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

Jul 31, 2017

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.