SWARTHMORE COLLEGE PEACE COLLECTION
Peace and the Environment Home Page | Issues and Practices | Collections A-L | Collections M-Z | Image Credits
Detailed finding aids or catalog record for each manuscript collection of papers or records are available on the SCPC website and linked to from these pages.
American Peace Test Records, 1985-1994 (DG 197)
In 1985 six members of the National FREEZE Campaign founded American Peace Test as a direct, non violent action campaign to protest the testing of nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site, near Las Vegas, Nevada. The first large scale action took place in 1986, drawing large crowds of protestors. Similar demonstrations throughout the 1980s continued to draw larger numbers of protestors, as well as the support of some nationally known celebrities and politicians. In the early 1990s American Peace Test regrouped, but eventually the organization foundered.
This collection’s press releases and literature about anti-nuclear protests are all supported by accounts of the environmental hazards associated with the testing of nuclear weapons. In one publication the American Peace Test organizers state that one of the themes they would like followers to communicate to the government is that “the testing of nuclear weapons perpetuates the creation of radioactive waste through the mining, processing, and production.” The organization worked alongside other groups with similar environmental concerns regarding nuclear weapons. Planning material shows that APT organizers co-hosted the Uniting Nations for a Nuclear Test Ban event in January of 1991 with Greenpeace. During this event they assigned one room of an expo-like setup the topic of “Environmental Challenges” while designed other rooms with pacifist themes. In addition to the planning and publicity for this 1991 event, press releases and other documents, housed in this collection show additional focus on ecological issues. American Peace Test organizers frequently cited specifically how each test of nuclear weapons contemplated or carried out would harm the surrounding environment and communities.
Relevant boxes: Acc. 98A-069: Boxes 4-6
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward [8.75" x 21.75" mailing (cropped); Another Mother for Peace Records (DG 102)]
Another Mother for Peace was a women's peace group born from the antipathy to the war in Vietnam. The stated purpose of this non-partisan, non-profit organization was "to educate women to take an active role in eliminating war as a means of solving disputes between nations, people and ideologies." Dedicated to the principle that "war is obsolete", AMP encouraged its members to do peace homework by writing to elected government officials, expressing their desire for peace.
This collection contains correspondence with specialists regarding the adverse affects of nuclear energy as well as planning material for the radio program, “In the Name of Defense,” on the same topic. The chairman of Another Mother for Peace initiated contact with radiation researchers Dr. John Goffman and Dr. Arthur Tamplin as well as Elizabeth Hogan, a member of the Committee for Environmental Information, in efforts to quantify nuclear effects on human welfare. While they uncovered no concrete answer the ensuing epistolary content shows the group's interests diverging away from strictly anti-war activism and into the issue of peaceful nuclear energy. Another Mother for Peace went on to produce the radio program “In the Name of Defense” that interviewed three scientists as well as women who lived near both nuclear weapons stations and power sources. Among the files for the program are original scripts as well as correspondence from listeners.
Relevant boxes: Box 3; Box 4; Box 6
Center for Economic Conversion Records, 1975-2000 (DG 215)
The Center for Economic Conversion was a nonprofit organization which promoted the conversion of the military-based U.S. economy to a civilian-based, peace-oriented, and environmentally sustainable one. It was founded in 1975 as a project of the American Friends Service Committee. CEC was a leading advocate for using military base conversion as a tool to foster sustainable development.
The Center for Economic Conversion Records contain files on conversion projects that the CEC carried out with the aid of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Materials for the Future Foundation (MFF) as well as conversion plans for other bases outside of their administration. The files often include project and grant applications and strategies, along with some publicity that often stresses their recycling of reclaimed wood. In addition to papers detailing the conversion of military bases with environmentally sustainable methods the collection also has papers relating to a green building working group that the CEC sponsored. This coalition of Bay area individuals, businesses, and organizations share their relevant experiences and expertise in green building.
Relevant boxes: Acc. 03A-104: Box 3-4; Box 9
We Can Stop the Nukes. Sea Brook '77. [4" x 15" bumpersticker; Clamshell Alliance Collected Records (CDG-A)]
The Clamshell Alliance was a coalition of anti-nuclear and safe energy groups in New England. The organization began its work in July of 1976 in opposition to the construction of the Seabrook nuclear station in New Hampshire. The umbrella organization’s first protests involved acts of civil disobedience and attempts to blockade the Seabrook nuclear station. The group also placed importance on public education about the hazards of nuclear power and alternative sources of energy.
The Clamshell Alliance collection contains planning materials for their protests, news clippings, and updates from legal advisors and committees regarding the group’s liability or their members’ arrests. The material that best shows the environmental motivations for these protests are news releases, educational handouts, and fliers compiled by the organization. The news releases often promoted educational programs hosted by the Clamshell Alliance and events with environmentalist experts. On June 24th, 1978 the group sponsored a “national radio teach-in on nuclear power and alternative energy” and in July of 1979 they hosted a two-day event with environmentally focused workshops like “Home-grown Solar Greenhouse, Food & Energy’. The reference material kept in this collection shows that in addition to actively educating, they circulated material on radioactive waste and other hazardous parts of the Seabrook plant with the intention of motivating followers to take action. When the EPA was deciding if cooling tunnels could be built to dump 750,000 gallons of heated water into the ocean, the Clamshell Alliance circulated information on the possible effects of the addition and asked its members to write to the EPA in support of a responsible decision.
The radio program Consider the Alternatives began as a project of the National SANE Education Fund and the SANE Education Fund of Pennsylvania. Acc. 81A-34 contains folders of relevant material, some organized by month and some organized by the specific weekly program. While prior programs had highlighted disarmament efforts, the July 5, 1976 show was the first to highlight environmental reasons to oppose nuclear weapons. Michael Mann, the chief lobbyist for environment actions campaign against the B-1 bomber, spoke with the hosts of the show. In addition to scripted introductions to the topic the folder contains articles, research, and handwritten notes. Several similar folders detail 1977 programs on the effect nuclear weapons have on the earth’s resources, the arms race, and even the connection between nuclear energy and weapons. In addition to containing planning notes, research, and introductions these folders have some letters of reaction from listeners including a letter from a Haverford College physics professor.
The Peace Collection holds approximately 500 audio recordings of the radio programs in addition to the aforementioned boxes of material dealing with specific shows, . Binders with photocopies of each audiocassette and reel-to-reel tape’s labels show an increasing frequency of programs highlighting environmental issues. “Congress and the Environment,” “Action on the Environment,” and “Nuclear Power,” are the titles of a few programs form the early 1980s. The programs the collection holds on audio recording can also be searched through a card catalog primarily organized by program number. There are some additional names and terms that may be searched through a subject card catalog.
Relevant boxes: Acc. 81A-34: Box 5; Box 8; Card files in aisle B59
Louis Friedman Papers, 1973-2003 (DG 238)
Louis A. Friedman has worked internationally with Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP), EarthKind, People's Action for Clean Energy (PACE), and other organizations on peace and environmental issues. Along with his wife, Judi Friedman, an environmentalist and award-winning children's book author, he traveled internationally as a citizen-diplomat and also brought several Soviet/Russian delegations to the United States to further communication on related issues.
The Louis Friedman papers contain a large amount of information regarding the diplomatic trips he helped to plan, both domestic and international. The 1988 National Audubon Society trip to the Soviet Union hoped to bring attention to both peace and environmental issues. Documents found within this collection reveal correspondence attempting to reword the trip’s official objectives in order to promote each issue without the severity of the topics seeming overwhelming. The name of the trip was changed from “Ecology of Peace” to “National Audubon Trip to the Soviet Union” because they believed “the issue of peace would arise indigenously out of discussions and concerns about the environment” and this title was less likely to seem threatening in the context of the Cold War. Environmental concerns are commonly the primary issue in this collection while war, and especially nuclear power, are considered important as threats to the environment. The collection has files on other endeavors such as a solar home built and promoted in Connecticut for PACE, an Environmental Exchange between Soviet and American specialists for PEP which led to an American/Soviet Environmental Centre, and the promotion for his wife’s children’s book Jelly Jam, the People Preserver, which taught children how to help the environment in practical ways. In a historical background written specifically for this collection Friedman wrote that since the late 1990s his and his wife’s activism has focused on what they saw as the greatest global environmental problem, “nuclear power, and its allied horror threatening world peace, nuclear weapons.” This attention to the anti-nuclear movement can be seen in the files on the International Citizens’ Assembly to Stop the Spread of Weapons in New York City.
Relevant boxes: Box 3; Box 5; Box 8; Box 18; Box 22; Box 26 (most of the collection)
The Great Peace March; July 16-17 [2" button; The Great Peace March for Nuclear Disarmament Records (DG 147)]
We Can Create Life without War. The Great Peace March 1986 [58.5" x 35" banner; The Great Peace
March for Nuclear Disarmament Records (DG 147)]
The Great Peace March
[2.25" button; Misc.:
Anne Richards (acc. 99A-040)]
We Support the Great Peace March [8.0" x 3.75" bumpersticker; The Great Peace March for
Nuclear Disarmament Records (DG 147)]
The Great Peace March
[2" button; The Great Peace March for Nuclear
Disarmament (DG 147)]
The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament Records, 1986 - (DG 147)
In 1986 six hundred people marched across the United States to demonstrate their opposition to the world-wide nuclear arms race. The marchers traveled from California to Washington, D.C., and took took nine months. The marchers wrote: "we will create a non-violent focus for positive change; the imperative being that nuclear weapons are politically, socially, economically and morally unjustifiable, and that, in any number, they are unacceptable."
The environmentally related material in this collection more often pertains to individuals involved in the organization than the acts of the overall organization itself. Marchers often cited environmental hobbies in their records and the organization collected some of their written material. Carole Littlebrant, who went on to participate in the Great Peace March, wrote a “plan to save the planet earth from nuclear war” in 1984. In her plan she writes “the waste matter from the production of nuclear weapons and the radioactivity from even underground testing poisons our environment, upsets the ecological balance of nature, and causes birth defects and death by diseases such as cancer in populations situated in areas exposed to such hazards. “ Most of the files that contain marchers’ similarly environmentally conscious writings and activism are among the papers of the Community Interaction Department (C. I. D), whose local contacts often included people responsible for recycling projects and planting peace trees. In fact, the Great Peace March participated in “keys and trees” ceremonies in many of the cities they visited during which they planted trees.
Relevant boxes: Series II, Box 5; Series II, Box 6
GWEN Project Records, 1985-1994 (DG 202)
GWEN Towers: Hackleburg, AL [4" x 6" color
photograph; GWEN Project Records (DG 202)]
GWEN (Ground Wave Emergency Network) Project was a grass roots organization founded in the mid 1980s. Mobilized citizens protested the establishment of a GWEN network, a plan by the U.S. Air Force to build a system of radio towers around the U.S. for the purpose of maintaining military communications in the event of nuclear war. The GWEN Project was a national organization, headquartered in Amherst, Massachusetts.
While the GWEN Project operated out of New Hampshire supporters and activists were located
geographically around the areas where the U. S. Air Force considered installing GWEN networks. The GWEN Project Records, also substantially organized by geographic location, reveal major efforts in protesting the networks publicly and lobbying government representatives against the program. Papers discussing the environmental assessments of the networks reference air pollution, water pollution, erosion, rubbish and debris, and radiation as all possible effects. When lobbying, however, representatives of the GWEN Project mainly stressed electromagnetic radiation and health effects. Much of the lobbying material is organized by geographic area. When the directors of GWEN did not have contacts in an area where the Air Force proposed a GWEN network they would reach out to other peace organizations with membership in the area for assistance. Another relevant section of the collection are the folders containing speeches from meetings regarding GWEN proposals and activists’ concerns, resolutions, and correspondence with the press and government officials. Opposition folders are organized by geographic location.
Relevant boxes: Acc. 03A-029: Box 9; Acc. 01A-030: Box 1-2
Milton Lowenthal Papers, 1962-1994 (DG 191)
Milton Lowenthal was an activist involved in the peace and antinuclear movements, especially near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He also worked with the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy and other pacifist organizations. Lowenthal participated in protests following the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, and sponsored the Japanese antinuclear artist Kazuaki Kita.
Milton Lowenthal’s activism against the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station began years before the 1979 core meltdown. Amongst his papers housed in the Peace Collection are letters and information about his activism against an expansion of the facility in 1977. In a letter to the editor of The New York Times Lowenthal wrote that “the technology results in routine gaseous emissions of radioactive poisons that cause cancers in humans and have genetic effects, and is subject to accidents that could require immediate evacuation of people living within ten miles of a plant.” His concerns surpassed these worries about malfunctioning units, however, as evidenced by his collected materials on the effects of radiation on food. In more letters, Lowenthal goes on to praise clean energy alternatives by saying, “fortunately, for our generation, solar power technically has developed to make this inexhaustible free, nonpolluting source of energy available almost anywhere on earth.” Lowenthal’s extensive correspondence regarding his activism and interest in environmental issues is a great strength of this particular collection.
Relevant boxes: Acc. 96A-085: Boxes 3-5
For more information, contact Wendy Chmielewski, Curator, at email@example.com or call 610-328-8557.
Created by Jean Turner (Archival Intern, Swarthmore College Peace Collection), August 2011.
This file was last updated on July 20, 2012.