Beatles musician John Lennon (1940-1980) wrote the song “Give Peace a Chance” in 1969; Pete Seeger sang it at the anti-Vietnam War Moratorium March on Washington on November 15, 1969.
“Give peace a chance” had been used in the 1910s (around World War I). “Let’s give peace a chance” was cited in print in 1914 and “I’m going to give peace a chance” was cited in 1918. “War Has Had Its Day, Give Peace a Chance” was the slogan of a W.C.T.U. state director in 1930.
American political satirist P. J. O’Rourke used an opposite slogan for the title of his book, Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind’s Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice, and Alcohol-Free Beer (1992).
Wikipedia: Give Peace a Chance
“Give Peace a Chance” is a song written by John Lennon in Montreal, Canada (originally under the moniker Lennon–McCartney), released as a single in 1969 by the Plastic Ono Band on Apple Records, catalogue Apple 13 in the United Kingdom, Apple 1809 in the United States. It is the first solo single issued by Lennon, released when he was still a member of the Beatles and became an anthem of the American anti-war movement during the 1970s. It peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 2 on the British singles chart.
Writing and recording
The song was written during Lennon’s ‘Bed-In’ honeymoon in Montreal, Canada. When asked by a reporter what he was trying to achieve by staying in bed, Lennon answered spontaneously “Just give peace a chance”. He went on to say this several times during the Bed-In. Finally, on 1 June 1969, in Room 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, André Perry recorded it using a simple setup of four microphones and a four-track tape recorder rented from a local recording studio. The recording session was attended by dozens of journalists and various celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Joseph Schwartz, Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Murray the K and Derek Taylor, many of whom are mentioned in the lyrics. Lennon played acoustic guitar and was joined by Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers, also on acoustic guitar.
When released in 1969, the song was credited to Lennon–McCartney. On some later releases, only Lennon is credited; ...
6 March 1914, Marietta (GA) Journal and Courier, “Resurrecting Rusty Hatchets,” pg. 4, col. 5:
Why not let sleeping dogs lie?
Why resurrect rusty hatchets?
Let’s give prosperity a chance.
Let’s give peace a chance.
December 1918, The Conservator, “Collect” by Horace Traubel, pg. 149, col. 1:
And so I’m going to give peace a chance. All the chance peace needs. And I know I’ll like peace as being richer and worthier in the sterner and loftier realities of its development.
3 September 1919, Edgefield (SC) Advertiser, “Mexican Propaganda,” pg. 2, col. 1:
Give peace a chance, that we may return to our plows and harrows and look to the years ahead.
31 March 1922, The Evening World (New York, NY), pg. 34, col. 1:
But the fundamental question, Governments aside, is, How many Irishmen are willing to practice individual self-denial and stop fighting long enough to give peace a chance?
Arabian Peak and Desert:
Travels in al-Yaman
By Ameen Fares Rihani
New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin
“In the solution of all your political problems you have hitherto applied almost exclusively the sword. Try peace once — give peace a chance.’
18 September 1930, San Diego (CA) Union, “County W. C. T. U. Closes Meeting With Election,” pg 7, col. 5:
Mrs. Mary Bleifuss, as state director of international relations, took as her slogan “War Has Had Its Day, Give Peace a Chance.”
11 November 1943, The Daily News (Huntingdon, PA), “Occasional Papers: Is Peace Enough” by F. A, McKenzie, pg. 4, col. 2:
LET THE FIRST ORGANIZATION HAVE NO PURPOSE WHATSOEVER OTHER THAN PEACE.
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!
26 June 1969, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Flip Side: Hendrix Plans Break” by Marge Pettyjohn, pg. 8AA, cols. 7-8:
The next Beatles single is to be “Give Peace a Chance” and “Remember Love,” both written by John Lennon on a recent trip to Montreal, Canada.
Wikipedia: Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam
November 15, 1969, Moratorium March on Washington
At the Moratorium, a quarter of a million demonstrators were led by Pete Seeger in singing John Lennon’s new song “Give Peace A Chance.”
OCLC WorldCat record
Give peace a chance
Author: John Lennon; Yōko Ono; Plastic Ono Band.
Publisher: [England?] : Apple, [1969?]
Edition/Format: Music : 45 rpm : Rock music : English
OCLC WorldCat record
Mad dogs & Englishmen
Author: Joe Cocker; Leon Russell; Mad Dogs & Englishmen (Musical group)
Publisher: Hollywood, CA : A & M Records, 
Edition/Format: Music LP : Rock music : EnglishView
Contents: Please give peace a chance / Leon Russell-Bonnie Bramlett (4:20) --
OCLC WorldCat record
Give war a chance : eyewitness accounts of mankind’s struggle against tyranny, injustice, and alcohol-free beer
Author: P J O’Rourke
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, ©1992.
Edition/Format: Book : English : 1st ed
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, August 28, 2013 • Permalink