Held at: Swarthmore College Peace Collection [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore 19081-1399
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
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.
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.
Box 1 and 2 contain the files of the KAOWC. Box 3 contains the files of the Youth Committee of the KAOWC.
Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p. 36.
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for this collection of papers.
Gift of Post War World Council, 1953.
For the catalog record for this collection, and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog.
Processed by SCPC staff. Finding aid created by Wendy E. Chmielewski. Finding aid revised by Andrew Ciampa, July 2010.
- Keep America Out of War Congress
- Keep America Out of War Committee
- Youth Committee Against War
- Labor Anti-War Council
- Neutrality -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Peace -- Societies, etc. -- History -- Sources
- Pacifism -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Youth and peace -- History -- Sources
- Peace Movements -- United States -- History -- Sources
- World War, 1939-1945 -- United States -- History -- Sources
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Protest movements -- Sources
- Socialism -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Swarthmore College Peace Collection
- Access Restrictions
- Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Use Restrictions
most to/from Dorothy Detzer and Norman Thomas
see also press releases