She called herself Peace Pilgrim. For twenty-eight years, she walked across the United States carrying a message of peace for anyone who would listen.

When she started on her pilgrimage in 1953, Americans were fighting a war in Korea. The United States and the Soviet Union were in an escalating arms race. Nuclear annihilation, either intentional or by accident, was an ever-present threat.

Having vowed to “remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the ways of peace,” she crisscrossed the United States six times. Over her clothes she wore a tunic with “Peace Pilgrim” lettered on the front. The only possessions in her pockets were a comb, a folding toothbrush, a pen, a map, and leaflets to pass out along the way. She never carried money and wouldn’t take money from others. Nor did she ask for food or shelter, accepting them only when they were freely offered. Yet she rarely went hungry for more than a day or two before someone fed her. When no one invited her into their home, she slept in bus stations, by roadsides, in haystacks, under bridges.