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Fair Lawn Committee for Peace in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia Collected Records

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-CDG-A-Fair Lawn Committee for Peace-Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia

Scope and Contents

In the early 1990s, the contents of this collection were removed from the scroll (described above) and items were foldered according to which portion of the scroll they came from; in May 2004, the items were arranged by date and re-foldered.

The collection is mostly comprised of scattered correspondence, material created to describe the group's upcoming activities, and newspaper clippings (which show the impressive amount of media coverage which the group's sponsored events generated). Included are letters from Ruby Dee, Robert Kennedy, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Tom Smothers, and Cora Weiss. The group's newsletter was not removed to the Periodical Collection because of the lack of full information regarding titles and dates (and whether all in the folder are actually newsletters or are some other form of announcing events). Five reel-to-reel tapes (see list below) were removed to the Audiovisual Collection.

Dates

  • 1967-1973

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

None.

Copyright and Rights Information

None.

Historical note

Fifteen concerned members of the Fair Lawn community (New Jersey) founded the Committee for Peace in Vietnam on March 1, 1967. Their initial intent was to participate in a major anti-war protest in New York in April of the same year. This grew into the larger mission of building local support for alternative solutions to the conflict in Vietnam and working until all military activity in the area ceased. The organization's membership grew to 200+ families in the six years that followed, despite substantial opposition from more conservative community members. The Fair Lawn protesters were unique in terms of the demographic they represented. While most anti-war activists in the United States were young and in college, members of the Fair Lawn community were typically middle-aged suburbanites.

In its inaugural year, the committee's activities included door to door informational campaigns for community awareness and mobilization, as well as participation in protest gatherings at regional and national levels. From 1968 onward, the group lobbied its borough government for an official condemnation of the war, wrote letters to congressional candidates and incumbents to encourage a dialogue for peace, and invited a variety of interesting and controversial speakers to its public meetings. Notable guests included Dr. Benjamin Spock (1968), GI Tom Chase, and actors Ossie Davis (1968), Alan Alda (1970), and Betsy Palmer (1970). The 1968 visit of Benjamin Spock caused some controversy over whether the group should be required to purchase additional insurance to cover the event, even though no other group had been charged in such a way; this resulted in a lawsuit which the Committee eventually won.

Four years after the group's initial establishment, co-founder and former member, Evelyn Hochman, created a scroll to commemorate the Fair Lawn community's participation in the anti-war movement. The 125-foot-long work contained newspaper clippings, letters, documents, and memorabilia that she had saved over the course of the war. The Fair Lawn Committee for Peace in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (this expanded name was adopted in 1970) did not end its efforts until the United States' complete cessation of bombing and military mobilization in Southeast Asia. On October 26,1973, the group announced its plans to finally disband, which occurred within the month that followed. Some of its members went on to create the Fair Lawn Committee for a Sane World, a local branch(?) of SANE.

Extent

0.42 Linear Feet (5 linear in.)

Overview

The Fair Lawn community in New Jersey founded the Committee for Peace in Vietnam on March 1, 1967. The organization began building local support for alternative solutions to the conflict in Vietnam. The organization's membership grew to 200+ families in the six years that followed. On October 26, 1973, the group announced its plans to disband.

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 not the official repository for the records of this organization.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received 1984 [acc. 84A-093].

Related Materials

Fair Lawn Committee for a Sane World Collected Records (CDG-A).

Separated Materials

Items removed:

  1. Benjamin Spock, Thomas Jefferson High School, Fair Lawn (New Jersey), April 1, 1968 [reel-to-reel tape]
  2. side 1/ Benjamin Spock, Thomas Jefferson High School, Fair Lawn (New Jersey), 1968 (April 1) (continued); side 2/ David Schoenbrun, 1968 (June 3) [reel-to-reel tape]
  3. David Schoenbrun, 1968 (June 3) (continued) [reel-to-reel tape]
  4. David Schoenbrun, 1968 (June 3) (continued) [side 2 blank] [reel-to-reel tape]
  5. Irv Thiellé (sp.?), CBS television station, 1968 (March 12) [3 inch reel-to-reel tape]

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 SCPC staff. Checklist prepared by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, May 2004.

Creator

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

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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