Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

Frances Crowe, then 91 years old, is photographed in front of her home in Northampton, Mass. on Thursday, September 9, 2010

Frances Crowe, then 91 years old, is photographed in front of her home in Northampton, Mass. on Thursday, September 9, 2010. (Photo: Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

'Trailblazer in the Name of Peace': Anti-War Hero Frances Crowe Dies at 100

"As we celebrate her life and mourn her passing," said one friend and ally, "we know that the best tribute of all is to keep on fighting."

Andrea Germanos

Longtime peace activist Frances Crowe has died at the age of 100, leaving behind seven decades of decades work towards justice and inspiration for those still working for a better world.

She died last Tuesday in her home in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she lived since 1951, surrounded by her family, who wrote that her motto was "Live simply so that others can simply live."

Crowe, wrote Janet and Wayne Dinelli in the online guest book for her obituary, was a "true spirit and a trailblazer in the name of peace."

Frances Crowe, 98 years old, and seven other Sugar Shack Alliance members arrested for blocking Kinder Morgan gas pipeline work in Otis State Forest in Sandisfield, Mass. are arraigned at Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington, Mass.and are charged with civil rather than criminal trespassing June 29, 2017. (Photo courtesy Ellen Shub)
It was just months ago that the local Daily Hampshire Gazette named the Quaker centenarian their person of the year. "Within the activist community, everyone's been touched by her," Northampton High School student Cherilyn Strader told the paper. "There's no way around the impact that she's had."

It was back in 1945 that her tireless activism began—when the U.S. dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At the time, her husband, the late Tom Crowe, was a physician in the Army Medical Corps.

When Crowe heard about the bombing, she told Democracy Now! in 2005, "I really unplugged the iron, left the placemat that I was ironing, and went out looking for a peace center in the streets of New Orleans."

"There wasn't very much going on in resistance to war in those years," Crowe recently told New England Public Radio

But resist she did, and fiercely, leading to roughly 100 arrests, though, in her estimate, it was "not enough" times.

Her actions included draft counseling during the Vietnam War, blockading the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, throwing blood on nuclear submarines in Groton, Conn. and spray painting them with the message "thou shalt not kill," as well as starting numerous organizations including the local chapter of the American Friends Service Committee in 1968, and, with others, the local chapter of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Records of all that work are housed at Smith College, available for all to see. The papers, including brochures, letters, and posters, "not only show how much she had to work to protest a single injustice, but how few injustices—if any at all—escaped her attention," reported the Gazette.

"As we celebrate her life and mourn her passing," wrote Lindsay Koshgarian of the Northampton-based National Priorities Project, "we know that the best tribute of all is to keep on fighting." 

* * *

To see more about Crowe's activism and hear her in her own words, watch this segment from Democracy Now!:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves 'Rigged' Voting Maps

"We must protect our democracy with federal legislation immediately and defeat these cynical politicians at the ballot box."

Jessica Corbett ·

'An Act of Cowardice': 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation "a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work."

Brett Wilkins ·

The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·

'This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

"Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target."

Andrea Germanos ·

Progressives Vow to 'Push Very Hard' to Keep Agenda From Being Gutted Beyond Recognition

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said House Democrats "are fighting to tackle the climate crisis, expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing, and guarantee family leave in America."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo