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Linda Grover; worked to note Global Family Day; at 76

“Peace is like Carnegie Hall,’’ Linda Grover said. “If you want to get there, you’ve got to practice.’’ “Peace is like Carnegie Hall,’’ Linda Grover said. “If you want to get there, you’ve got to practice.’’ (Kevin Clark/ Washington Post)
By Patricia Sullivan
Washington Post / February 27, 2010

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WASHINGTON - Linda Grover, 76, who devoted more than 10 years to establishing Jan. 1 as a worldwide day of peace, died last Saturday of uterine and ovarian cancer at the Washington Home and Community Hospices.

Global Family Day, recognized by Congress, the UN General Assembly, and scores of heads of state, encourages people to share meals, pledge nonviolence, and celebrate by ringing a bell or beating a drum on the first day of each year.

“We live by the rhythms of our holidays,’’ she told The Washington Post in 2002. “The quality of our holidays, or the meaning of our holidays, defines our individual cultures. And having no holiday that everyone shares means we’re all out of step.’’

Hence, Global Family Day, which she conceived when her own children, growing up in the 1970s, talked about how all the people in the world would surely come together on the first day of 2000 to live in peace and harmony.

Ms. Grover wrote a utopian novel, “Tree Island’’ (1995), on the topic and organized a 1998 meeting in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains of 50 millennium groups. At the same time, schoolchildren around the world began to agitate for a global day of nonviolence and no hunger. A children’s book by Steve Diamond and Robert Silverstein, “One Day in Peace, January 1, 2000,’’ also appeared in 22 languages.

Ms. Grover - whose background included stints as a television soap opera writer, boating magazine founder, and international caseworker - went to work in Washington, where she had once been a legislative aide and subcommittee clerk.

Six members of the House of Representatives, most prominently John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, and Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, and six members of the Senate, including Paul D. Wellstone, Democrat of Minnesota, and Harry M. Reid, Democrat of Nevada, joined in 2001 and 2006 to pass a resolution recognizing the day.

Linda Rauskolb was born in Nashua and raised in a military family.