© 2020 | Jefferson Public Radio
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

As It Was: Ashland Woman Coins “Make Love, Not War” Phrase

In 1965, a 22-year-old student, Diane Newell Meyer, joined an anti-war rally at the University of Oregon.  She had written a slogan on an envelope and attached it to her sweater.

The slogan was “Let’s make love, not war!”

The girl and the phrase caught the eye of a Eugene Register-Guard photographer, who snapped a picture that he believed circulated nationally.  A New York Times Magazine story on the rally said, “A pert coed decorated her sweater with a card that carried the sensible entreaty: “Let’s make love, not war.’ ”  The slogan appeared in the April 25, 1965, edition of the Register-Guard, and the May 9 edition of the New York Times Magazine.  Within weeks it showed up on thousands of Mother’s Day buttons printed in Chicago.

Newell Meyer told the Mail-Tribune in 2010, “It just popped into my head — I remember I started giggling when I wrote it. There is no way to prove it but I think I’m the person who invented the phrase. I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else before that time.” 

Newell Meyer lives today in Ashland, Ore., where she earned a master’s degree in environmental studies at Southern Oregon University.

Source: Fattig, Paul. "The famous words likely were borne by Ashland resident." Mail Tribune, 15 Aug. 2010 [Medford, Ore.]. www.mailtribune.com/article/20100815/NEWS/8150330. Accessed 25 June 2017.

Stay Connected
Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.