Monday, December 10, 2012

On December 10

On this day in ...
... 1931, the Nobel Peace Prize was bestowed on Jane Addams; she was a co-winner with Nicholas Murray Butler. Nobel Committee Chair Halvdan Koht said in his presentation speech:
'America helped – perhaps it would be more correct to say compelled – Europe to create a League of Nations which would provide a firm basis for peaceful coexistence among nations. It was a crushing blow that America herself did not join this organization, and without doubt her failure to do so contributed largely to the failure of the League of Nations to live up to expectations. We still see too much of the old rivalries of power politics. Had the United States joined, she would have been a natural mediator between many of the conflicting forces in Europe, for America is more interested in peace in Europe than in lending her support to any particular country.
'It must be said, however, that the United States is not the power for peace in the world that we should have wished her to be. She has sometimes let herself drift into the imperialism which is the natural outcome of industrial capitalism in our age. In many ways she is typical of the wildest form of capitalist society, and this has inevitably left its mark on American politics.
'But America has at the same time fostered some of the most spirited idealism on earth.'
A longtime advocate of peace, suffrage, and measures to alleviate poverty, Addams was emblematic of that idealism – of "the work which women can do peace fraternity among nations," Koht continued. But Addams, who was then 71 years old, was admitted to a hospital in Baltimore on this day in 1931, and so was unable to attend the ceremony in Oslo, Norway. She would die 4 years later in the city where she had long lived, Chicago. We IntLawGrrls honor her as a transnational foremother.

(Prior December 10 posts are here, here, here, here, and here.)

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