An extremist in the true and most positive sense of the word, Emily Davison was a “militant suffragette” who pulled all kinds of stunts to get her message across. This included, but not short of going on hunger strikes with her sisters in arms from approximately 1910-1912. An action that awarded her a Hunger Strike Medal by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). Davison came from a middle-class family and this allowed her to gain a form of education that would later lead her to understanding the plight she found herself as a woman in Victoria era Britain. With all that in mind she was able to gain a higher education at the Royal Holloway College and later Oxford University during a time where women were not allowed to hold degrees. After accomplishing this she became a teacher where she was being exposed more and more to suffragette propaganda leading her to leave her job and become a full-time activist. During this time, she was arrested several times for assault and during her hunger strikes force fed dozens of times. A staunch socialist the majority of what she advocated for (on top of women's rights) also focused on the rights of the lower classes. Her extremist actions are argued to have been a response to the violence that many women’s movements would face. However, her unpredictable behavior led to her accidental death at the 1913 Epsom Derby, where she was ridden down by a horse of King George V. It is unclear what she was attempting to do by walking across an active racetrack but agreed upon that it was a political stunt that went horribly awry. Davison has been turned into a legend by Joice Worters’ play Emily that focuses heavily on violence against women suffragists using Davison as an example of active resistance.
Jazz Jennings October 6, 2000 to Present
Jazz Jennings is one of the first publicly documented transgender people and in effect has spent much of her young life leading the fight for the LGBTQ community. She was born male but knew from an early age that she was female. Her life and the struggles for her and her (accepting) family raising a transgender daughter have been well documented by the television network TLC. Jennings worked to use her reality star status to gain more rights and recognition for people in the LGBTQ community. While Jennings is only 19 years of age, she is still doing what she can to spread awareness and it will be interesting to see what she accomplishes in the future.
Carl Von Ossietzky October 3, 1889 to May 4, 1938
Receiver of the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize, Carl Von Ossietzky is best known for his articles exposing Germany’s rapid rise in militarization and nationalistic ideals. He was also one of the few people outwardly critical of Adolf Hitler and his regime during a period of rising support for the Nazis and their political standing. Much of Von Ossietzky’s reasoning comes from his own pacifist beliefs. His journalistic career led him to cover many different topics, but he is most famous for his work exposing the German (illegal) rearmament programs sponsored by the Nazi party. His efforts had landed him in legal issue, but the world at large would appreciate his work enough to grant him such a prestigious award. However, the German government at the time saw it differently, Von Ossietzky found himself arrested and sent to one of the first concentration camps in 1933. He spent the rest of his life in jail under constant surveillance, dying in 1938 due to tuberculosis.