April 1, 1948 – A Plea for Peace – Sepia Saturday #195

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Rev. Albert B. Cleage sitting on the steps of St. John’s Congregational Church around 1948.

Today is the International Day of Peace. My post includes a petition, “A Plea for Peace and for American Democracy” signed by my father, Rev. Albert B. Cleage (later known as Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman) in 1948.  It was printed in The Springfield Union newspaper of Springfield Mass, April 1, 1948 edition.

I have included several pages from a document prepared for the USA Senate titled Report on The Communist “Peace” Offensive.  This includes a list of people who signed the petition in Massachusetts and a few other states.  This happened as the anti-communist era got underway, leading directly into the McCarthy era. You can read more about it here McCarthy Era. As always, click on any picture to enlarge it.

A song written and sung by Victor Jara ends this post. Víctor Jara was a Chilean teacher, theatre director, poet, singer-songwriter and political activist. He was also a member of the Communist Party of Chile. When the USA supported coup against the elected government of Chile took place on September 11, 1973, Victor Jara was taken to the football stadium where his hands were cut off, his guitar smashed and after taunts to play his guitar now, they shot him to death.  To read more, see this link Bruce Springsteen Honors Chilean Folk Hero in Santiago.

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17 Responses to April 1, 1948 – A Plea for Peace – Sepia Saturday #195

  1. Lorraine says:

    Oh, my life has been so safe. There’s a lot of history here I knew nothing about. Thanks for sharing Kristin.

  2. ScotSue says:

    Thank you for this personal insight into a period of American history that I knew nothing about. A lovely tribute to your father.

  3. Deb Gould says:

    What a brave man! Taking an unpopular stance is tough enough; signing your name to a public announcement of an unpopular stance requires great courage!

  4. Alan BURNETT says:

    Oceans apart, we so often seem to walk down the same street Kristin. Needless to say, I am proud to accompany you.

  5. postcardy says:

    I don’t believe that the Communists really wanted peace, but I don’t know whether to believe that they had a “peace offensive.”

  6. Little Nell says:

    The McCarthy era was a dark one with many afraid to speak their mind. What a terrible fate for the poet Victor.

  7. A fine post, Kristin. For a snapshot, the photo of your father is a wonderfully artistic portrait.

  8. Sharon says:

    Kristin, your posts are always so informative and thought provoking. Like Lorraine, I have led a very safe and sheltered life.

  9. Wendy says:

    I knew to expect a powerful post from you. I agree with Deb – your father was a strong man committed to standing up for his principles.

  10. Hazel says:

    That’s a wonderful photographic keepsake of your father (I was thinking your Dad was the doctor; must have mixed up persons reading your previous posts). Sad end for Victor Jara :(

    Hazel

  11. Alex Daw says:

    Man’s inhumanity to man never ceases to amaze me. How do we ever make it stop I wonder? Your father was obviously one of those who held a light in the darkness.

  12. TICKLEBEAR says:

    A courageous stance to take in such a crazy era.
    The propaganda run during the McCarthism years
    and in Soviet Union and all of its acolytes around the planet,
    both trying to vilified the other and create a climate of fear and paranoia.
    Is the ploy still used nowadays?!?
    Disinformation and control of public opinion is nothing new.
    But the social impact of these things can cause so much harm…
    Wish we would wisen up and think clearly in times of crisis.
    :/
    HUGZ

  13. I love your website Kristen. There is always so much history to learn from you that goes way beyond family genealogy. What an excellent post this was. As always, I learned something new. Thanks for sharing and not letting us forget.

  14. Sheryl says:

    Whew, the primary source documents you shared are so powerful. It provides more insight into what was going on back than than any secondary source possibly could.

  15. The paranoid McCarthy period is a dark period in US history. It’s also shocking to read about Victor Jara, I didn’t know his story (his music is beautiful).

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