HAPPY NEW YEAR!
“LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH, THE PEACE THAT WAS MEANT TO BE”
This might seem a bit off the subject of Great Food and Fun Places, but this fascinating bit of trivia came my way and I want to share it. Trust me – it truly is connected to the theme of this blog: A Peace Sign Ice Cube Tray!!
It all came about when our 10 year old granddaughter found this Peace Sign Ice Cube mold and excitedly put it under the tree for Grandpa! (“Peace On, Dude!” - She is definitely in touch with her grandfather’s interests). A reference on the packaging to the “50th anniversary of the Peace Sign” intrigued me. Fifty years ago would have been 1963 and I’ve always connected it with the 60′s and Hippies. Just what was the origin of this sign?
Let the research begin! (isn’t the Internet great?)
What I found is fascinating. I’m not sure about the ’50th Anniversary’ marketing on the package, unless it was ‘old stock out on the shelf!
The Peace Sign was originally designed in 1958 as a logo for an an anti-nuclear campaign in Britain, making its first public appearance during the first major anti-nuclear march over Easter weekend in 1958.
The preliminary sketches by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer, artist, and graduate of the Royal College of Arts, were shown to a small group of people in the Peace News office in North London and to the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War, one of several smaller organizations that came together to set up CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) and is recognized as the logo of CND. The ‘Peace Sign’ has become one of the most widely known symbols in the world.
What does it mean?
Gerald Holtom, a conscientious objector who had worked on a farm in Norfolk during the Second World War, explained that the symbol incorporated the semaphore letters N(uclear) and D(isarmament). He later wrote to Hugh Brock, editor of Peace News, explaining the genesis of his idea in greater, more personal depth:
“I was in despair. Deep despair. I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya’s peasant before the firing squad. I formalized the drawing into a line and put a circle round it.“
Although specifically designed for the anti-nuclear movement it has quite deliberately never been copyrighted. No one has to pay or to seek permission before they use it. A symbol of freedom, it is free for all.
The intrigue continues with another fascinating tidbit of “Peace” trivia: the song….
“Let There Be Peace On Earth” was written by Jill Jackson with her husband Sy Miller – in 1955 -THREE YEARS before Holtom created the peace logo!! Born out of their friendship with Ernest and Hazel Holmes, “Let There be Peace on Earth,” or simply “The Peace Song,” debuted on Easter Sunday 1955 at the Beverly Hills Church of Religious Science. Like the Peace Symbol, the song has bridged different faiths.
The PEACE SIGN material was found at Docs Populi and was originally from the CND website.
The PEACE SONG material was found in “The Celestial Gift of Music” by Kent Rautenstraus, an article in the October 2012 Science of Mind Magazine