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February 16, 1961

Thirteen Vassar students participated in the “Student Turn Towards Peace” demonstration in Washington D.C., sponsored by Robert Pickus’s Turn Toward Peace organization, whose goals were to end atmospheric nuclear testing, to persuade the government to find alternatives to the arms race and to call for disarmament. The students picketed the White House, in what The Miscellany News reported was “the largest peace picket of the White House in 20 years.” The group met with Senate members, congressmen, labor leaders and foreign emissaries, conducted a march to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and held a mass rally at the Washington Monument, at which socialist leader Norman Thomas and others spoke.

A group of about “Young Americans for Freedom” carrying signs bearing slogans such as “They’re Not Red, They’re Yellow,” “Pacifism Is Cowardice” and “I Like Nike,” counter-picketed at the White House.

The Years