggles such as the No Conscription Fellowship, but it was the Women's Peace Crusade that made the greatest contribution to the peace struggle.

On August 9th 1914 the ILP and the Glasgow branch of the peace society organised an anti-war demonstration of 5,000 people on Glasgow Green. On June the 29th 1916 Lloyd George was invited to Glasgow by the City of Glasgow Corporation to receive the "Freedom of the City". This brought about violent demonstrations against such an action with calls that the "Freedom of the City" should be give to John MacLean, David Kirkwood, and others who were at that moment in prison for their anti-war stance. Lloyd George was advised not to come to Glasgow as there would be a revolution when he arrived.

Shagrat al-Durr

Women who were "powers behind the throne" are always fascinating. But those who move out of the shadows to sit on the throne itself can be even more so. Shagrat al-Durr took upon herself the title of Sultan and regrouped the Egyptian army to take Damietta back from the Frankish Crusaders.

Why She Is An Historic Hero?

The time is 1250 A.D. The sultan of Egypt, Salih Ayyub has just died at the moment when the crusading armies of France are threatening Egypt. Salih Ayyub's wife is Shagrat al-Durr, who had been a slave of Turkoman origin.

In 1249, the French army under Louis IX, King of France landed at Damietta, at the mouth of the Nile River. Shagrat, acting as Salih's regent while he was away in Damascus, organized the defense of the realm.

Soon after Salih Ayyub returns, he dies. Shagrat, conceals the fact of his death by saying he is "sick" and having a servant be seen taking food to his tent. She thus is able to continue to lead in his name.

Turan, his son and her stepson, appears and Shagrat hands the reins of power over to him, finally announcing her husband's death. Still, Shagrat retains control, and a crushing defeat is rendered on the Crusaders at Damietta. The leaders of the army don't respect Turan they want Shagrat, seeing her as a Turk, like themselves. They plot against Turan and have him murdered. On May 2, 1250, they put Shagrat al-Durr on the throne, thus beginning the Mamluk dynasty.

As sultan, Shagrat al-Durr has coins struck in name, and she is mentioned in weekly prayers in mosques. These two acts only can be done for the person who carries the title of sultan.

Peace is made with the Franks. Louis IX is ransomed and allowed to return home.

Egypt at this time is under the authority of the Caliphate at Baghdad. Baghdad does not approve of Shagrat. She is a woman, and women must not hold the title of ruler. The Caliph of Baghdad sends a message to the Egyptian amirs: "Since no man among you is worthy of being Sultan, I will bring you one." Shagrat is deeply humiliated, but she steps down after being Egypt's sultan for only two months.

A successful Mamluk soldier, Aibak, is appointed in her place. Shagrat al-Durr's moment of power, however, is not over. Either for love or political ambition, she manages to seduce Aibak. He marries her to legitimize Mamluk rule. Reports tell of their great love for one another.

With her experience at administration and leadership, for seven years Shagrat rather than Aibak really rules. An historian who lived at the time comments: "She dominated him, and he had nothing to say." Shagrat continues to sign the sultan's decrees, has coins struck in both their names, and dares to be addressed as Sultana.

Shagrat al-Durr is a jealous woman, and one who does not want to share power. When she married Aibak, she had him divorce his wife, with whom he had a son. In 1257, Aibak proposes to take another wife. In Shagrat's eyes this act is unthinkable. In a fit of jealousy, she plots his murder and carries it out when he is having a bath after a game of polo.

In desperation, Shagrat al-Durr tries to conceal the crime. But her past deeds come back to haunt her in the person of Aibak's former wife and his son, who now seek revenge. The army divides over those continuing to support Shagrat and those opposing her. Rioting breaks out, and Shagrat is cornered. Spurred on by Aibak's former wife, Shagrat is beaten to death by the slaves of the harem with their wooden clogs. Her half-naked body is thrown into the moat of the citadel.

Eventually, Shagrat al-Durr's bones are taken and placed in the mosque known today as the mosque of Shagrat al-Durr.

Coins minted in Shagrat al-Durr's name References: Fatima Mernissi, The Forgotten Queens of Islam, University of Minnesota Press, 1993 Charis Waddy, Women in Muslim History, Longman, 1980 Wiebke Walther, Woman in Islam, Abner Schram, Montclair, NJ, 1981

Why could slaves become so powerful? Within the Islamic world, an outstanding slave trained in the elite army could be freed and integrated into the military caste within the palace. In Egypt, the military officers were an elite caste. They were seen as defenders of Islam. This was particularly true during the time of the Crusades and threats of the invading Mongols.

Mamluks were slaves captured from the Asian steppes. In Islam, in principle it was forbidden to enslave another Moslem. Non Muslim boys, however, were taken, converted to Islam, and trained to serve in the military. For a young Turk from the steppes living in poverty, the chance to have a career in an elite army was a step up. Not all boys were accepted into the army. The criteria to be eligible for training was very high.

Mongol drive: Under Hulagu, the grandson of Genghis Khan, the Mongols stacked Baghdad in 1258. But Syria and Egypt were bravely defended by the Mamluks, and Hulagu's defeat by them in 1260 put an end to Mongol advance into Syria.

Salih Ayyub was a descendent of the Ayyub or Ayyubid dynasty, founded by the famous Salah-al Din.

Louis IX, King of France. (1226-1270). Louis's reign is considered the "golden age of medieval France." His mother was Blanche of Castile, a grand daughter of Eleanor of Acquitaine. She was another "power behind the throne" because she was regent while Louis was too young to rule. As regent, her use of power to maintain the throne against challengers was extraordinary. Like Shagrat al-Durr, her right to rule because she was a woman was challenged.

Louis went on his first crusade (1248) against Blanche's advice. During his absence, he entrusted the kingdom to his mother again. Again, through her political brilliance, Blanche preserved the throne and even extended it. As for Louis IX, the defeat of his army at Damietta and his capture proved that his mother's resistance to his crusade was right.

Lyn Reese is the author of all the information on this website
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9 Facts About Jeannette Rankin, the First Woman Elected to Congress

In 1916, four years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment gave women the nationwide right to vote, Montana suffragist Jeannette Rankin—who was born on this day in 1880—became the first woman elected to the United States Congress. In her later years, she also led important crusades for peace and women's rights.


Jeannette Rankin was born on June 11, 1880 on a ranch outside Missoula in what was then the Montana Territory. The oldest of seven children, she attended the local public schools and then studied biology at the University of Montana. After graduating from college in 1902, she tried a variety of jobs, including schoolteacher and seamstress. But Rankin began to sense her calling when she went to Massachusetts to care for her younger brother Wellington, who was studying at Harvard and had fallen ill. He recovered quickly, which allowed Rankin to travel around Boston and New York, where she saw the extreme suffering of those living in the slums, packed into unsafe, unsanitary tenements, while the wealthy lived the high life a few blocks away. A few years later, Rankin went to San Francisco to visit an uncle and witnessed the devastation that the 1906 earthquake had wrought in the city. Moved to do something, she went to work in a settlement house (a neighborhood center in a poor area where middle-class Progressives offered social programs) on Telegraph Hill. Rankin had seen poverty and misery in New York and Boston, but in San Francisco, she saw people dedicated to doing something about it. Now she knew what she wanted to do: become a social worker.

In 1908, she moved to New York City to attend the New York School of Philanthropy (now the Columbia School of Social Work), and after receiving her social work degree moved to Washington state, where she worked at a children’s home in Spokane and another in Seattle. But continuously watching children suffer wore Rankin down, as did the sense that her work with individuals made little difference compared to the decisions made by the men in downtown offices who ran the agency. Rankin realized that perhaps social work didn’t offer the best path to forcing substantive change, so she turned her eye to policy.

Rankin returned to school at the University of Washington, where she read one day in 1910 that she could acquire free posters advocating women’s suffrage from the school’s College Equal Suffrage League. Rankin plastered the posters all over town, and her enthusiasm and work ethic caught the eye of a political science professor named Adella M. Parker, who suggested Rankin become a part of the campaign for women’s suffrage in Washington, which would be on the state’s ballot that November.

Women won the vote in Washington, and Rankin, invigorated, returned to Montana, where she joined the Montana Equal Franchise Society and gave speeches about accessing the vote. On February 2, 1911 [PDF], she spoke before the all-male Montana legislature, becoming the first woman to do so. Urging them to grant women the right to vote, she evoked the idea of “taxation without representation,” and suggested women belong in public service as well as in the home, arguing [PDF]: “It is beautiful and right that a mother should nurse her child through typhoid fever, but it is also beautiful and right that she should have a voice in regulating the milk supply from which typhoid resulted.”

Rankin began traveling as a professional suffrage activist, giving speeches and organizing campaigns in New York, California, and Ohio before returning to fight for the vote in Montana, where women’s suffrage passed the legislature in 1913 and a popular referendum the following year. Rankin then took a position as a field secretary for the National American Woman Suffrage Association, advocating for the vote in several states from 1913 to 1914.


Rankin decided to run for Congress in 1916. She came from a family familiar with public service: Her father had been involved in local politics before his death, and her brother Wellington was a rising star in the state Republican party (he would be elected Montana’s attorney general in 1920). Wellington urged his sister to run and served as her campaign manager. His political connections plus her experience in grassroots organizing proved a winning combination.

In 1916, Montana had two at-large congressional districts, meaning the entire state voted for both representatives rather than dividing districts based on geography. One of Montana’s Democratic congressmen was retiring, and Rankin launched a statewide campaign for his seat. She took campaigning seriously, later recalling that she “traveled 6000 miles by train and over 1500 miles by automobile” during her bid. This was in marked contrast to the “seven mediocre men” she faced in the Republican primary, who, she said, “had too much dignity [to] stand on the street corner and talk.”

She beat those “mediocre men” handily in the August 1916 primary—surpassing the second-place finisher by 7000 votes—but the Montana GOP still had little enthusiasm for her candidacy, expending scant effort or money on her behalf. Nevertheless, Rankin put together a progressive platform: She advocated for women’s suffrage, an eight-hour work day for women, transparency from Congress, and policies to protect children. She ran a non-partisan grassroots campaign that worked to mobilize all of Montana’s women, and which included voter “registration teas” across the state at which women were registered to vote by a notary public.


Rankin came in second in Montana’s at-large Congressional race, meaning she secured one of the two available seats. But in those days ballots were counted by hand, which took a long time. Montana newspapers—likely not taking her candidacy entirely seriously—initially reported that Rankin had lost. It wasn’t until three days later that the papers had to change their tune: Miss Rankin was headed to Congress.

Suddenly journalists across the country were clamoring to interview and photograph the nation’s first congresswoman. Photographers camped outside her house until Rankin had to issue a statement saying she was no longer allowing photos and would “not leave the house while there is a cameraman on the premises.” Before the election, Rankin’s team had sent The New York Times biographical material about their candidate, only to have the Times return it and run a mocking editorial urging Montanans to vote for Rankin because “if she is elected to Congress she will improve that body aesthetically, for she is said to be ‘tall, with a wealth of red hair.’” A month later, the paper was profiling her more seriously, reporting on her suffrage work and noting that she had “light brown hair—not red.” Of course, due to her gender, a profile on Rankin could not be limited to political topics. The Times also reported on her “Famous Lemon Pie,” and informed readers that “She dances well and makes her own hats, and sews.” Other newspapers took a similar tone.


Rankin’s first week in Congress began auspiciously, but soon became contentious. On April 2, 1917, the day of her swearing in, the National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage honored Rankin with a breakfast, and she gave a brief speech from the balcony of NAWSA headquarters. Then the suffragists escorted her to the Capitol in a parade of flag-bedecked cars. When she arrived at her office, it was filled with flowers sent from well-wishers, and she chose a yellow and purple bouquet to carry onto the House floor. Once at the House chamber, congressmen treated her to a round of applause, and she was sworn in to cheers. The watching wife of a Texas congressman recorded in her journal that “When her name was called, the House cheered and rose, so that she had to rise and bow twice.”

But the day was soon to grow serious. That evening, President Wilson appeared before Congress and asked them to pass a declaration of war against Germany. The Germans had recently resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, and though Wilson had been reelected on the slogan “He Kept Us Out of War,” the president now believed the time for military action had come. Two days later the Senate passed a declaration of war with only six dissenting votes, and the House would convene to vote the following day.

Rankin was uncertain about what to do. She was a pacifist but was under pressure from her brother, Wellington, who urged her to issue a “man’s vote” (i.e., in favor of war), telling her that anything else was career suicide. Some suffragists were also lobbying her for a “yes” vote they believed a “no” would make women look too sensitive for politics. In the early morning of April 6, after hours of passionate speeches, the House voted: Rankin failed to answer during the first roll call, and when her name was called a second time, she rose and said, “I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war.” Forty-nine Congressmen joined her in dissenting, but the declaration of war passed the House anyway. Walking home, Wellington told Rankin she would likely never be reelected, and her vote did earn her copious negative press coverage. But Rankin did not regret her choice. Years later, she commented, “I felt the first time the first woman had a chance to say no to war, she should say it.”


For many, Rankin’s rejection of war was a sign of her excess feminine emotion, and newspapers reported that she had wept, trembled, and even swooned while delivering her vote. She was “overcome by her ordeal,” declared The New York Times. The humor magazine Judge took issue not with her vote but with her apparent manner: “It was because she hesitated that she was lost. […] If she had boldly, stridently voted ‘no’ in true masculine form, she would have been admired and applauded.”

According to eyewitnesses, however, Rankin did not sob, faint, or otherwise display any “feminine weakness.” However, several of her fellow lawmakers did weep. Suffragist Maud Wood Park, who watched from the gallery, noted that “She may have shed a few tears before or after she voted but if so, they were not evident in the gallery whereas the Democratic floor leader, Claude Kitchin, the nth degree of the he-man type, broke down and wept both audibly and visibly during his speech against the resolution.” New York Congressman Fiorello La Guardia later told reporters that though he did not notice Rankin crying, his vision had been obscured by his own tears. “It was no more a sign of weakness for Miss Rankin to weep, if she did, than it was for Congressman Kitchin to weep,” suffragist leader Carrie Chapman Catt told The New York Times.


Passed on March 2, 1907 [PDF], the Expatriation Act stripped any American woman who married a non-citizen of her own American citizenship. In contrast, a non-citizen woman who married an American man automatically gained American citizenship. Following the legal tradition of coverture, the Expatriation Act of 1907 asserted that, upon marriage, a wife’s legal identity was collapsed into that of her husband. This act understandably caused problems for many American women, but the Supreme Court upheld the law in 1915, ruling that “marriage of an American woman with a foreigner is tantamount to voluntary expatriation.” In 1917, Rankin introduced a bill to amend the Expatriation Act to protect married women’s citizenship. Morris Sheppard, a Democrat from Texas, introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

But by this time the United States had entered World War I, and anti-foreigner sentiment—especially anti-German sentiment—was at a fever pitch. During a series of hearings before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, congressmen and other men presenting testimony showed little empathy for American women who would marry foreigners, and expressed worry that allowing such women to retain their citizenship would allow them to aid or protect German spies.

Rankin spoke assertively in the face of derision from fellow lawmakers. When Representative Harold Knutson, a Republican from Minnesota, remarked, “The purpose of this bill, as I understand it, is to allow the American woman to ‘eat her cake and still have it,’” Rankin coolly replied, “No we submit an American man has the right to citizenship, regardless of his marriage, and that the woman has the same right.” But despite Rankin’s forceful defense of her bill, and testimony from women about its necessity, it was tabled by the committee.

It would take several more years for women’s citizenship to be protected in the same way as men’s. In 1922, after the war had ended and the 19th Amendment had given women the vote, Representative John L. Cable from Ohio sponsored the “Married Women’s Independent Nationality Act.” The law allowed any American woman who married a foreigner to retain her citizenship, providing her new husband was eligible for American citizenship himself. (This caveat meant that American women who married Asian men still lost their citizenship, as Asians were not legally eligible for naturalization. Chinese immigrants, for example, gained access to naturalized citizenship in 1943, while all race-based requirements for naturalization were eliminated in 1952.) In 1931, Congress introduced a series of bills removing the final restrictions on married women retaining their citizenship.


Rankin had seen things: During her time as a social worker she had worked in tenement houses and slums, and she spent two months in the New York City night courts, primarily serving prostitutes. But the men she encountered often tiptoed around certain subjects and words. One euphemistic discussion with male lawmakers about “communicable disease” prompted Rankin to exclaim, “If you mean syphilis, why don’t you say so?”

Another time, during a House hearing about women’s suffrage, a Dr. Lucien Howe testified that women should not be given the vote because the infant mortality rate is too high in the U.S., and so women must devote all their attention to taking care of children and not waste any on politics. He ranted about the number of children who become blind because their mothers pass gonorrhea on to them, and because the mothers lack the “intelligence” to treat the babies’ eyes with silver nitrate drops. Rankin took him to task:

Rankin: How do you expect women to know this disease when you do not feel it proper to call it by its correct name? Do they not in some states have legislation which prevents women knowing these diseases, and only recently after the women’s work for political power were women admitted into medical schools. You yourself, from your actions, believe it is not possible for women to know that names of these diseases. (Pause.)

Dr. Howe: I did not like to use the word ‘gonorrhea . ’

Rankin: Do you think anything should shock a woman as much as blind children? Do you not think they ought to be hardened enough to stand the name of a disease when they must stand the fact that children are blind?


When Rankin was first elected, the magazine Town Development dubbed her the “Babies’ advocate”—an image she certainly cultivated. To avoid alienating voters put off by a female candidate, Rankin presented herself as a traditional, feminine woman, a mother for the nation’s children, saying during her campaign that “There are hundreds of men to care for the nation’s tariff and foreign policy and irrigation projects. But there isn’t a single woman to look after the nation’s greatest asset: our children.”

A 1918 report from the Children’s Bureau on maternal and infant mortality rates shone a harsh light on that reality: As of 1916, over 235,000 infants died per year in the United States, while 16,000 mothers died in childbirth. Many of those deaths were preventable, but American women, especially in rural areas and among impoverished families, often lacked adequate prenatal and obstetric care. Rankin worked with the Children’s Bureau to develop pioneering legislation, H.R. 12634, that would address these issues: The bill proposed cooperation between the states and federal government to provide education in maternal and infant hygiene, funding for visiting nurses in rural areas and hospital care for new mothers, and consultation centers for mothers. It would have become the nation’s first federal welfare program.

Unfortunately, the bill never made it to the floor. However, after Rankin had left the House, Senator Morris Sheppard and Representative Horace Towner resubmitted a (somewhat watered-down) version of her legislation in 1920. Thanks largely to the urging of women’s groups—who now represented millions of new voters—President Harding endorsed it, and Rankin lobbied for the offspring of her legislation while working for the National Consumers League. President Harding signed the Sheppard-Towner Act into law on November 23, 1921. (Unfortunately, thanks to opposition from the American Medical Association and other powerful interests, it wasn’t renewed by Congress in 1927 and was defunded in 1929.)


After Rankin's election, the Montana legislature divided the state geographically into two congressional districts. This made reelection essentially impossible for Rankin, as she lived in the Democrat-heavy western district, cut off from her base of farmers in the eastern part of the state. In order to be able to campaign statewide, Rankin ran for the Senate in 1918, instead of running for reelection to the House. She lost the Republican primary and entered the general election as a candidate for the National Party, but fell far short of the votes needed to win. Rankin left Congress in 1919 after serving a single term.

After leaving Congress, Rankin worked for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom for several years and then co-founded the Georgia Peace Society. She also spent five months in 1929 working for the Women’s Peace Union, a radical pacifist organization that wanted to eliminate war by passing a constitutional amendment rendering it illegal. But they were too extreme even for Rankin, who moved on to the National Council for the Prevention of War. Then, in 1940, she decided to take another stab at politics, running to reclaim her Montana congressional seat. Thanks to endorsements from prominent Republicans like New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, she won, rejoining Congress over 20 years after finishing her first term.

But as fate would have it, Rankin found herself, once again, in the position of voting on a declaration of war. The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress gathered to officially declare war on Japan. Once again, Rankin voted “nay”—the only lawmaker in either house of Congress to do so. When she declared, “As a woman I can’t go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else,” a chorus of hisses and boos arose from the House gallery. Journalists mobbed her as she tried to leave the chambers, and Rankin hid in the House cloakroom until Capitol policemen arrived to escort her safely back to her office.

There was no way for Rankin to recover politically, and she declined to seek a second term. But she continued in peace activism into her old age, leading thousands of women—called the Jeannette Rankin Brigade—in a protest against the Vietnam War in 1968. Then in her nineties, Rankin was contemplating another run for the House when she died in 1973.

Additional Sources: Interview with Jeannette Rankin, Suffragists Oral History Project, University of California, 1972 “Jeannette Rankin, Progressive-Isolationist.” Doctoral Dissertation, Princeton University, 1959 “Visuality in Woman Suffrage Discourse & the Construction of Jeannette Rankin as National Symbol of Enfranchised American Womanhood,” Master’s Thesis, Empire State College SUNY, 2011.

Watch the video: Women Wage Peace 2015 (July 2022).


  1. Nigar

    Just what?

  2. Rafael

    the complete tastelessness

  3. Gazilkree

    This message, is matchless))), it is very interesting to me :)

  4. Daniachew

    Aha, so too it seemed to me.

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