In October 2007, these protesters donned masks depicting the face of Aung San Suu Kyi to denounce her imprisonment by the Burmese military government. In 1991, Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize for her peaceful opposition to the incumbent regime in Burma. Many groups share the concept of a "peacemaker," but exact definitions vary. Some are famous for negotiating peace agreements, while others pursue political freedom and equality through peaceful means. Read on for more examples of the world's peacemakers.
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Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948), also known as Mahatma Gandhi, is perhaps the most famous peacemaker in world history. In his role as a figurehead of the Indian independence movement, which sought to liberate India from British colonial rule, Gandhi practiced civil disobedience, nonviolence and passive resistance.
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Gandhi was not the first public figure to practice nonviolent civil disobedience, but he may have been the first leader to initiate a nonviolent resistance movement on a national scale. Campaigns like Gandhi's "Salt March" were pivotal in the struggle for freedom from British rule. To see an important voice of peaceful liberation who was inspired by Gandhi, click ahead.
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Martin Luther King, Jr., (1929-1968) was an ordained minister with a doctorate from Boston University. He led the Montgomery bus boycott sparked by Rosa Parks, winning that battle about a year later when the bus line ended its segregated operating practices. He went on to organize the Southern Leadership Conference, increasing his national prominence.
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Seen here, delivering a press conference in Warrenville, Ill., in 1967, Dr. King eventually became known as the most important figure in the U.S. civil rights movement. Taking inspiration from Gandhi and others, King encouraged disenfranchised African Americans to always maintain the moral high ground by practicing nonviolence and peaceful protest. On the next page, you'll learn how a 10-year-old girl became an international voice for peace.
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Maine resident Samantha Smith (second from the right) was only 10 years old when she drafted a letter to Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, asking how the United States and the U.S.S.R. could avoid entering a nuclear war. A few months later, in April 1983, Andropov responded to the girl's letter, assuring her that he did not desire war and inviting her to spend two weeks as a guest in a Russian summer camp. Her celebrated arrival is pictured above.
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Oscar Arias Sanchez, who was President of Costa Rica when this picture was taken, prepares to speak before the United Nations General Assembly in 2009. Arias won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his impressive work as a mediator in Central America, having helped broker numerous agreements between belligerent factions in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and elsewhere. Click ahead to see two revered peacemakers from South Africa.
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Nelson Mandela (center) and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (right) are both Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Tutu was honored in 1984 for his peaceful efforts to promote equality and human rights under the brutal apartheid government of South Africa. Mandela received his award in 1993 for the difficult work of bringing a relatively peaceful end to that same regime. Next, you'll see a social activist from the United States.
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Jane Addams, seen reading to a group of children, was an American social worker and activist. At home, she toiled fiercely in support of public education, sanitation, women's rights and social charity, while on the national and international stages she gave a profound voice to the pacifist movement that opposed U.S. entry into World War I. Read on to find out about a peace-making monk.
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Thich Nhat Hanh, seen at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk who is known for humanitarian work that left him exiled from his homeland. During the 1960s, he established agencies to provide relief to the innocent victims of the war in Vietnam. Later, he became an influential anti-war speaker and writer. Though Hanh never received a Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King, Jr. personally nominated the monk for the award in 1967.
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Albert Schweitzer was a German-born theologian, philosopher, musician, surgeon and humanitarian. Schweitzer spent much of his life working in Lambaréné in French Equatorial Africa, in a hospital which he founded in 1913. Next, you'll see a woman working for peace in Uganda.
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At a national conference of the Center for American Progress in 2008, Betty Bigombe speaks with actor Ryan Gosling. Bigombe is a scholar, professor and political consultant, known for her role in the ongoing peace negotiations within Uganda. She has served as a mediator between the Ugandan government and the Lord's Resistance Army, a theocratic Christian militant group. Many have seen her as Uganda's hope for peace. Next, you'll see a controversial recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
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President Bill Clinton watches a historic handshake in 1993 between Yasir Arafat, former leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and Yitzhak Rabin, former Israeli prime minister. Arafat and Rabin both received Nobel Peace Prizes in 1994 for their progress toward a peace agreement after decades of bloody struggle. Many question this award, since the same conflict continues to rage even today.
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In 1978, Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat (right) and Israeli President Menachem Begin (left) shared a Nobel Peace Prize for the peace agreements that they signaled with the now-famous Camp David Accords, which would bring an end to years of conflict between Israel and Egypt. Next, you'll see the man who helped broker the Camp David Accords.
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He went from peanut farmer to president to rogue peacemaker in just a few decades. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, shown on the campaign trail in 1976, is known for his role in negotiating international peace agreements and promoting charity and human rights around the globe through a nonprofit organization called the Carter Center. Next, you'll see another highly controversial American winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
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Here, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger poses with British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1983. Exactly one decade before, when Kissinger was working for the Nixon administration, he was presented with a joint Nobel Peace Prize for establishing a ceasefire in Vietnam. His Vietnamese co-recipient, Le Duc Tho, refused the award, citing the fact that a stable peace had not been reached.
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This photo shows writer, Holocaust survivor and international human rights activists Elie Wiesel at the 1987 trial of Klaus Barbie, an SS officer in charge of the Gestapo in Lyon, France, from 1942 to 1944. After his experiences in the Nazi death camps, Wiesel wrote extensively on the subject and spoke publicly on human rights issues ranging from apartheid in South Africa to the genocide in Darfur.
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Here, Elie Wiesel poses with Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Next, you'll see a Chinese dissident who was unable to receive his Nobel Peace Prize because he was stuck in prison.
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Above, Czech protesters in downtown Prague show their support for the imprisoned Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent protest of the oppressive policies of the Chinese government. He was unable to accept the prize in person because he was imprisoned at the time for the crime of "inciting subversion of state power."
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Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, known to most as Mother Teresa, died in 1997, and several years later, Catholic leadership authenticated an alleged miracle healing, in which a photo of the famous nun is claimed to have removed a tumor from an Indian woman's stomach. But it was her non-supernatural day-to-day work on earth -- caring for the poor and the sick of Kolkata, India -- that earned Mother Teresa the powerful legacy she still retains.
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Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, has traveled the world in his exile from Tibet. The Dalai Lama is known for promoting nonviolence, community service and universal compassion. He visited Washington, D.C., in October 2007 to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. Next, you'll see a Kenyan peacemaker.
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Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, a noted Kenyan ecofeminist and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, speaks with Mitsubishi's senior executive vice president at a joint tree-planting ceremony in Nairobi's Karura Forest. Maathai was known for promoting women's rights and environmental protections and establishing the Green Belt Movement to promote environmental conservation in Kenya.
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This is Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. During the American Civil War, Barton undertook a campaign of heroic humanitarian work, supporting field hospitals and providing medical services and supplies. After Barton founded the American branch of the International Red Cross, she spent much of her life focusing on disaster relief.
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This is the American abolitionist leader and former slave Harriet Tubman (1820 - 1913), who led more than 300 escaped slaves (including her parents) to freedom through the Underground Railroad. Of Harriet Tubman, the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said he knew of no one who had "willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people…"
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The American scientist Linus Pauling made important contributions to the intellectual tradition of chemistry, but after World War II, he also became a fierce peace activist, warning the world about the dangers of nuclear weaponry.
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