MAYDAY! Peace Conference. MAYDAY! Collection, 1981-Ongoing. GACA Collection 70. 2 Records Center Cartons, 1 ½ Hollinger boxes, 2 cassette boxes, 3 flat boxes, and digital media.
The MAYDAY! Peace Conference collection consists of programs and planning materials along with audio and video recordings of presentations. Additional materials in the collection consist of papers and photographs documenting high school oratory contests held from 1986-1992. These were presented in conjunction with the larger conference. The conference is held on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota during late April or early May on a yearly basis. Topics are “designed to educate the campus community and beyond about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice.” The keynote speaker is often a person of renown. Generally, additional speakers discuss topics related to the general theme within various workshops. Materials are organized chronologically. The collection is ongoing.
The MAYDAY! Peace Conference was founded in 1981. The inaugural topic was Arms Control: MAYDAY! MAYDAY! and featured Doctor Helen Caldicott and Norman Walbeck. The first conference was made possible in part by a special grant from Florence and Ray Sponberg of North Mankato, Minnesota. Florence Sponberg was an activist against arms and nuclear proliferation. The event became a regular occurrence at Gustavus in subsequent years.
The collection is divided into three series. Most materials fall within the section documenting MAYDAY! Peace Conferences. These documents and recordings are organized chronologically. The second series contains information regarding high school oratory contests. While speeches are not included, there are pictures of event winners and lists of presentation topics. Documents in the third series pertain to Mayday activities held at Gustavus prior to 1981.