Collecting area: Antinuclear

Melcher, Dale

Dale Melcher Papers

1975-1981
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: FS 178

The labor educator and activist Dale Melcher was both a graduate of UMass Amherst and a longtime member of staff and faculty. Melcher began her career at UMass Amherst as a student and then staff member in the newly formed program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, before joining the Labor Relations and Research Center in 1987 as its Labor Extension Coordinator. Interested in leadership development for union women, she taught courses over the years on women and work, immigration, and race and gender. She also maintained an array of other commitments to social justice organizations, including the Northeast Summer School for Union Women, the Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD), and the Professional Staff Union/MTA.

Focused on the year just prior to the Reagan era, this collection contains an assortment of manuscript and printed materials relating to Melcher’s involvement with Socialist feminism and the women’s movement, economic justice, and he movement for Puerto Rican independence. The collection includes particularly valuable materials on feminism in the Pioneer Valley and the Valley Women’s Union, records of the People for Economic Survival, and a significant body of material for the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee.

Gift of Dale Melcher, Aug. 2016

Subjects

Feminism--MassachusettsPeople for Economic SurvivalPuerto Rico--History--Autonomy and independence movementsSocialism--MassachusettsValley Women's Union
Milne, Teddy

Teddy Milne Papers

1952-2010
36 boxes 54 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1048
Depiction of Teddy Milne, ca. 1981
Teddy Milne, ca. 1981

Born in 1930 in Delaware, Ohio, Margaret Theodora “Teddy” Milne, graduated from Boston University in 1952 before attending the University of Paris in 1953-1954 for post-graduate studies. Milne moved to Northampton, Mass. in 1959 to teach at the Northampton School for Girls. She married Alexander W. Milne, general manager of radio station WHMP, in 1965 and together the couple had three sons: Timmon, Peter, and James. Milne worked as a writer, serving as a reporter and copy editor at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, before establishing and editing two journals focused on peace: Laser, a children’s newsletter, and Compassion Magazine. She owned and operated the Pittenbruach Press, which published her journals as well as several book she authored, including Peace Porridge (v. 1-3, 1987-1995), War is a Dinosaur (1987), Solo Publishing (1990), Mooncakes and Flower Beans (1994), and Calvin Coolidge Doesn’t Live Here Any More (1994), and contributed articles, stories, and crossword puzzles to magazines and newspapers.

As an active author and peace activist, the Teddy Milne Papers cover all of her primary passions from parenting and teaching to publishing and anti-nuclear activism. The collection contains photographs and newsletters from her days as a teacher at the Northampton School for Girls as well as articles and columns she prepared for the Daily Hampshire Gazette. There are extensive records documenting the Pittenbruach Press, which Milne operated, including materials related to the journals and books she published. A series of letters along with files related to committee work and Milne’s membership in Quakers United in Publishing (QUIP), reveal the important role her Quaker faith played in her life.

Subjects

Antinuclear movement—United StatesAuthors and publishersNorthampton School for Girls (Northampton, Mass.)Peace movementsPublishers and publishing—Vocational guidanceQuakers—New England

Types of material

CorrespondencePhotographs
Montague (Mass.) Nuclear Power Station

Montague Nuclear Power Station Environmental Report

1975
1 box 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 061

Planning for construction of a nuclear power plant in Montague, Mass., in 1973, Northeast Utilities was required to conduct an environmental impact survey of the site, building a 500-foot tall weather monitoring tower to gather data. Their plans, however, were thwarted by the rise of a powerful antinuclear opposition, symbolized by a renowned act of civil disobedience in February 1974. On Washington’s Birthday, a member of the Montague Farm commune, Sam Lovejoy, took down the tower using simple farm tools, turning himself in to the police immediately afterward. The ensuing trial, the effective organizing by his colleagues, and the success of their effort to prevent construction of the power plant is often regarded as a formative moment in the history of the modern antinuclear movement.

This environmental report for the proposed Montague Nuclear Power Station includes an accounting of the purpose of the facility, its environmental, archaeological, and social impact, and an analysis of the costs and benefits of operation.

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--United StatesLovejoy, SamMontague (Mass.)--HistoryNortheast UtilitiesNuclear power plants--Massachusetts
Musicians United for Safe Energy

MUSE Records

ca.1980-1989
19 boxes 28.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 521

Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), an activist organization opposing the use of nuclear energy, was founded in 1979 by Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, and John Hall. The MUSE Foundation was established with the proceeds of the concerts and for several years provided small grants to support antinuclear and environmental work.

The bulk of the MUSE collection consists of applications from grass-roots, progressive organizations in the United States relating to their work. As such, the collection presents a wonderful snapshot of early 1980s activisim. The collection is part of the Famous Long Ago Archive.

Subjects

Activists--United StatesAntinuclear movement--United States

Contributors

Musicians United for Safe Energy
Peace Development Fund

Peace Development Fund Records

1981-2010
53 boxes 79.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 427
Depiction of Traprock Peace Center and PDF<br />arms race flip chart
Traprock Peace Center and PDF
arms race flip chart

First conceived in 1980, the Peace Development Fund (PDF) was founded by a small group of activists and donors with a vision: to raise money to fund grassroots organizations promoting peace, global demilitarization, and non-violent conflict resolution. During the foundation’s first funding cycle, PDF awarded 19 grants to projects designed to increase understanding of the arms race; some to organizations as nearby as Deerfield and Northampton and others to organizations as far away as California. With the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, PDF changed focus. Instead of thinking of peace as the absence of war, the Foundation began to see peace as “the presence of equitable relationships among people, nations, and the environment.” Since that time, PDF has developed a new perspective on peacework, one centered on fostering social, environmental, and economic justice.

The records of the Peace Development Fund consist chiefly of grant-making files documenting the many organizations that submitted and received awards. Also included is a nearly complete run of PDF’s annual reports, newsletters, and other publications, which together offer a full picture of the foundation’s funding and programmatic history. Exchange Project files record PDF’s efforts to provide training, not just money, to organizations lacking the skills necessary for effective fund-raising, strategic planning, instituting sound organizational structures, and dismantling racism.

Gift of the Peace Development Fund, 2001, 2011

Subjects

Antinuclear movementCharitable uses, trusts, and foundations--United StatesPeace movements--United StatesSocial change--United StatesSocial justice--United States

Contributors

Peace Development Fund
Radical Student Union (RSU)

Radical Student Union Records

1905-2006 Bulk: 1978-2005
22 boxes 14.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 045/80 R1

Founded by Charles Bagli in 1976, the Revolutionary Student Brigade at UMass Amherst (later the Radical Student Union) has been a focal point for organization by politically radical students. RSU members have responded to issues of social justice, addressing both local, regional, and national concerns ranging from militarism to the environment, racism and sexism to globalization.

The RSU records document the history of a particularly long-lived organization of left-leaning student activists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Beginning in the mid-1970s, as students were searching for ways to build upon the legacy of the previous decade, the RSU has been a constant presence on campus, weathering the Reagan years, tough budgetary times, and dramatic changes in the political culture at the national and state levels. The RSU reached its peak during the 1980s with protests against American involvement in Central America, CIA recruitment on campus, American support for the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and government-funded weapons research, but in later years, the organization has continued to adapt, organizing against globalization, sweatshops, the Iraq War, and a host of other issues.

Subjects

Anti-apartheid movements--MassachusettsCentral America--Foreign relations--United StatesCollege students--Political activityCommunismEl Salvador--History--1979-1992Guatemala--History--1945-1982Iraq War, 2003-Nicaragua--History--1979-1990Peace movements--MassachusettsPersian Gulf War, 1991Political activists--Massachusetts--HistoryRacismSocialismStudent movementsUnited States--Foreign relations--Central AmericaUnited States. Central Intelligence AgencyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst

Contributors

Progressive Student NetworkRadical Student UnionRevolutionary Student Brigade

Types of material

Banners
Rodin, Phyllis

Phyllis Rodin Papers

1950-2014
ca.50 boxes 75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 894
Depiction of Phyllis Rodin
Phyllis Rodin

Born into a Jewish Lithuanian family in Williamsburg., N.Y., on May 10, 1914, Phyllis Rodin was drawn to the struggle for peace and social justice from early in life. Her widowed mother set an example as an antiwar activist and advocate for women’s rights, and after marrying at age 18, Phyllis and her husband ran a dairy farm that they reorganized on cooperative principles in the 1930s. A watershed in her life came after witnessing the suffering of war first hand while engaged as a psychiatric aid worker for the Red Cross during the Second World War. From that point, Rodin was an unrelenting activist for peace, traveling internationally and remaining vocal through the McCarthy era and Vietnam War and diving headlong into the second wave of the feminist movement. Returning to school late in life, she completed an undergraduate degree at Wisconsin before moving to Amherst in 1980 to study for a doctorate in Future Studies through the UMass Department of Education. Her activism barely skipped a beat as she worked closely with Quaker groups and stalwart activists such as her friend Frances Crowe to oppose nuclear weapons and violence in all forms. Rodin died in Amherst on Jan. 2015.

The Rodin Papers are the product of a long life of a woman devoted to the struggle for peace, feminism, and social justice. Richer in documenting Rodin’s latter decades and the philosophy of world peace she honed, the collection contains an abundance of correspondence, ephemera, and audiovisual materials related to international work in peacebuilding.

Acquired from Anne Griffin, Dec. 2015

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--MassachusettsFeministsPeace movements--Massachusetts
Science for the People

Science for the People Records

1966-2014 Bulk: 1969-1992
6 boxes 7 linear feet
Call no.: MS 859
Depiction of

At the height of the antiwar struggle in the late 1960s, a group of scientists and engineers based in Cambridge, Mass., began to turn a critical eye on the role of their fields in the larger political culture. Calling themselves Scientists and Engineers for Social and Political Action (SESPA), the group took the slogan “Science for the People,” which in turn became the name of their organization. With a collective membership that spread nation-wide, Science for the People was a voice for radical science and an active presence framing several of the scientific debates of the day. Through its vigorous publications, SftP explored issues ranging from the impact of military and corporate control of research to scientific rationalization of racism, sexism, and other forms of inequality; and they contributed to the discussions of recombinant DNA, sociobiology, IQ and biological determinism, women’s health care, nuclear power, and the rise of biotechnology. Many members were engaged in supporting anti-imperialist resistance in Central America and Asia during the 1980s. The organization gradually waned in the 1980s and published the last issue of its magazine in 1989.

Donated by several members of the organization, the Science for the People collection provides a window into the organization and operation of a collective devoted to radical science. In addition to meeting minutes and notes, and some correspondence, the collection includes a nearly complete run of the Science for the People magazine, and a substantial representation of the national and Nicaragua newsletters and topical publications. Photographs from the group’s trip to China and other areas abroad in 1978 are available online, along with videos of the talks and sessions from a 2014 conference on the history and legacy of SftP.

Subjects

Science--Social aspectsTechnology--Social aspectsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Seneca Women’s Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice

Seneca Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice Collection

1979-1992
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 839
Depiction of

Concerned women in upstate New York joined together in the summer 1983 to form the Seneca Women’s Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice, occupying a site near the Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, N.Y., where nuclear weaponry was stored. Taking a radical stance against militarism, violence, and oppression and modeling their approach after the women’s encampment at Greenham Common in England, the Seneca Encampment drew participants from a large number of women’s peace groups. In 1994, the Encampment transitioned into the Women’s Peace Land, remaining an active center of resistance to militarism and nuclear power for several years.

Maintained by attorney Alaine T. Espenscheid, the collection consists primarily of legal records relating to the Seneca Encampament, including filings documenting health and saftey, sanitation, water, and finances and materials relating to the arrest of several women for civil disobedience in 1985. Also included is a folder of ephemera and clippings on the Encampment from local media.

Subjects

Antinuclear movements--New York (State)Peace movements--New York (State)

Contributors

Espenscheid, Alaine T.
Slonecker, Blake, 1981-

Blake Slonecker Collection

2008
4 items 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 795

An historian of twentieth century social movements, Blake Slonecker received his doctorate at the University of North Carolina in 2009 and joined the history faculty at Waldorf College soon thereafter. In a dissertation examining the utopian impulses of the New Left (published in 2012 as A new dawn for the New Left: Liberation News Service, Montague Farm, and the long sixties), Slonecker explored how the political and cultural activism of the 1960s helped reshape American political culture in the decade following.

In June 2008, Slonecker conducted oral historical interviews with four individuals who were part of the extended community centered on the Montague Farm and Packer Corners communes during the late 1960s: Tom Fels, Charles Light, Sam Lovejoy, and Richard Wizansky. In wide-ranging interviews, the former communards discuss topics ranging from the fraught politics of the era, political and cultural activism, gender roles and sexuality, and daily life on the communes.

Gift of Blake Slonecker, Aug. 2013

Subjects

Amherst CollegeBabbitt, Elwood, 1922-Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)Clamshell AllianceGreen Mountain Post FilmsJohnson Pasture Community (Vt.)Liberation News Service (Montague, Mass.)Montague Farm Community (Mass.)Musicians United for Safe EnergyPacker Corners Community (Vt.)Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)

Contributors

Fels, Thomas WestonLight, CharlesLovejoy, SamWizansky, Richard

Types of material

AudiocassettesOral histories (document genres)