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Annie Hughes Griffiths, President of the Welsh League of Nations Union (WLNU), displays the memorial cover of the 1923 Welsh Womens Peace Appeal petition to America on the steps of the White house in Washington, following the Welsh peace delegation's meeting with President Calvin Coolidge on 21 February 1924, alongside fellow Welsh 'Peace Tour' representatives (L-R) Gladys Thomas, Mary Ellis and Elined Prys.
The Women's Peace Appeal - signed by 390,296 women across Wales - was an unprecedented campaign organised by the WLNU over 1923-24, in the aftermath of World War One: an appeal 'from the women of Wales to the women of America', calling for their support to persuade the United States to join the League of Nations and avert the risk of another future world war. The campaign was signed by households throughout Wales through a door to doot campaign that engaged over 1/3 of the population at the time.
In 1924, a delegation of Welsh women undertook a 'Welsh Women's Peace Tour' across America, meeting president Calvin Coolidge before travelling across the country, garnering support for the appeal. Stops along the way included New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Arizona and Colorado.
As President of the Welsh League of Nations Union (today's WCIA, Welsh Centre for International Affairs), Annie went on to give many hundreds of speeches and talks about their American Peace Tour, and she kept a personal diary of their travels and experiences which provides great insight into the peace campaign and the early 1920s internationalist women's movements in both Wales and America. This is one of many resources available at: (link opens in new window)
Over 2023-24, the centenary of the women's peace campaign is being celebrated through 'Hawlio Heddwch', a project partnersherhip led by Academi Heddwch with WCIA, Heddwch Nain Mamgu, National Library and Museum of Wales, Womens Archive Wales and others. From Summer 2023 there will be many opportunities for volunteers to get involved in transcribing the 390,296 petition signatures - can you help?
This specific image is from the archives of the Welsh League of Nations Union with copies held at both the Temple of Peace and National Library for Wales. WCIA as WLNU's direct successor organisation are the copyright holders and we give permission to any groups / individuals and media outlets wishing to use this image for non-commercial purposes in communications about the Women's Peace Centenary over 2023-24, to do so - please credit WCIA / Temple of Peace Archives.

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