Another Mother for Peace

Purposes

photo by Gilbert B. Weingourt © AMP

photo by Gilbert B. Weingourt © AMP

Another Mother for Peace, Inc., is a California non-profit corporation with several purposes:

  • ·To preserve the legacy of Another Mother for Peace
  • To educate the public to take active roles in eliminating war as a means of solving disputes among nations, people, and ideologies, and to be dedicated to the principle that war is obsolete – that civilized methods must be creatively sought and implemented to resolve international differences
  • To strengthen American democracy by promoting dialogue between the people and elected representatives in promoting peace
  • To distribute educational material by mail, electronic mail, internet, and in-person, i.e. posters, bumper stickers, Peace Seals, Peace Notes, cards, medallions, etc. all of which include the trademark logo – the Sunflower with the statement: “War is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things”
  • To preserve the artist’s intended use of the “War is not healthy for children and other living things” trademark and copyright

Another Mother for Peace does not take positions on issues other than Peace. The organization is non-partisan – it supports no political party, but urges members to support peace candidates of their own choice.

History

Another Mother for Peace was founded in 1967 by a group of women strongly opposed to the war in Vietnam. Their mission was to create a non-partisan, non-profit organization “to educate women to take an active role in eliminating war as a means of solving disputes between nations, people and ideologies.” Dedicated to the principle that war is obsolete, AMP encouraged its members to do Peace Homework by writing to elected government officials to express their desire for peace.

The Another Mother for Peace Sunflower Logo

The organization’s vision was embodied in the Another Mother for Peace logo – a sunflower with the words: “War is not healthy for children and other living things” created by Lorraine Schneider (read more about Lorraine Schneider). This irrefutable statement with its brilliant and childlike design appeared on posters, bumper stickers, note cards, letter seals, key rings, and of course, the distinctive gold medallions worn by supporters of Another Mother for Peace all over the world. A simple yet powerful statement of conscience, the sunflower logo helped make Another Mother for Peace one of the most eloquent and effective anti-war voices of its generation.

photo by Gilbert B. Weingourt © AMP

photo by Gilbert B. Weingourt © AMP

Another Mother for Peace’s Unique Voice

Another Mother for Peace was unique in its appeal to a broad cross-section of Americans – cutting across all political, partisan and socio-economic lines. The Another Mother for Peace newsletter was addressed “Dear Mrs. Smith” (later changed to “Dear Ms. Smith”) and was aimed at communicating with all mothers who shared their outrage and opposition to the war in Vietnam.

Another Mother for Peace’s message was a rallying cry for peace targeted at lawmakers from both parties. AMP issued a direct appeal to conscience to anyone who would stand for the principal that war must be eliminated as a means of solving disputes among nations, people and ideologies.

The Birth of Another Mother for Peace

Another Mother for Peace’s first action was to make a Mother’s Day card to send to members of Congress and the President.

The card read:

For my Mother’s Day gift this year,
I don’t want candy or flowers.
I want an end to killing.
We who have given life
must be dedicated to preserving it.

Please talk peace.

Initially they printed 1000 cards.

Two months later 200,000 cards had been sent.

From this beginning Another Mother for Peace evolved into a powerful voice for peace that ultimately helped move the national debate on the war in Vietnam toward a peaceful solution.

The Another Mother for Peace Newsletter

The overwhelming success of the Mother’s Day card led to the creation of the AMP newsletter, a direct mail publication filled with anti-war editorial and reports on the stances of lawmakers on issues related to war and peace. Each newsletter contained a number of action items called “Peace Homework” that encouraged readers to make their voices heard by organizing, educating and communicating with other citizens and their elected representatives.

Campaigns and Strategies

Another Mother for Peace’s main strategy was to encourage the active and informed participation of citizens in our democracy. Based upon the belief that speaking up for conscience is the patriotic duty of every citizen, AMP created numerous mail-in campaigns to lawmakers, encouraging them to support legislation aimed at dismantling the war machinery and war mentality so pervasive in Washington.

These campaigns had tremendous and demonstrable effects on members of congress whose offices were flooded with postcards, note cards, letters and telegrams all bearing Another Mother’s message of peace.

With revenues from the sale of peace materials, AMP started an “Invest In Peace” fund to support legislators who voted against war appropriations. Another Mother then launched a campaign to establish a Department and Secretary of Peace as part of the executive branch whose purpose would be “to examine and evaluate the range of non-military alternatives” to war.

The Pax Materna

In May 1969, the first annual Mother’s Day Assembly was held in Los Angeles where the organization unveiled a Pax Materna, which stated, “No mother is enemy to another mother.” AMP’s Pax Materna is “a permanent, irrevocable condition of amnesty and understanding among mothers of the world.” Gerta Katz, Art Director of AMP, designed a mini-poster with the logo translated into twenty languages.

Widespread Support

There were 370,000 peace-action newsletters mailed in 1969. That number increased to 405,000 in 1970 as AMP’s campaign against intercontinental ballistic missiles and chemical-biological warfare attracted more citizens to its membership. By 1971, AMP had a staff of 14 as well as dozens of volunteers. Co-chairs Dorothy B. Jones and Barbara Avedon testified against the military budget before the Department of Defense Appropriations Sub-Committee. Film and television celebrities, including Donna Reed, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Dick Van Dyke appeared on national television to promote AMP causes.

AMP in the Post Vietnam Era

When the war in Vietnam finally ended, AMP continued to speak out against the escalation of the nuclear arms race, the military budget and the dangers of nuclear pollution at home. AMP announced its intention to become inactive in January 1979, but continued to send out the newsletter and other peace literature. The last AMP newsletter was mailed in the spring of 1985. Although Another Mother for Peace’s offices closed in January 1986, members were encouraged to continue working for peace in their own communities.

Another Mother for Peace Returns

From 1986 to 2003, Gerta Katz was trustee for the Sunflower logo and the “War is not healthy for children and other living things” trademark and copyright. In early 2003, spurred by the threat of war between the United States and Iraq, Another Mother for Peace was reestablished as a non-profit corporation by a group including founding members and their children. The original purposes of AMP were incorporated into the articles of the new non-profit corporation.

For my Mother’s Day gift this year,
I don’t want candy or flowers.
I want an end to killing.

We who have given life
must be dedicated to preserving it.

Please talk peace.