In 1903, Mary Harris Jones organized the famous "March of the Mill Children" to demand an end of child labor. Mother Jones (as she came to be called) and several dozen children, some of them crippled by machinery in the textile mills, marched from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt's summer home on Long Island. She wrote, "I went to Kensington, Pennsylvania, where seventy-five thousand textile workers were on strike. Of this number at least ten thousand were little children. The workers were striking for more pay and shorter hours. Every day little children came into the Union Headquarters, some with their hands off, some with the thumb missing, some with their fingers off at the knuckle. They were stooped little things, round shouldered and skinny.... I asked some of the parents if they would let me have their little boys and girls for a week or ten days, promising to bring them back safe and sound.... a few men and women went with me.... One little fellow had a drum and another had a fife.... We carried banners that said: "We want time to play."" When the children reached Roosevelt's house, he refused to see them. But their march had drawn national attention to the problem of child labor.
In 1958, Mao Zedong, chairman of the central government council of the newly established People's Republic of China, announced a new economic program aimed at quickly increasing industrial and agricultural production and revitalizing all sectors of the ailing Chinese economy. Known as "The Great Leap Forward", Mao's plan was intended to communize industry by, for instance, building thousands of backyard steel furnaces to replace large steel mills. The concept turned out to be completely unrealistic. More than 20 million people starved to death, and Mao was temporarily forced to turn control of the government over to Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping.
Peter Kropotkin, one of Russia's foremost political thinkers and an advocate of what he called "anarchist communism", wrote "Freedom of the press, freedom of association, the inviolability of domicile, and all the rest of the rights of man are respected so long as no one tries to use them against the privileged class. On the day they are launched against the privileged they are overthrown." Known as "the Anarchist Prince", Kropotkin left behind many books and pamphlets on his political beliefs, the most prominent being The Conquest of Bread and Fields, Factories and Workshops.
According to a 2001 poll by Belgrade-based Strategic Marketing, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica was the most popular politician in Serbia with a 72% positive rating. His closest rivals were central bank governor Mladjan Dinkic, federal deputy premier Miroljub Labus, and Yugoslav foreign minister Goran Svilanovic.
In 2003, as part of a Republican protest against France's opposition to the war on Iraq, both french fries and french toast were officially renamed "freedom fries" and "freedom toast" in the U.S. House of Representatives' cafeteria. Republican representative Bob Ney, whose committee recommended the name changes, said the action was "a small but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capital Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France." Democrat Jose Serrano, from New York, described the move as "petty grandstanding" and asked, "Should we ban French wine, Belgian waffles, or Russian dressing? If Mexico votes no, should Mexican restaurants also be banned?"
On January 30, 2005, Iraq held its first democratic elections. The clergy-backed United Iraqi Alliance gained 48% of the vote for the National Assembly, and the Kurdish Alliance took 26%. The Iraqi List, led by Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite who advocated strong ties to the U.S., gained only 14% of the vote.
As Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Prussia, Otto von Bismarck managed to unite Germany through a series of short and successful wars. Under his leadership, Germany matured from a loose confederation of weak states to a unified and powerful empire. The first Chancellor of the German Empire, he came to be known as the "Iron Chancellor" and is considered one of the most important figures in German history.
During the Russo-Japanese War, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt offered to serve as mediator. He summoned representatives of the warring countries to Portsmouth, New Hampshire in the summer of 1905 to discuss their differences, and the war came to a close shortly thereafter. A year later, in recognition of his role as a peacemaker, Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was the first American to receive the prestigious award.