Swarthmore College Peace Collection

[NOMOR], Committee for a
Nuclear Overkill Moratorium Records, 1976-1986

Collection: DG 146

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

Descriptive Summary
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
NOMOR, Committee for a Nuclear Overkill Moratorium
Committee for a Nuclear Overkill Moratorium Records
Inclusive Dates
Call Number
DG 146

Language of Materials
Materials in English
four linear feet [papers only]
Founded in Chicago in 1976, NOMOR's aim was "to call for a moratorium on the production of nuclear weapons as a unilateral American initiative...for a first step toward stopping and reversing the...international arms race." The founders and activists of NOMOR engaged in media campaigns, sponsored conferences, workshops, and benefits, and was involved with the "Symphony for Survival." News from NOMOR was published between 1978 and 1986. In spite of regional support, especially from the academic community, NOMOR was not able to make the transition to a nationally-recognized organization, possibly because its aims overlapped with those of other similar groups. NOMOR ceased operation in the summer of 1986

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
Usage Restrictions
Yes, Boxes stored off site. Please contact SCPC staff at least two weeks in advance of visit to arrange for retrieval of this collection.
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Deposited by Robert Cleland, June 1986 [acc. 86A-077]
Processing Information
Processed by Barbara Addison, May 1993
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the NOMOR, Committee for a Nuclear Overkill Moratorium Records (DG 146), 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

Historical Background
In March, 1976, a group of people seeking to slow the nuclear arms race began meeting in Chicago under the auspices of the American Friends Service Committee. Their aim was "to call for a moratorium on the production of nuclear weapons as a unilateral American initiative...for a first step toward stopping and reversing the upward spiral of the international arms race." These meetings led to the formation of NOMOR, Committee for a Nuclear Overkill Moratorium, in October 1976. The position of Executive Director was held by Robert A. Cleland from September 1977 until May 1986. Ben Solomon, founder and treasurer (1976-1986), wrote many of the position papers which underpinned the philosopy of the organization. NOMOR helped to launch the North Shore Peace Initiative in 1979. .In 1981, NOMOR joined with five other Chicago-area peace organizations to form the Illinois Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.

In an effort to take its message to the public, NOMOR engaged in letter-writing campaigns to newspapers and public figures, and sought coverage in local and national media. It sponsored conferences, workshops, and benefits, both to educate the public and to raise funds, a perennial problem. Notable among these events was the "Symphony for Survival", a concert featuring members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

NOMOR maintained liaision with other groups having sympathetic aims, such as the North Shore Peace Initiative, Pax Christi, and the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies. It shared sponsorship for two major conferences: "Turning Point '77" (1977, co-sponsored with SANE); and "The Church's Reponse to the Nuclear Arms Race" (1978, co-sponsored with Clergy and Laity Concerned and others.)

The two periodicals published by NOMOR were News from NOMOR and Freeze Facts (a limited-distribution sheet for participants and supporters of the Symphony for Survival).

NOMOR probably received its greatest support from the local academic community. It had a Hyde Park-Kenwood chapter in the University of Chicago area; many NOMOR supporters also came from regional institutions such as the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus and the Argonne National Laboratory. The Chicago Area Faculty for a Freeze on the Nuclear Arms Race had aims similar to NOMOR's and worked closely with it.

In spite of efforts to make NOMOR a nationally recognized organization, its constituency never broadened outside of the Chicago region, possibly because its aims overlapped with better-known groups such as the National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy.

NOMOR ceased operation in the summer of 1986.

Collection Overview
The NOMOR records consist of: correspondence, minutes of committee meetings, press releases, serial publications, newspaper clippings, and reference materials from other organizations. There are gaps in the correspondence for the years 1981-1983 and 1986. Also incomplete or missing are: financial data for the years 1983-1986; media coverage of NOMOR for 1979-1986; and fundraising information for 1982-1986.

Three photos (of missiles) were included. These were retained in the reference files.
Correspondents and individuals active in NOMOR include: Robert C. Aldridge, Marjorie Craig Benton, Richard Carlson, Robert A. Cleland, Randall Forsberg, Martha L. Schmidt, Ben Solomon, Robert Warren Stevens, Tyler Thompson, Melvin A. Traylor, Jr., and Kale Williams.

Items removed:
Two buttons
One bumpersticker

Arrangement of Collection
As they were found when deposited, the NOMOR records are divided into three sections:
Series A. Historical and organizational files. They are arranged by subject, then chronologically within each file. In the correspondence files there is some overlap with correspondence found in section II.
Series B. Files for specific individuals, organizations, and events. They are arranged alphabetically, then chronologically within each file. They include both correspondence and reference material
Series C. Reference files, arranged alphabetically by subject, contain only secondary printed materials.


Detailed Description of the Collection


Box 1 [box stored off site]
Pre-NOMOR and early NOMOR organizing group (1975-1976)
General statements of philosophy, goals (n.d.)
General statements of philosophy, goals, Ben Solomon writings, (n.d.), [3 folders]
Steering Committee minutes, 1976-1986 [3 folders]
Financial data, 1976-1982

Box 2 [box stored off site]
Correspondence, 1976-June 1979 [7 folders]

Box 3 [box stored off site]
Correspondence, July 1979-May 1985 [6 folders]
"Friends of NOMOR" mailings (1976-1985)
Biographical data: NOMOR staff and Steering Committee (n.d.)
Cleland travel: Washington D.C. (1978)
Cleland travel: Duluth, Minn. (1980)
Cleland travel: Iowa (1980)
Cleland travel: Iowa (1984)
Serial publication: Freeze Facts for Symphony for Survival (1982)
Serial publication: News from NOMOR (1978-1986)

Box 4 [box stored off site]
Press releases, press conferences, and publicity (1976-1981)
Letters to newspapers from NOMOR staff, Steering Committee, and supporters (1977-1983)
Radio and television coverage of NOMOR (1977-1980)
Media coverage of nuclear issues (1978)
Letters to elecPted leaders from NOMOR staff, Steering Committee, and supporters (1976-1985)
Articles, speeches by NOMOR staff, Steering Committee, and supporters (1977-1985)
Endorsers of NOMOR position[2 folders] (1977)

Box 5 [box stored off site]
Fundraising: General (1977)
Fundraising: Musical benefit, June 17, 1979
Fundraising: Film benefit, March 15, 1981
Fundraising: Contributor labels (1978-[1981])
Letterhead, evolution of ([1976?]-1983)

(reference files and correspondence)
Box 5 (continued)
Aldridge, Robert (1977-1985)
Benton, Marjorie Craig (1978)
Braver, Ruth (1984)
Caravan for Human Survival (1981)
Carlson, Richard, (1977-1978)
Chicago Area Faculty for a Freeze on the Nuclear Arms Race (1982)
Chicago Nuclear War Conference (proposed, not held) (1979)
Citizens' Hearing for Radiation Victims (1979-1981)
Defense Technology '79 (Military weapons conference) (1978-1979)
Democratic National Convention, 1980 (1980)

Box 6 [box stored off site]
Demonstrations and "sit-ins" (1978)
Hiroshima Day, August 5-6, 1977 (1976-1977)
Hyde Park (University of Chicago)-Kenwood Committee of NOMOR (1979-1982)
Illinois Council for the Social Studies Conference, October 6-7, 1978 (1978-1979)
Illinois Federal Procurement Conference, August 5, 1981 (1981)
Illinois Mutual Freeze Campaign (1981)
Illinois Nuclear Freeze Conference, October 2-3, 1982 (1982)
Illinois Primary Election, March 1980 (1980)
Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies (Randall Forsberg) (1979-1983)
Japanese Anti-Nuclear Delegation, June 1982 (1982)
La Rocque, Gene (Rear-Admiral, Ret.) (1979)
Levinson Foundation (1980)
March on Washington, August 27, 1983 (1983)
Musicians United for Safe Energy Foundation, Inc. (1980)
Neutron bomb, NOMOR position (1977-1981)
Neutron bomb petition (1977)
Newhouse, Richard (1980)

Box 7 [box stored off site]
NOMOR conference: "Turning Point '77", April 30, 1977 (1977)
NOMOR conference: "The Church's Response to the Nuclear Arms Race", November 4, 1978 (1978)
NOMOR public meeting with Sen. Culver (D-Iowa) as speaker, May 14, 1978 (1978)
NOMOR conferences, meetings, workshops, gatherings, miscellaneous (1976-1982)
NOMOR petitions to reject the MX missile, signed ([n.d.])
North Shore Peace Initiative (Organization) (1980-1981)
North Shore Peace Initiative newspaper advertisement, January 15, 1981 (1980-1981)
North Shore Town Meeting on Nuclear War, March 21, 1982 (1981-1982)
Nuclear War Exhibit Project (1980-1981)
Pacific Islanders' Anti-Nuclear Visit, September-October 1982 (1981-1982)
Pax Christi training session, September 25, 1981 (1979-1981)
Peace Week, Chicago, October 18-24, 1981 (1981)
Picheny memorial service, October 4, 1981 (1981)

Box 8 [box stored off site]
United Church of Christ, Peace Priority Committee (1982)
Washington to Moscow Walk, March 1981-1982? (1980-1982)
Wilmette Community Fair, September 17, 1978 (1978-1979)

Box 8 (continued)
Antiballistic Missile/Strategic Defense Initiative
Antinuclear cartoons
Arms control, legal problems
Arms race
Arms sales
B-1 Bomber
Bombs (atomic and hydrogen), history and development of
Brown, Robert MacAfee
Catholic bishops' antinuclear statements
Chemical warfare

Box 9 [box stored off site]
Civil defense
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Cruise Missile
Energy research and development
Extra Low Frequency (Communication System)
"First-Use" and "No-First-Use" of nuclear weapons
Intelligence agencies (CIA, etc.)
Labor and peace
Laser and particle-beam weapons
Medical consequences of nuclear war
Military conversion, economic aspects
Military defense contractors
MX missile
Neutron bomb
NORAD/SAC computer errors

Box 10 [box stored off site]
Nuclear warfare
Nuclear-weapons-free zones
Nuclear weapons freeze conference (proposed)
Nuclear weapons freeze resolution
Nuclear weapons proliferation
Peace graphics
Progressive Magazine vs. United States
Radiation, effect of
Rapid Deployment Force
Reagan arms control speech, November 18, 1981
Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Facility
Scientists and political action
Smoke detectors, radiation from
Soviet threat, myths and realities
Space satellites
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
Trident nuclear submarine
United Nations Special Session on Disarmament
U.S. Department of Defense, corruption in
U.S. military budget
Uranium mining
Weapons systems, errors and fallibility of

This file was last updated on February 18, 2013..