Guide to the Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze records

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze
Title: Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze records
Dates: 1981-1986 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1 cubic ft.
Collection Number: XOE_CPNWS0106WhatNukeFreeze
Summary: Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze records document the activities of this local branch of the national anti-nuclear proliferation organization that was active in the early to mid 1980s. Material includes newsletters, newspaper clippings, information regarding the pairing relationship with Bellingham's sister city, Nakhodka USSR, as well as informational articles that pertain to nuclear weapons.
Repository: Western Washington University, Heritage Resources
Contact Information: Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Building
808 25th St
Bellingham, WA
Telephone: 360-650-7747
Languages: Collection materials are in English.  
Sponsor: Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Funding for encoding the finding aid was awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

The Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze (WCNAF) was a part of the national Nuclear Freeze Campaign. The seeds of this campaign were sown in 1979 with the circulation of Randall Forsberg's paper, "The Call to Halt the Nuclear Arms Race." The Nuclear Freeze Campaign held its first national conference at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., in 1981. The non-partisan campaign quickly spread to include all fifty states, and saw the emergence of county-level groups such as the WCNAF. Their 1983 by-laws record WCNAF's aim to be "the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons." The organization sought to achieve this aim through community education, outreach work, and political action. In addition to its concern with nuclear arms policies, the WCNAF focused on other aspects of global foreign policy, such as U.S. involvement in Nicaragua. Members coordinated peace marches, held vigils and pot-luck dinners, and presented films and educational slide shows. WCNAF was involved in the successful 1984 campaign to declare Whatcom County a Nuclear Free Zone, as well as the formation of a Peace Center in Bellingham. The Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze disbanded in 1986.

Content Description

The Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze (WCNAF) records document a county wide campaign in Washington State against national nuclear arms proliferation from 1981 to 1986. The collection comprises administrative records, newsletters, project files, and also a small amount of reference material, ephemera and publicity records. Administrative records include memos and organizing strategies circulated by the campaign's national clearing house in St Louis, Missouri, as well as the state office in Seattle, membership and meeting records for the regional and local peace movement, and by-laws documenting the organizational structure and goals of the state campaign. Newsletters encompassing the years 1982-1986 provide a valuable overview of the objectives, activities, and accomplishments of the WCNAF. The collection also contains newsletters from other regional peace groups, including Sky Valley Peace Council, Skagit Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament, Thurston County Freeze, Snohomish County Freeze, Fraser Valley Peace Council, and University of British Columbia Students for Peace and Mutual Disarmament. Anti-nuclear activities and project files portion of the WCNAF records document some of the specific actions of the local and state nuclear freeze movement. These files include records regarding the 1984 decision to make Whatcom County a Nuclear Free Zone, information about Nakhodka, Bellingham's "paired city" in the USSR, and meeting minutes, newsletters, correspondence and other materials produced by the North Puget Sound Coalition for a Nuclear Freeze based in Freeland, Washington. National reference material includes newspaper clippings and articles regarding nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons policies. Ephemera and publicity files include peace movement buttons, publicity fliers and advertisements pertaining to WCNAF activities.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

The collection is open to the public.

Preferred Citation :  

The Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze records are organized in accordance with the following series:

  • Series I: Administrative records, 1981-1986
  • Series II: Newsletters, 1982-1986
  • Series III: Anti-Nuclear Activities and Project Files, 1982-1986
  • Series IV: National Reference Material, 1982-1984
  • Series V: Ephemera and Publicity, undated
Acquisition Information :  

Materials were donated by Alice Litton, 1999.

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:  Administrative records,  1981-1986
1/1 Membership and Meeting Information 1983-1985
1/2 National and State Organizing Strategies 1981-1983

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Series II:  Newsletters, 1982-1986
1/3 Whatcom County Nuclear Arm Freeze Newsletters 1982-1986
1/4 Other state-wide Freeze and peace movement group Newsletter 1983-1985

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Series III:  Anti-Nuclear Activities and Project Files,  1982-1986
1/5 Congressional Action 1982-1984
1/6 Referenda in Thurston County 1982
1/7 Nuclear Free Zones 1982-1983
1/8 Other Peace Movement Activities 1984
1/9 Dear Mr. President: Letters on the Nuclear Arms Race by Dr. Arthur C. Hicks 1985
1/10 Bellingham – Nakhodka Sister City Tour 1985 August 24
1/11 Pairing Project, Bellingham, WA – Nakhodka USSR 1984
2/1 Educational Resource Material 1983
2/2 North Puget Sound Coalition for a Nuclear Weapons Freeze 1982-1985

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Series IV:  National Reference Material,  1982-1984
2/3 Build Down vs. Freeze 1982-1983
2/4 United Nations 1984
2/5 Nuclear Weapons Economics 1982-1983
2/6 Negotiations for Arms Control Newspaper Clippings 1983
2/7 Nuclear Weapons Articles and Information 1982
2/8 Information on United States Administrative Policy 1982-1984

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Series V:  Ephemera and Publicity,  undated
2/9 Publicity undated
2/10 Buttons undated

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This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Corporate Names :
  • Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze.
  • Subject Terms :
  • Antinuclear movement -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- Sources.
  • Antinuclear movement -- Washington (State) -- Whatcom County -- History -- Sources.
  • Community education -- Washington (State) -- Whatcom County -- History -- Sources.
  • Nuclear arms control -- Government policy -- United States -- History -- Sources.
  • Nuclear disarmament -- Moral and ethical aspects -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- Sources.
  • Nuclear disarmament -- Moral and ethical aspects -- Washington (State) -- Whatcom County -- History -- Sources.
  • Nuclear warfare -- Moral and ethical aspects -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- Sources.
  • Nuclear warfare -- Moral and ethical aspects -- Washington (State) -- Whatcom County -- History -- Sources.
  • Nuclear-weapon-free zones -- Washington (State) -- Whatcom County -- History -- Sources.
    • Other Creators :
    • North Puget Sound Coalition for a Nuclear Freeze.
    • Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.

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