Swarthmore College Peace Collection

American Peace Test Records, 1985-1994

Collection: DG 197

Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399 U.S.A.
Telephone: (610) 328-8557 (Curator); Fax: (610) 328-8544
Email: wchmiel1@swarthmore.edu (Curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/

Descriptive Summary
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
American Peace Test
American Peace Test Records
Inclusive Dates
Call Number
DG 197

Language of Materials
Materials in English
6.25 linear feet [papers only]
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. Protests throughout the 1980s continued to draw larger numbers of protestors and the support of some nationally known celebraties and politicians. In the early 1990s American Peace Test regrouped, but eventually the organization foundered. Protests at the Nevada Test Site continued through the 1990s, sometimes sponsored by other organizations and groups of protestors.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
Usage Restrictions
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Anthony Bondi, 1998 [Acc. 98A-069]
Processing Information
Unprocessed as of 2009
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the American Peace Test Records (DG 197), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendeNevada Test Site, 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

Historical Background
[Based on a history of APT by Peter Bergel]

In August of 1985, Jessie Cocks, Nancy Hale and Jim Driscoll from the Nuclear FREEZE Campaign decided to recruit Peter Bergel, Ted Coran and Nancy Heskett, and became the founders of The Great American Peace Test – a project of the Nuclear FREEZE Campaign. This was later shortened to American Peace Test (APT). In the fall of 1985, this group organized 30 days of nonviolent civil disobedience at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), leading up to the Reagan/Gorbachev Summit in Iceland. Well over 100 people were arrested.

Early the following year the American Peace Test became a separate organization, and that summer APT held its first large action at NTS. Dan Ellsberg and Oregon Congressman Jim Weaver spoke at the protest. Bill Rosse of the Western Shoshone National connected with APT around this time. APT continued to organize anti-nuclear demonstrations at the NTS,for, and with, groups like Union of Concerned Scientists, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Great Peace March. Support came from individual celebrities such as Carl Sagan and Martin Sheen for APT activities. Although APT protestors had been arrested and charged with trespass through 1986, by that winter, organizers Peter Bergel and Jessie Cocks were cited for “conspiracy to commit trespass,” a more serious criminal charge. These charges dragged on for almost a year, but were finally dropped, thanks to the assistance of Carl Sagan and Nye County Sheriff Lt. Jim Merlino.

By 1987 APT organized much larger gatherings at the NTS with celebrities such as Teri Garr, Casey Casem, Robert Blake, and Kris Kristofferson involved. That same year APT core staff appeared at a series of exclusive house parties in major cities across the country attended by wealthy donors and celebrities like Sheen, Ellsberg, Brian Willson, Peter Yarrow, Ronnie Gilbert, E. L. Doctorow, and Mary Stuart Masterson

In early 1988 five thousand people attended the largest APT protest so far. 1,200 were arrested in one day. New celebrities such as Top Forty DJ Casey Kasem – the most listened to person in the world – , six members of the U.S. Congress attended the large protest and the U.S. national media covered the event for days. Even the Olympic flame was carried to the protest by a team of runners. However, at the same time APT was being consumed by internal conflicts. During the following months, the entire staff, including all the founders, were fired and the organization was taken over by a new board. Throughout the next year APT got $80,000 into debt and the new board resigned. With the internal conflicts and financial instability APT organizers sponsored smaller events. Over the next few years APT flounders, and Larry Levy, David Solnit attempted to pay off APT’s debts. By the mid 1990s with a partial Comprehensive Test Ban as U.S. policy and declining attendance at protest, APT members voted to close down the organization. Protests at the NTS continued, sponsored by other organizations.

Collection Overview
Collection contains American Peace Test administrative records, correspondence, literature, mailings.

Items removed:
Photographs and slides
-- 2 boxes of photographs in 8" x 10" boxes (all sizes)
--2 folders of oversize photographs and contact sheets
--Individual-29 slides in slide binder in Photograph Collection
Audio visual materials
--Slide set-37a and 37b, 2 boxes in Audio Visual Collection
--Video recordings, #0231-0244
--Phonograph recordings--#0048a and 0048b
--Audio cassettes--#0321-0328
--1 t-shirt
--1 small cloth sign
--cloth and paper banners

Arrangement of Collection
Collection is unprocessed and files are kept as originally donated.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
Peace camp correspondence
Child care
Fall 1985 action
August 5, 1986 Boston action
Action reg. forms
[untitled] 4 folders
Press release November 17, 1986 action
Evaluations November 17, 1986
APHA action
Worker outreach CTR strike
Worker outreach
Great Peace March archives 1986
Test ban caravan
Past actions January 27, 1987
Bills to pay
Originals 1987
February 5 Test ban caravan, 1987
Rally-support actions 1987
Lenten Dester experience, 1987
Next Stop Nevada
CIA action, DC
UNLU map
1987 Mother's Day action - letter and statue
Mother's day May 10, 1987

Box 2
Org. packet 1987
Moca 1987 #2
Mother's day files of basics
Local actions
TBan Caravan
Unitarian June 1987
Test Ban Caravan June 8-9, 1987
American Peace Test information packet
Press clippings June 9th action
June 15th 1987 action Nevada
Master copies 1987
GMFP flyers October 1987
Linda Putnam, photocopies of photos
Bow 1992
Testing Alert Hotline

Box 3
HGW summary
1989 Nevada Test Site scanned log
Bow minutes, history, June 1991
HGW money proposals
Western Shoshone Dam Encampment
August 1993 American Peace Test observe no-nuke test
Nuclear resister
Peter and me
Bay peace test
Steering com. archives
BOW archives 1986-1988 meeting archives

Box 4
1987 Letters from staff R.E. CD/Nevada Test Site
Staff Collect.
BOW registraNevada Test Site
NTL Council (2 folders)
[untitle] (2 folders)
Staff report
Press packet
Organizer's packet
MOCS Press
Mother's day action newsletter - archives
Mother's day international support

Box 5
MDA proclamation
Ca. peace walk to Nevada Test Site 1989
RTS II archives
Action reports and suggestions
RTS II 1989
Livermore Aug 6 and 7, 1989
1990 Speaking tour
Spring 1990 Nevada Test Site action
January 1990 conference
October 1990 actions
Kazakhstan walk October 1990 (2 folders)
British women's action, November 1990
Suleimenov visit December 1990
American Peace Test/Greenpeace conference, January 1991 actions
Logistics April action 1991
Testing Alert Network - reprints
[untitled] (2 folders
Non-proliferation treaty
[title not legible]
Past actions APT 1985

Box 6
Tour speakers
100 Monkey
Western Shoshone Land Rights Treaty with U.S. govt/concerns with regard to Nevada test site/legal info
A.N.A./nurses vigil June 1992
Back country
RG2 handbook October 1992
Action & CD Veg forms
Backcountry reference
Catalogues, books, etc.
Survey returns

Box 7
Permit blanks and conditions
B&R Bearings -oil seals
APT BLM Correspondence
U.S. v G. Israel
USA v. Rainbow Family
Rainbow Clippings
Senate Select Committee
BLM/APT Agreement 1988
Camp set up 1990
International contacts
National council records

Box 8
Support pledge form
American Peace Test lobbying
Phone log April-June 1987
American Peace Test June 1987, actions
American Peace Test alpha action September 30, 1986
Speakers packets updates
American Peace Test growth meeting May 1988
American Peace Test mailing January 1987
1818 Industrial office, papers, invoices, etc.
Staff task accomodation sheets
SANE/Freeze legislation
HGW benefit
Photo file
Tom Clark letter October 28, 1985

Box 9
American Peace Test "secretarying"
American Peace Test resources

American Peace Test structure
American Peace Test pledge form
Citizen arrest
Case law necessity
Nevada Lawyers
Laws, statutes, NRS, federal
Legal Las Vegas Attorneys
Attorney's correspondence, 1986-1987
Correspondence with officials (NYE)
Attorney's memorandum legal briefs to American Peace Test
4th amendment unlawful detention
NYE Co./ Department of Energy cases relating to Sheriff's contract, etc.
Department of Energy contract/NYE Co.
Personal GSL payme Nevada Test Site
Personal statement
DQ Bill Sullivan
Legal reference
Miscellaneous Nevada Test Site legal

Box 10
Motion to dismiss
Reclaim the Test Site Action Handbook, March 1988
Motion DNG II
British women's trial 1991
AFSC/other press lists
Desert defense group II
November 16 and 17, 1987
David Ellsberg affidavit
Legal briefs
Lost and Found
Legal forms
BLM camping law

Box 11
LA Times
Desert Defense, Press for/on trials, February 5 action
HGW press clippings
[untitled] (3 folders)

International opinion and viewpoiNevada Test Site
Health and environmental dangers from nuclear fallout
Protest actions

Box 12
Trials on CD actions at Nevada Test Site
Info. on nuclear tests done at Nevada Test Site (2 folders)
Political cartoons on nukes
August 6-9, 1986 including House vote
Mother's day + May 5
Newsclips 1987
Peace march
American Peace Test May 31-June 2 action
Vegas names
Press cuttings
Periodical Earth First!
Germay media coverage
3/88 press articles
Editorials/op ed/ archives

Box 13
[untitled] (2 folders)

American Peace Test related press releases
Media contacts, to be updated
How to do local media
Press re. November 1986-September 1985
Miscellaneous Correspondence/Cards
Diablo Canyon Blockade/Encampment Handbook

[untitled] (2 folders)
Media contacts
Media background
Trade publications
Press contacts archives
Information sent out, February-June 1993, NDE/American Peace Test countdown 1993
DC meeting May 20, 1993
Countdown 1993 participating groups (and individuals)
Peoples treaty

Box 14
Press Contacts Archives

May 14-16 organizer seminar
Organizer Seminar Registration+
Skills seminar for organizers
International coountdown 1993 file
CTB Strategy sessions May 20, 24, 1993
[untitled] (2 folders)
American Peace Test 1December 1990 budget
Meeting minutes
Minutes, assorted
Job applications summer 1988

Box 15
Volunteers 1987
Press info.
American Peace Test policy (4 folders)
House Bill 2944
1985 strategies
American Peace Test finances
American Peace Test 1986
Data base

Box 16
Tan questionnair returns
American Peace Test structure
American Peace Test strategy
American Peace Test
American Peace Test mailing April 1987
American Peace Test Spokes Council June 1987
American Peace Test flyers
American Peace Test regional action
January-April, Notes/Proposals
American Peace Test legal
American Peace Test budget
American Peace Test admin.
American Peace Test actions
American Peace Test worker outreach
American Peace Test video
American Peace Test spokes council meeting January 28, 1987
The Test Banner
(The following folders contain items that were taped to tag board for displays. These items may be duplicated elsewhere in the collection. The titles come from the titles given by American Peace Test to each display.)
January 4-5 Conference/Action
International Action October 21, 1990 to Commemorate 1 year Soviet "People's Moratorium
Testing Alert Network
International Group Work
PEIS Hearing June 5, 1991

Box 17 [half box]
"The Plowshare Program: Environmental Perceptions and Impacts," M.A. thesis in Geography by Stephen Skartvedt, 1992
Peacenet daily mail (2 folders)

This file was last updated on December 16, 2015