Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze records, 1981-1986

Overview of the Collection

Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze.; North Puget Sound Coalition for a Nuclear Freeze.; Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.
Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze records
1981-1986 (inclusive)
1 linear ft.
Collection Number
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.
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
Telephone: (360) 650-7534
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

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 NoteReturn to Top

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 DescriptionReturn to Top

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 CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze records, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Archives & Special Collections, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


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

  • Series I: Administrative records, 1981-1985
  • Series II: Newsletters, 1981-1986
  • Series III: Anti-Nuclear Activities and Project Files, 1982-1986
  • Series IV: National Reference Material, 1982-1984
  • Series V: Ephemera and Publicity, 1982-1986, undated

Acquisition Information

Initial donation by Alice Litton in 1999 with additional materials donated by Marie Hitchman in 2018 and Tim Baker in 2023.

Processing Note

To learn more about problematic content in our collections, collection description and teaching tools (including how to provide feedback or request dialogue on this topic), see our Statement About Potentially Harmful Language and Content

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Administrative records, 1981-1985Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
Incorporation and Constitution Records
1 2
1 3
Membership and Meeting Information
1 4
National and State Organizing Strategies

Series II:  Newsletters, 1981-1986Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 5
Whatcom County Nuclear Arm Freeze Newsletters
1 6
Other state-wide Freeze and peace movement group Newsletter
1 7
"The Freeze" Nation-wide Newsletters
1 8
Miscellaneous Nation-wide Freeze Group Newsletters

Series III:  Anti-Nuclear Activities and Project Files, 1982-1986Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 9
Congressional Action
1 10
Referenda in Thurston County
1 11
Nuclear Free Zones
2 1
Other Peace Movement Activities
2 2
Dear Mr. President: Letters on the Nuclear Arms Race by Dr. Arthur C. Hicks
2 3
Bellingham – Nakhodka Sister City Tour
1985 August 24
2 4
Pairing Project, Bellingham, WA – Nakhodka USSR
2 5
Educational Resource Material
2 6
North Puget Sound Coalition for a Nuclear Weapons Freeze

Series IV:  National Reference Material, 1982-1984Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
2 7
Build Down vs. Freeze
2 8
United Nations
2 9
Nuclear Weapons Economics
2 10
Negotiations for Arms Control Newspaper Clippings
2 11
Nuclear Weapons Articles and Information
2 12
Information on United States Administrative Policy

Series V:  Ephemera and Publicity, 1982-1986, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
2 13
Rolled Document
Poster for Classical Music for Peace event
Box Folder
2 14
Newspaper Clippings
2 15

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Antinuclear movement--Northwest, Pacific--History -- Sources.
  • Antinuclear movement--Washington (State)--Whatcom County--History --Sources.
  • Civic activism
  • Community education--Washington (State)--Whatcom County--History --Sources.
  • Military
  • 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.

Corporate Names

  • Whatcom County Nuclear Arms Freeze -- Archives.

Form or Genre Terms

  • Records (Documents)