The American Peace Information Center (APIC) is the continuation of the Peace Information Center (PIC), which was formed in 1950 in the United States. Although APIC has a much broader program than the original PIC, it retains one of the key principles that motivated the creation of the original organization: the need for nuclear disarmament.
Nuclear disarmament was promoted in the United States by the Peace Information Center through what was called the “Stockholm Appeal”. This initiative was first launched by the World Peace Council in March of 1950. The text of the appeal was as follows:
We demand the outlawing of atomic weapons as instruments of intimidation and mass murder of peoples. We demand strict international control to enforce this measure.
We believe that any government which first uses atomic weapons against any other country whatsoever will be committing a crime against humanity and should be dealt with as a war criminal.
We call on all men and women of good will throughout the world to sign this appeal.
The appeal was initiated by the French physicist Frederic Joliot-Curie, a Nobel laureate in Chemistry and a leading figure in the world peace movement. It emerged around the same time as the dawn of the Korean War, where it was feared that the United States would use nuclear weapons to achieve its aims of controlling the Korean peninsula, just as it had in Japan at the end of World War II. In the United States, the Stockholm Appeal was associated with the names of leading intellectuals like W. E. B. DuBois and Paul Robeson, who were leaders of the Peace Information Center. Through these initiatives, the Appeal gained popularity quickly. The final count was given at over 273 million signatories worldwide.
Unfortunately, the original Peace Information Center quickly became a target of the McCarthyist hysteria which was then running rampant in the United States. The U. S. Justice Department accused the PIC of being agents of the Soviet Union, which at the time would mean that its members would be required to register with the American government as such. The leaders of the PIC rightly refused to do so, and they were indicted for it. As the pressure from the federal government grew against the organization, former associates began to distance themselves from it, not wanting to receive the same treatment. This led to the decline of the Peace Information Center, which was temporarily shut down in October of 1950.
Nevertheless, the legacy and the defenders of the Peace Information Center lived on. In 1952, the defense attorney Vito Marcantonio, a longtime ally of the peace movement, was successful in getting the case against the members of the Peace Information Center dismissed. W. E. B. DuBois continued the movement with the American Peace Crusade, and the American affiliate of the World Peace Council, the U.S. Peace Council, persisted as well. Today, the Peace Information Center has been revitalized as the American Peace Information Center, which is devoted to, in addition to nuclear disarmament, the fight against imperialism and the growing threat of fascism.