University of California, Berkeley, California, April 19, 1940.
According to the Daily Californian, an estimated million students in the United States participated in the 1940 annual April Peace Strike, although demonstrations were not held in London and Paris as they had been last year. At the University of California about 10% of the student body gathered outside of Sather Gate, the southern boundary of the campus, to hear students and speakers sponsored by the "Yanks are Not Coming" committee: Revels Clayton, Negro CIO leader, Abbot Simon, secretary of the World Youth Congress, and the Revered Don Chase, a Methodist minister. The demonstration was supported locally by several student political, religious, social, and professional organizations. Nothing constructive was brought up by the speakers. There was no "radicalism," which is supposed to be characteristic of University of California Peace Meetings.
At the University of California the peace meeting and compulsory R.O.T.C. have for several years been problems of paramount interest to certain active minorities in the student body. During the spring semester of this year the A.S.U.C. Peace Committee made a study of the compulsory R.O.T.C. of which Oswald Garrison Villard said in his column in The Nation (March 23, 1940): "It is by all odds the clearest and most convincing argument against compulsory military drill yet produced." This study was first presented to the student body for a vote, which accepted it in a three-to-one ratio, and then submitted, with the vote to the Regents at their March meeting. However, the effectiveness of this petition is best measured by the fact that regular R.O.T.C. classes were still in session during the peace strike.