A chapter of the Cold War touched Thurston County in the early 1980s, when the nuclear arms race was in full swing and peace advocates across the country suggested The United States and The USSR could stop building nuclear arms. Thurston County advocates convened their own active and successful Nuclear Freeze group, which influenced policy from 1980 to 1985.
According to Evergreen’s Library Dean, Greg Mullins, the discussion is an important piece of history that should not be forgotten. “Many of our students are concerned with climate change today, and many feel there is little they can do at the local level. But right here in Thurston County we have evidence that ordinary citizens can effect historic change. To hear their story, and how they helped changed how the White House thought about nuclear weapons, is significant.”
Local Nuclear Freeze Campaign documents, which include a community shelter plan for Thurston County, albeit one that would have “saved” 50,800 of the county’s then population of 66,700, are currently on display at the library at Evergreen through November.