Committee for a Nuclear Overkill Moratorium Records
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
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.
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.
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.
Gift of Deposited by Robert Cleland, June 1986 [acc. 86A-077]
Processed by Barbara Addison in May, 1993.
- Two buttons
- One bumper sticker
- NOMOR, Committee for a Nuclear Overkill Moratorium
- North Shore Peace Initiative (Organization)
- Illinois Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign
- Chicago Area Faculty for a Freeze on the Nuclear Arms Race
- Swarthmore College Peace Collection
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research use.
All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Contact Swarthmore College Peace Collection staff at firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.
- Copyright to the NOMOR records created by the organization has been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Copyright to all other materials is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Use Restrictions