An avid peace activist’s agenda from 1975

By Samuel H. Day Jr. | August 17, 2023

This is a screenshot from a 1975 Bulletin magazine issue that focused heavily on the threats that humanity faced on the threshold of the last quarter of the Twentieth Century. From arms control discussions between the US and Soviet Union, to discussions on how to combat a mounting energy crisis, this issue features commentary from luminaries like historian Alice Kimball Smith and champion of free speech Samuel H. Day Jr.A portion of the cover of the January 1975 issue of the Bulletin.

In this 1975 Bulletin article, nuclear activist, journalist, and champion of free speech Samuel H. Day Jr. argues for the need to build strong global institutions to address world’s issues. Many of which—such as nuclear proliferation and environmental degradation—the world continues to face today.

This article appears here as part of our 2023 summer archive dive, which resurfaces a timeless Bulletin article each week. 

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Today, on the threshold of the last quarter of the Twentieth Century, mankind faces ever more urgently and inescapably the question of human survival. The confrontation of that question in its many forms, and in ways that illuminate the survival routes which still remain, constitutes humanity’s most pressing business.

The most immediate threat, now more than ever, is nuclear. The threat comes not from the immense physical forces which were unleashed by our entrance into the atomic age but from the inadequacies of the institutions through which we control and utilize those forces. It is because of these institutional inadequacies that the world finds itself closer than ever to the edge of an abyss into which it could be plunged almost at any moment. A relentless spotlight must be kept on those inadequacies if repairs are to be undertaken in time …

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