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Archives & Manuscripts

American People's Mobilization Collected Records

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-CDG-A-American People's Mobilization
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.

Dates

  • 1940-1941

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

None

Copyright and Rights Information

None

Extent

0.63 Linear Feet (7.5 linear in.)

Historical note

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.

Other Finding Aids

For the catalog record for this collection, and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog.

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for this collection of records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquisitions information is unknown.

Legal Status

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Processed by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, February 1999.
Description rules
dacs

Revision Statements

  • 2017: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Mary Olesnavich in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace. Tessa Chambers added the notes in Fall 2017.

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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