Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament

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The Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, Inc. (also referred to as The Great Peace March, GPM, and the March) was a cross-country event in 1986 aimed at raising awareness to the growing danger of nuclear proliferation and to advocate for complete, verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons from the earth. The GPM consisted of hundreds of people, mostly but not exclusively Americans, who convened in Los Angeles, California, USA, in February 1986 to walk from L.A. to Washington, D.C., the nation's capital. The group left Los Angeles on March 1, 1986 and arrived in Washington, D.C. on November 15, 1986, a journey of about 3,700 miles, nine months, and many campsites.


The March was conceived by Los Angeles businessman David Mixner, who formed People Reaching Out for Peace (PRO-Peace), a non-profit organization. Due to bankruptcy, PRO-Peace folded while the March was in Barstow, California.[citation needed] A few weeks of round-the-clock meetings followed to assess resources, reorganize, and to form a grassroots, self-governed organization. Once reorganized, the March continued its eastward trek.

Peace marches before and after[edit]

  • In 1976 the War Resisters League took part in organizing "The Continental Walk for Nuclear Disarmament and Social Justice" which also left from Los Angeles and arrived in Washington, simultaneously with several "branch" routes.[1]
  • "Pleading for Peace, Archaeologists Studying Camp Where Anti-nuclear Activists Staged Protests." Article about the Nevada Test Site.[2]
  • "Analysis of Mother's Day Action 1987" (Once there, click on magnifier image to bring up text. Scroll up a bit to get to the beginning of the subject.)[3]
  • "American Soviet Walk: Taking Steps to End the Nuclear Arms Race," by Fred Segal and Fred E. Basten.[4]
  • ""[5] offers a detailed, annotated photographic account of the American Soviet Peace Walk, which took place on the 450 kilometer stretch between St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and Moscow, Russia, in the summer of 1987. is based on a 1988 book by Fred Segal & Fred E. Basten, "American Soviet Walk: Taking Steps to End the Nuclear Arms Race," published by the United World of the Universe Foundation.
  • Article with quite a bit about the Soviet-American walk, "Saying No To Power Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker," by William Mandel.[6]
  • At least one part-time participant of the Great Peace March, Kevin James Shay, participated in a previous two-year march called Walk of the People – A Pilgrimage for Life that went across the U.S. and Europe in 1984–85. Shay walked with the Great Peace March for its first week in California.

Outcomes and resources[edit]


  • Just One Step was a documentary film of the Great Peace March by Cathy Zheutlin, edited by James Knight[7]


  • Spirit Walk: The Great Peace March of 1986 By Martin Vincent Hippie. 2012. 434 pages.
  • Walking For Our Lives by marcher Donna Rankin Love[8]
  • The Great Peace March: An American Odyssey (Peacewatch Edition) by Franklin Folsom, Connie Fledderjohann, Gerda Lawrence[9]
  • Feet Across America by New Zealand marcher Anne Macfarlane[10]
  • Peace Like a River: A Personal Journey Across America by Sue Guist[11]
  • Lost Journals from the Great Peace March by Gene Gordon[12]
  • A Strange Place Called Home: My Walk Across America on the Great Peace March by Laura Monagan[13]
  • The Great Peace March, song into children's book by Holly Near, Paintings by Lisa Desimini[14]
  • Central Body: The Art of Guy Colwell, including work from the years 1964 to 1991. Includes a section of his sketches of the G.P.M.[15]
  • "Pit Stop For The Angels" by Bill Patterson This book contains sketches of the marchers and the places they stayed throughout the march.


  • Peace March: Process = Success, Conflict Resolution Consortium, Working Paper 90-3, May, 1990. By Lynne Ihlstrom, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado at Boulder.[16]


  • Wild Wimmin For Peace CD[17]
  • Lyrics for song from Wild Wimmin CD-Bridgett Evans by Judy Small[18]
  • "No More Silence" YouTube video. Song written by marcher Darryl Purpose. This updated version sung by Clan Dyken with new rap added.[19]
  • No More Silence lyrics.[20]
  • Beautiful Planet by Michael Krieger. Scroll down to "Look Inside" CD.[21]

Articles written by marchers[edit]

  • "A Laboratory in Democracy: Revisiting the Great Peace March" by Steve Brigham[22]
  • "How to Make a Decision Without Making a Decision" (written for Communities magazine, Winter 2000) by Tom Atlee[23]
  • "The Tao of Democracy" by Tom Atlee[24]

Audio interviews[edit]

  • "The Wisdom of the Whole", audio of Tom Atlee[25]
  • "Audio interview with New Zealand marcher Maynie Thompson"[26]

Other marches[edit]

The Great March for Climate Action planned for 2014 is inspired in part by its founder Ed Fallon's experience with the 1986 Great Peace March.[27]


  1. ^ Journal of Peace Studies vol.40 no. 4 pg. 440 "The Forgotten Years of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement"
  2. ^ "Pleading for Peace: Archaeologists studying camp where anti-nuclear activists staged protests". Archived from the original on 2003-01-25. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Cultural Studies, Volume 4. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Американо Советский Поход Предпринимает Меры Для Окончания Гонки Ядерного Вооружения: Taking Steps to End the Nuclear Arms Race. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Our Move". Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "If I Were Gorbachev". Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Just One Step: The Great Peace March – Movie Trailer, Reviews, Photos, Cast". Archived from the original on 2009-03-09. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Donna Rankin Love (August 22, 2011). Walking For Our Lives. Park Place Publications. ISBN 978-1-935530-50-3. 
  9. ^ "Political Science Current Events Books: The Great Peace March by Folsom, Franklin, Fledderjohann, Connie: Better World Books". Better World Books. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "Biblio search results". 
  11. ^ " Peace Like a River: A Personal Journey Across America (Peacewatch Edition) (9780943734170): Sue Guist: Books". 
  12. ^ "Lost Journals from the Great Peace March". [dead link]
  13. ^ "A Strange Place Called Home: My Walk Across America on the Great Peace March". Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  15. ^ " Central body: The art of Guy Colwell, including work from the years". 
  17. ^ "Wild Wimmin For Peace CD". Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "Bridgett Evans". Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Clan Dyken – No More Silence". Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "No More Silence lyrics". Archived from the original on 2005-02-14. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Beautiful Planet". Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "A Laboratory in Democracy: Revisiting the Great Peace March". Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "How to Make a Decision Without Making a Decision". Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Co-Intelligence Wakes Up in a Fertilizer Factory". Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Wisdom of the Whole". Archived from the original on 2004-08-17. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "Maynie Thompson Waiheke Peace Activist". Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Former Iowa politician plans cross-country trek to raise climate awareness". ClimateWire. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 

External links[edit]

Related archives[edit]

  • Swarthmore College [1]
  • Archives from Pro Peace [2]
  • California Online Archives [3]
  • Pro-peace/Mixner archives [4]
  • Yale University Archives, David Mixner's papers [5]
  • Franklin Folsom's personal papers archived at University of Colorado at Boulder [6]
  • Harvard Archive of the International Peace Walk | Folsom, Affeldt, Smith et al. Scroll down to the word "International" [7]
  • Archive Grid | Various items related to the GPM. [8]
  • GPM Videos on YouTube [9]