The Kellogg–Briand Pact (or Pact of Paris, officially General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy) was a 1928 international agreement in which signatory states promised not to use war to resolve “disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them”. Parties failing to abide by this promise “should be denied of the benefits furnished by this treaty”. It was signed by Germany, France and the United States on August 27, 1928, and by most other nations soon after. Sponsored by France and the U.S., the Pact renounced the use of war and called for the peaceful settlement of disputes. Similar provisions were incorporated into the UN Charter and other treaties and it became a stepping stone to a more activist American policy. It is named after its authors, United States Secretary of StateFrank B. Kellogg and French foreign ministerAristide Briand.
Today we mourn all the women, men, and children from all countries, who have died as victims of war, both as soldiers and as civilians. All human life is sacred. We re-dedicate ourselves to working for a day when a Memorial Day is no longer needed.
I realized a little after 12 noon this Thanksgiving that Arlo Guthrie has had a much broader cultural impact in terms of bringing a progressive message to the general population than his father, Woody Guthrie. As a reader of this post is probably aware, across the radio dial across the United States, it is a tradition to play Arlo Guthrie’s song, Alice’s Restaurant at 12 noon on Thanksgiving. This tradition has been going on for four decades. We are not just talking about the anti-war song being played on granola-crunchy college radio stations. I listened to Alice’s Restaurant on a Clear Channel owned classic rock station that won’t even play Imagine most of the year. The DJ announced and dedicated the song as a favorite Thanksgiving tradition of a recently deceased listener. No mention was made of the song’s lengthy anti-war message. The song had transcended into a widely-celebrated annual tradition for the general population who never expresses a sentiment about war for the rest of the year.
The series centers on the effect that the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan had on the history of the US. In questioning whether it was necessary to drop the A-bomb, Stone and Kuznick explore the different path the United States almost took if the pacifist Henry Wallace had remained as Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s Vice President and had won 1944 Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. In the interview, Stone discusses the success of the progressive policies of Wallace as FDR’s Secretary of Agriculture prior to becoming his second Vice President: