WRL Centennial History Blog

Protests Against War Toys

War Resisters League - One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance

My parents started the War Resisters League New England when I was a baby. Instead of summer camp, I went to the WRL Organizer Training Program at Woolman Hill for 10 days and ran around in the woods with other kids.. We didn’t go on vacation- we went to meetings. But they felt like vacations to me. Esther Pank and Riley Bostrom taking me and my sister swimming (they were smart, they knew that kid duty was more fun than another meeting).

Bayard Rustin Receives 1965 WRL Peace Award

War Resisters League - One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance

On April 27, 1965, Bayard Rustin was presented with the seventh annual War Resisters League Peace Award at WRL’s 42nd annual dinner. In making the presentation A.J. Muste noting that Bayard “suffered for his convictions and held firmly and courageously to them… [A] tireless seeker for more effective ways to advance the cause of freedom, peace, and humanity throughout the world.”

Hear the recording and read an annotated transcript of Rustin's remarks in this blog entry...

Honoring Vietnam Veterans Against the War

Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) received the WRL Peace Award in May 1988. Accepting the award were New Jersey veterans and activists David Cline and Clarence Fitch (pictured). During this Veterans Day/Armistice week it is fitting to remember them and tip our hats to the important contribution of VVAW to the antiwar movement during and after the U.S. war in Indochina.

The Magic of the Archive

War Resisters League - One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance

The first photograph I came across in the War Resisters League Records was unexpected. Well, I say photograph, but really it was a black-and-white negative strip with four images. The images were of a group of four people (friends?

September 11, 2001

War Resisters League - One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance

On September 11, 2001, War Resisters League staff person David McReynolds, wrote this from the WRL National Office which was only a mile and half north of the World Trade Towers:

"As we write, Manhattan feels under siege, with all bridges, tunnels, and subways closed, and tens of thousands of people walking slowly north from Lower Manhattan. As we sit in our offices here at War Resisters League, our most immediate thoughts are of the hundreds if not thousands of New Yorkers who have lost their lives in the collapse of the World Trade Center. The day is clear, the sky is blue, but vast clouds billow over the ruins where so many have died, including a great many rescue workers."

War Resisters League's First 50 Years: The Slideshow

War Resisters League - One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance

In August 1973, the War Resisters League marked its 50th anniversary during the annual conference at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA. Over 550 attendees gathered to commemorate the occasion through reflection and rededication over three days. On the first evening, Larry Gara presented a slideshow to a packed hall. He had spent several years bringing together WRL’s history thus far through photos and stories of the individuals who dedicated themselves to nonviolence and pacifism. Titled “A Glimpse at Our Past: Contents and Images of WRL's First 50 Years”, the slideshow is now available online including the complete script with notes accompanying each slide.


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