Letter from Linus and Ava Helen Pauling to Salvador E. Luria
With the election of John Kennedy, Linus Pauling stepped-up his efforts to combat nuclear weapons and atmospheric testing.
In this letter, the Paulings urged Luria to sign the "Appeal to Stop the Spread of Nuclear Weapons." This petition
would eventually be signed by over 200,000 Americans.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (75,641 Bytes)
1961-01-15 (January 15, 1961)
Pauling, Ava Helen
Luria, Salvador E.
Original Repository: American Philosophical Society. Library. Salvador Luria Papers
Reproduced with permission of Oregon State University Library, Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers.
During recent months the international situation has changed in
such a way as to increase the danger of war. France has carried out
nuclear explosions and other nations too may soon have stockpiles of
nuclear weapons. There is discussion of the plan of turning nuclear
weapons over to NATO and there exists the possibility that the Warsaw
Pact nations would also be given these weapons.
We feel that it is necessary that a vigorous effort be made to
prevent these actions, and we have written the Appeal to Stop the Spread
of Nuclear Weapons that is reproduced below.
Will you join us in signing this Appeal? We are asking some
men and women in every country in the world to sign. We plan to present
the Appeal to the United Nations and the various national governments,
with the list of names of signers, early in February.
Linus and Ava Helen Pauling
AN APPEAL TO STOP THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
To the United Nations and to all nations in the world:
We, the men and women whose names are signed below, believe that
stockpiles of nuclear weapons should not be allowed to spread to any more
nations or groups of nations.
The world is now in great danger. A cataclysmic nuclear war might
break out as the result of some terrible accident or of an explosive deterioration in international relations such that even
the wisest national leaders would be unable to avert the catastrophe. Universal disarmament has now become the essential
basis for life and liberty for all people.
The difficult problem of achieving universal disarmament would
become far more difficult if more nations or groups of nations were to come
into possession of nuclear weapons. We accordingly urge that the present
nuclear powers not transfer nuclear weapons to other nations or groups of
nations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the Warsaw Pact
group, that all nations not now possessing these weapons voluntarily refrain
from obtaining or developing them, and that the United Nations and all
nations increase their efforts to achieve total and universal disarmament
with a system of international controls and inspection such as to insure to
the greatest possible extent the safety of all nations and all people.