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National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (U.S.)

The National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy was founded in 1957 by Norman Cousins, Clarence Pickett, Lenore Marshall and others to oppose atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons. SANE initially ran full-page ads in The New York Times to alert the public to the danger of nuclear weapons. Dr. King became involved in 1958, sponsoring SANE’s second ad and lending his name to numerous of the group’s letters, petitions and brochures. SANE was vocal against the Vietnam War. Dr. Benjamin Spock led rallies and co-chaired the 1967 Spring Mobilization to End the War with Dr. King. As well as working to stop weapons systems like the B1 bomber and MX missile, SANE advocated for economic conversion and cuts in military spending. In 1987, SANE merged with the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. Later SANE/Freeze was renamed Peace Action.

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Background of the Speakers

This document lists speakers for rallies in New York and San Francisco and gives a short biography of each person. The speakers include people such as Dr. Benjamin Spock, Dr. King, Rev. James Bevel, Floyd McKissick, Julian Bond and others. The document also lists folk singers for each rally location, a list that includes Pete Seeger.

Conference on Strengthening the New Politics

Paul Albert forwards this letter to all individuals invited to and interested in the Shoreham Conference, in which Liberals address the shortcomings of American politics.

Emergency Rally--Walk with Dr. Spock for Peace in Vietnam

The following document is promoting a rally for peace in Vietnam. Dr. Benjamin Spock, among others, is scheduled to speak at the rally.

Letter from Benjamin Spock to MLK

Benjamin Spock, Co-Chairman for the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, solicits Dr. King as a sponsor for a testimonial dinner. The committee will honor Max Youngstein with its Eleanor Roosevelt Peace Award at the dinner.

Letter from Charles Sellers to MLK

Charles Sellers, a Professor of History at the University of California at Berkeley, writes this letter to Dr. King promoting the Washington Convocation On The National Crisis. He encloses the proposal that he and Cecil Thomas discussed with Mrs. King over the phone. The proposal details the organized effort to marshal public sentiment against current US policy in Vietnam. Five hundred prominent Americans will be invited to the convocation, to be held in Washington, DC.

Letter from Donald Keys to MLK

Donald F. Keys writes to Dr. King about Dr. King's invitation to speak at a planned Washington Mobilization on Vietnam. Keys also tells Dr. King that he may have to go to Africa at the time of the meeting, and requests that Mrs. King deliver his address in his absence.

Letter from Eleanor S. Greve to MLK

Eleanor Greve writes Dr. King to express the encouragement and inspiration she and her husband felt while reading a portion of Dr. King's speech in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The speech was given before the Chicago Area Committee for a Sane Nuclear policy.

Letter from Homer Jack to MLK

Homer Jack, Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association's Department of Social Responsibility, communicates his support for Dr. King's stance against the Vietnam War. Jack, co-founder of CORE and active participant in the civil rights movement, encloses a report that includes a statement made to the US Inter-Religious Committee on Peace and discusses the courage of Buddhist monks in South Vietnam. He also congratulates Dr. King for his public address made at the United Nations regarding his opposition to the war.

Letter from Katharine Gunning to President Johnson

Katharine Gunning of New York writes President Johnson and copies various dignitaries, including Dr. King. Gunning voices her opposition to the Vietnam War, in particular the bombing campaign, which she views as an escalation of the war.

Letter from Rabbi Gerald A. Goldman to MLK

Rabbi Gerald A. Goldman invites Dr. King to be a guest at the West Side Peace Committee Conference.

Letter from SANE's Dr. Benjamin Spock to MLK

Dr. Benjamin Spock requests the support of the SCLC for "A Rally for Peace in Vietnam." Dr. Spock informs Dr. King, that the rally will advocate for immediate actions concerning the war in Vietnam.

Letter from Stephen Goodyear to MLK

Stephen Goodyear expresses appreciation for an inscribed copy of "Where Do We Go From Here?", as well as his enthusiasm regarding Dr. King's attendance at the National Conference for New Politics.

Letter to MLK from Norman Thomas

Norman Thomas sends Dr. King an enclosure, which supports Senator Fulbright's statements concerning the use of nuclear weapons in Vietnam. He asks Dr. King to stand in solidarity with him on this issue by adding his name to the statement.

Martin Luther King Does It Again

Ralph C. Bailey, a marcher in the New York City demonstration against the War in Vietnam, describes the demonstration as an "impressive spectacle" of people of all ages and races. He praises Dr. King for combining revolution with nonviolence in hopes of a peaceful demonstration.

SANE Action: Citizens' Milk Strike

As an economic act against pollution and a nuclear war, the National Committee For A SANE Nuclear Policy stages a Citizens' Milk Strike.

SCLC Pamphlet of Articles in Rebuttal of MLK's Critics

Andrew Young, the National Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, issued this pamphlet entitled "Does Martin Luther King, Jr. Have the Right? The Qualifications? The Duty? To Speak Out on Peace?" The pamphlet features several editorials written in defense of Dr. King that were published in the New York Times, Detroit Free Press, New York Post, and the Nation in April 1967. The pamphlet includes a statement saying the SCLC's primary focus is civil rights but they support Dr. King's right to speak his opinion regarding the Vietnam War.

Telegram from MLK to Rabbi Abraham Heschel

Dr. King writes Rabbi Heschel indicating that he will happily serve as a sponsor of the nationwide campaign to end bombings in Vietnam.

Telegram from SANE Co-Chair Benjamin Spock to MLK

Dr. Benjamin Spock, acting as co-chairman of the National Committe for a Sane Nuclear Policy, transmits a telegram to Dr. King inviting him to deliver a speech at Madison Square Garden in reference to Vietnam.

Telegram to MLK from Various Organizational Leaders

Several organizational leaders request that Dr. King join them in Washington, D.C. for an event in which Ambassador Galbraith will address a luncheon with a "major statement on Vietnam."

The State of SANE

H. Stuart Hughes, Chairman of the National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy, writes this report to the board, sponsors and chapters of the organization. Hughes notifies his readers that SANE's policy making body is being renewed due to newly elected regional and national members. Also, the Board adopted a detailed statement of a strategy, which places top priority on promoting an alternative to President Johnson and his Vietnam War policy. Other events include the update of a successful Labor Leadership Assembly for Peace and guest speaker Norman Thomas.