Graham Kilmer

A Sailboat for Peace Will Visit Milwaukee

The 'Golden Rule' has a place in history and the movement to end nuclear weapons testing.

By - Aug 29th, 2023 10:37 am

The Golden Rule in New York City. Photo courtesy of Veterans for Peace.

A sailboat that played a role in the history of nuclear weapons testing is visiting Milwaukee this weekend.

The “Golden Rule” is a 35-foot wooden sailboat that was piloted in 1958 by a group of Quakers who sought to sail into the testing zone for the U.S. government’s atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. The boat never made it that far and the crew was arrested in Hawaii. But they inspired others who would later sail into the test zone in the Marshall Islands to try to stop nuclear weapons testing.

The boat is recognized as having played a role in the movement against nuclear weapons testing that led to the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited weapons tests in the atmosphere, space or underwater. The boat’s initial 1958 voyage was led by former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Albert Bigelow.

The boat was later sold and sunk off the coast of California. it was later rediscovered and then rebuilt by Veterans for Peace. Since 2015 the organization has maintained and sailed the vessel promoting the United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons. The treaty has yet to be signed by a nuclear-armed state.

The “Golden Rule” is sailing to Milwaukee for Labor Day weekend. It will be docked in Lakeshore State Park from Sept. 1 – 4. It’s currently sailing the Great Loop, which is a system of waterways that connects inland rivers in the U.S. and Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes. The voyage began in Minnesota in September 2022, “sailing to the Gulf, visiting Cuba for 10 days, and circling the south and east coasts before reaching the Great Lakes this summer.”

The boat has held 350 events in 92 cities promoting peace and an end to nuclear weapons. It will dock at Discovery World Friday, then spend the rest of the week tied off at the state park. On Saturday there will be a party in the park from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. with live music.

The boat will be available to tour at various times in the afternoon including between noon and 4 p.m. on Friday; 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturday; 1 and 4 p.m. on Sunday; and 1 and 5 p.m. on Monday.

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One thought on “A Sailboat for Peace Will Visit Milwaukee”

  1. JimCarpenter says:

    Thank you for this excellent story. I’ll be visiting the boat.

    We have never been closer to nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dial Congress with the Congressional switchboard number 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your congressperson and read this message:

    I am calling to urge _________________ to vote no on President Biden’s request for another $24 billion
    to continue the war in Ukraine. The latest CNN poll reveals that 55% of the US public opposes
    more weapons and aid to Ukraine–and for good reason. There is no military solution–only more death and destruction as the war drags on, costing the US taxpayer $113 billion to date. We need a diplomatic solution and must
    not risk a wider war that poses the risk of nuclear annihilation. Vote no on another $24 billion for the war in Ukraine.

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