Thursday, September 6, 2007

On September 6, ...

...1974, in Zambia, leaders of Portugal and of the liberation front known as FRELIMO signed a treaty known as the Lusaka Agreement establishing Mozambique as an independent nation-state, and so ending more than 400 years of Portuguese colonial rule. This week Forbes magazine named Mozambican Prime Minister Luisa Diogo the 89th most powerful woman in the world.
... 1860, Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois, the 8th of 9 children in a family "with Quaker roots" who counted among its friends President Abraham Lincoln, who'd served in the Illinois Senate with Addams' father. "Lincoln's creed of the equality of men became Miss Addams's ideal as a child," the New York Times wrote on the occasion of her death in 1935. It must be supposed that a contemporary reporter would insert "and women" after "men," given this passage from her 1931 Nobel Peace Prize biography:
Jane Addams was an ardent feminist by philosophy. In those days before women's suffrage she believed that women should make their voices heard in legislation and therefore should have the right to vote, but more comprehensively, she thought that women should generate aspirations and search out opportunities to realize them.
The opportunity that she seized was founding of Hull-House, a "settlement house" where Chicago's poor were given access to health care, job leads, education, exercise, and the arts. Over time Addams became active in civic and pacifist movements at home and abroad. She spoke at the 1913 ceremony opening the Peace Palace at The Hague, for instance, and served as President of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom established there 2 years later. Because of her opposition to World War I, the Daughters of the American Revolution expelled Addams from its ranks. Addams' memoir Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910) is an inspiration. (photo of Addams, holding a peace banner at right, with a flag-holding woman believed to be Mary McDowell, courtesy of Library of Congress.)

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