American People's Mobilization Collected Records, 1940-1941
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
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Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
Telephone: (610) 328-8557 (Curator)
Fax: (610) 328-8544
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The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for this collection of records.
American People's Mobilization
American People's Mobilization Collected Records
Language of Materials
Materials in English
7.5 linear inches/feet [papers only]
In 1940, the Committee to Defend America by Keeping Out of War sponsored an Emergency Peace Mobilization conference held in Chicago (Illinois). It was attended by over 20,000 people. Out of this conference came the American Peace Mobilization, a nonprofit organization which aimed to "keep us out of war and . . . preserve and extend our democracy." Over the months of its existence, the APM -- through its literature, lobbying efforts, and conferences -- continued to press for nonintervention in the war, and advocated for economic liberties and well-being for all, repeal of anti-alien legislation, labor's right to organize and strike, and full civil rights for Negroes. By the summer of 1941 the focus of the APM shifted to advocating assistance to Great Britain and by October of that year, the organization was no longer in existence.
Restrictions to Access
Alternate Form of Material
Processed by Anne Yoder, February 1999. Finding aid was revised by Andrew Ciampa, June 10, 2010.
[Identification of item], in the American People's Mobilization Collected Records (CDG-A), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law
Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record
In 1940, the Committee to Defend America by Keeping Out of War sponsored an Emergency Peace Mobilization conference held in Chicago (Illinois) from August 31st to Sept. 2nd. It was attended by over 20,000 people, including 6,000 delegates from religious, labor, youth, farm and other organizations. Out of this conference came the American Peace Mobilization, a nonprofit organization which aimed to "keep us out of war and . . . preserve and extend our democracy." It was set up in Washington (District of Columbia), with the Rev. John B. Thompson as the national chair; Theodore Dreiser, Congressman Vito Marcantonio, Jack McMichael, Reid Robinson and Katherine Terrill as vice-chairs; Frederick Vanderbilt Field as executive secretary; and Marion Briggs as administrative secretary. National Council members included Carl Sandburg, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes. Area councils were set up in various locations to coordinate the efforts of local peace clubs. The national office was moved to New York City (New York) on February 10, 1941, though its legislative office remained in Washington.
Over the months of its existence, the APM -- through its literature, lobbying efforts, and conferences -- continued to press for nonintervention in the war, and advocated for economic liberties and well-being for all, repeal of anti-alien legislation, labor's right to organize and strike, and full civil rights for Negroes, among others. From May 9 - June 21, 1941, it sponsored a peace vigil in which 1,784 persons picketed the White House, for a total of 1,029 hours. Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22nd; on the same day the APM changed its name to "American People's Mobilization," adopted the slogan "For Victory Over Fascism,” and began to advocate for aid to Great Britain, the Soviet Union and all peoples fighting Nazi Germany. By October 1941, the APM was no longer in existence.
Detailed Description of the Collection
American Peace Mobilization
History and goals
Programmatic efforts, 1940 (August) - 1941 (July 21)
Mobilization for Change, Chicago (Illinois), 1940 (August 31 - September 2)
Working Conference for Peace, Washington (D.C.), 1941 (January 25-27)
American People's Meeting, New York (New York), 1941 (April 5-6)
Perpetual Peace Vigil [at White House], Washington (D.C.), 1941 (May - June 21)
2nd National Anti-War Congress for Democracy, Washington (D.C.), 1941 (May 30 - June 1)
National Labor Committee Against War
National Religious Committee
Theatre Arts Committee
Chicago (Illinois) Council [includes newsletter "APM Newscaster" vol. 1:1 1941 (January), vol. 1:3 1941 (March 15)]
Los Angeles (California) Council [includes newsletters "A.P.M" #12 1940 (December 17), #15 1941 (February 1); "APM Voice for Peace" vol. 1:1 1941 (March 18)
Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Council
New York (New York) Council [includes newsletter "A.P.M. Volunteer" vol. 1:1 1941 (February 8), 1941 (April 5)]
Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Council [includes "News Letter" #9 1940 (December 30)]
American People's Mobilization
Programmatic efforts, 1941 (July 22 - September)
American Peace Mobilization & American People's Mobilization
Miscellaneous Newsletters, 1940 -1941 ["Bulletin" #3-13 1940 - 1941 (January 3), #15 1941 (January 17); "Facts for Peace," 1941 (January 28), 1941 (February 18), 1941 (March 4), 1941 (March 11), 1941 (March 25), 1941 (June 10), 1941 (June17), 1941 (June 24); "Facts Against Fascism," 1941 (July 15); 1941 (August 5); Newsletter "Shop Talk" published by National Labor Committee Against War [affiliate of APM], 1941