MABEL NORMAND’S PEACE DAY
Up until recently I have been looking into Mabel Normand’s career and yes, her personal life, which has exposed a facet worth exploring. It is her PUBLIC LIFE, a bridge between her on screen persona and the person she was off screen. Sadly, because of her tumultuous personal life has received so much attention, it has over shadowed the face she wanted to show to the public off screen.
In April 1913, she was campaigning for the Socialist candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles at nickelodeons. She was reported to be talking about perhaps someday running for Mayor herself, for the Suffrage Party if the vote for women ever came to
Her interest in the progressive movement seemed to be very much a part of who she was, as three years later, our Mabel was giving speeches in
There is some indication that Mabel Normand was also associated with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) – Wobblies before the
A Peace Day was first conceived by Mabel and was part of a very large ceremony at the Panama California International Exposition 1916. Thousands of children paraded on the Fair grounds from all parts of
With Mabel and the thousands of children was Secretary Penfold of the Exposition and George Wharton Jones, the famous author and lecturer. David Starr
George Hunt, governor of
She was an enthusiastic peace worker and paid for “
According to the Arizona Gazette, November 14, 1916, “Friday has been set apart at the fair as Mabel Normand Peace day, when duplications of scenes at the San Diego exposition will be made, and Miss Normand, with two veterans of the civil war, will bury the implements of war, expressing her idea of “Peace on earth, good will to men.” The ceremony at the State Fair was very dramatic and the “beautiful comedy queen” advocated world peace.
What did Mabel say to the children of
Mabel Normand Calls Peace Army
Dear boys and girls, parents and educators of
There are many acres in
While Arizonans have been making productive and beautiful the barrens lands of
During this dreadful war, millions of boys and girls have lost their fathers and their homes. I do not believe that this war would have come if the grown people of Europe had been taught when they were boys and girls that God has put us here to conquer the earth, and not to conquer men; to create and not destroy beautiful and useful things; to love each other and not to hate each other; to save human life, and not to slay human life.
Full of this belief, several thousands of us met at the San Diego Exposition recently, where we buried the arms of war and planted the olive symbol of peace. Each boys and girl present promised to make the earth produce at least one plant and to care for and to love that plant as their symbol of peace and happiness.
And because David Starr Jordan, George Wharton James and many wise and good men and women think well of it, I am sending a message to parents and educators all over the world, asking them to help the boys and girls to celebrate Christmas by having each one of them start a flower plant in a pot on Christmas day, so that they will have it ever near them as a symbol of love and creation.
Having done this, we ask you boys and girls to begin the new year of 1917 by gathering together in schools or in other public places, there to bury the symbols of hate and war, as we did in
Parents, educators, boys and girls of
by David Starr Jordan:
“The Chinese have a proverb: ‘Where armies’ quarter, thorns and thistles grow.’ War and war-making means desolation and hate. As roses are fairer than tin soldiers and bayonets, so are the thoughts of flower-planting children sweeter and nobler than hatred, fear and suspicion, which are always part of the war.”
This was during the period that Mabel Normand headed the Mabel Normand Feature Film Company and was also filming the racetrack scenes for Mickey in
Arizona Gazette, November 14, 1916, Popular Film Star Comes To Phoenix
King, Rob, The Fun Factory, 2009, page 64
Los Angeles Citizen,
Motion Picture Magazine, January 1917