Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Keep America Out of War Congress Collected Records, 1938-1942

Collection: CDG-A [formerly DG 029]


Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
U.S.A.
Telephone: 610-328-8557 (curator)
Fax: 610-690-5728
Email: wchmiel@swarthmore.edu (Curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/


Descriptive Summary
Repository
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for this collection of papers.
Creator
Keep America Out of War Congress
Title
Keep America Out of War Congress Collected Records, 1938-1942
Inclusive Dates
Dates of records, 1938-1942 38-1942
Call Number
CDG-A
Language of Materials
Materials in English
Extent
1.25 linear feet [papers only]
Abstract
The Keep America Out of War Congress was founded in 1938 (as the Keep America Out of War Comittee), by several leading peace organizations. The Congress was to pursue a joint, minimum six-point peace program. The aims of this program included the removal of U.S. ships and nationals from belligerent zones, a war referendum, the abandonment of plans for conscription and industrial mobilization, and greater economic and social justice at home and abroad. The Keep America Out of War Congress was dissolved in 1942, and was reorganized as the Post War World Council.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
None
Usage Restrictions
None
Alternate Form of Material
None
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Post War World Council, 1953
Processing Information
Processed by SCPC staff. Finding aid created by Wendy E. Chmielewski. Finding aid revised by Andrew Ciampa, July 2010.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Keep America Out of War Congress Collected Records (CDG-A), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
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

Related Collections
Post War World Council Records (DG 062)

Historical Background
Early in 1938 the Keep America Out of War Committee was started through the efforts of the National Council for the Prevention of War, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the American Friends Service Committee, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, World Peaceways, the Commission for World Peace of the Methodist General Conference, and the Peace Committee of the General Conference of American Rabbis. At the National Anti-War Congress, May 28-30, 1938, it was decided that the organization would be known as the Keep America Out of War Congress.

The purpose of the Congress was to aid and supplement the efforts of existing peace groups, rather than to duplicate work that had already been undertaken by others. The Congress was to pursue a minimum six-point peace program to which all its affiliated organizations could agree, despite their differing economic and political beliefs. The aims of this program included the removal of U.S. ships and nationals from belligerent zones, a war referendum, the abandonment of plans for conscription and industrial mobilization, and greater economic and social justice at home and abroad. In 1941 the cooperating bodies were listed as the Peace Section of the AFSC; the NCPW; the War Resisters League; the WILPF; and the Youth Committee Against War, the youth section of the Congress. The Congress also worked with other anti-war groups, including the America First Committee.

Both the youth and labor sections were autonomous organizations, each with a program of its own to amplify that of the Congress. The Youth Committee grew out of the Youth Committee for the Oxford Pledge, which was a central force in the annual strike against war; in the 1930's. The Labor Anti-War Council was established at the 1938 Congress as the KAOWC labor section.

The Keep America Out of War Congress was dissolved in 1942, its name being changed to the Provisional Committee Toward a Democratic Peace, an interim group which was reorganized in 1942 as the Post War World Council.

Probably the best-known official of the KAOWC was Norman Thomas, who served on the General Staff and the Governing Committee and later became chairman of the Post War World Council.


Collection Overview
This collection includes administrative records of the KAOWC, meeting minutes, correspondence, press releases, literature, and newspaper clippings. There is also a section on the youth committees of the KAOWC.

Arrangement of Collection
Box 1 and 2 contain the files of the KAOWC. Box 3 contains the files of the Youth Committee of the KAOWC.




Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
History and purpose; by-laws
1938: meeting minutes
1938: reports, etc.
1938: press releases

1938: 1st National Congress, Washington, DC, May 28-30
1938: correspondence
Efforts re: Mexico, 1938-1939
1939: meeting minutes
1939: reports, etc.
1939: press releases
1939: Atlantic City conference
1939: correspondence

Box 2
1940: meeting minutes
1940: reports, etc.
1940: People's Anti-war Mobilization, June 7
1940: press releases
1940: correspondence
1941: meeting minutes
1941: reports, etc.
1941: press releases
1941: 2nd Anti-War Congress, May 30-June 1
1941: correspondence, [most to/from Dorothy Detzer and Norman Thomas]
Undated: reports, etc.
Undated: leaflets and literature lists
Miscellaneous periodicals
Dissolving of organization, 1941 (December) - 1942 (January)

Box 3
Labor Anti-War Council [see also press releases]
Local groups: Connecticut New Haven chapter
Local groups: Illinois, Chicago Committee
Local groups: Maine Committee
Local groups: Massachusetts Committee
Local groups: Michigan, Detroit Comittee
Local groups: New York, Brooklyn Council; Mid-town Section; Greater New York; New York Committee
Local groups: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Anti-War Committee; Pittsburgh Committee
1939-1940: meetings of the General Staff; Neutrality Bloc
Reference material

Box 4
Youth Committee Against War, 1938: general material
Youth Committee Against War, 1938: 1st National Youth Anti-War Congress, May 28-30
Youth Committee Against War, 1938: 2nd World Youth Congress, Poughkeepsie, New York, August 18-26
Youth Committee Against War, 1938: 2nd National Youth Anti-War Congress, Columbus, Ohio, December 27-30
Youth Committee Against War, 1938-1939: Student Strikes Against War
Youth Committee Against War, 1939: general material
Youth Committee Against War, 1939: Anti-War Mobilization, Washington, DC, September 29
Youth Committee Against War, 1939: 3rd National Youth Anti-War Congress, December 27-30
Youth Committee Against War, 1940: general material
Youth Committee Against War, 1940: Anti-War Mobilization, Washington, DC, June 7
Youth Committee Against War, 1940: 4th National Youth Anti-War Congress, Madison, Wisconsin, December 27-30
Youth Committee Against War, 1941: general material
Youth Committee Against War, 1941: Anti-War Mobilization, Washington, DC, February 21
Youth Committee Against War, 1941: 5th National Youth Anti-War Congress, Chicago, Illinois, December 27-30
Youth Committee Against War: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Chapter; New York, New York Chapter
Youth Committee Against War, undated: general material
Youth Committee Against War: miscellaneous periodicals
Youth Committee Against War: reference material



This file was last updated on June 20, 2012.