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The Golden Rule

How A Small Activist Sailing Ship Challenged The Nuclear Arms Race

In today’s polarized context, progressive movements need their best strategic thinking. One source for inspiration should be the Golden Rule, a historic sailing ship that’s currently visiting ports along the Eastern U.S. Organized by Veterans for Peace, this national tour puts the 1958 Golden Rule voyage back in the news. Nearly 65 years ago, the Golden Rule defiantly sailed toward the Pacific Ocean site where U.S. nuclear weapons were being tested, sparking a movement that forced the U.S. government to sign the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. As a young activist, I got to know and learn from some of the original crew members and organizers. So, it was a delight to set foot on the Golden Rule last week for a sail in the Philadelphia harbor.

Golden Rule Peace Boat Brings Message Of Nuclear Disarmament

Baltimore, MD—Do you know about the back story behind the U.S., U.K., and USSR signing the “Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water” in 1963? It is a very dramatic tale, involving illegal arrests in international waters, switching missions from one ship to another, children tasting nuclear fallout as it came down like snow—and it all began with Hiroshima. The atomic bomb which the U.S. dropped on that Japanese city on Aug. 6, 1945, caused Albert Bigelow to leave his military career as a Navy captain just before his date of retirement.
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