Ruth K. Graves papers: 1972-2007
Summary Information
Title: Ruth K. Graves papers
Creator: Graves, Ruth K.
Inclusive dates: 1972-2007
Extent: 1.4 linear feet
Ruth K. Graves is a Quaker and high school chemistry teacher from Ypsilanti, Michigan. In 1969, Graves and her husband Bruce began withholding taxes contributing to the military, before being taken to the Supreme Court by the IRS in 1975. Ruth Graves has been active in a number of organizations involved with social causes, as well as presented on public access television. The collection consists of newsletters and reports from the World Peace Tax Fund and local organizations and correspondence between the Graves and Michigan Senators, Carl Levin and Donald Riegle. Audio and video recordings of the public access show, Peace InSight and other programs about social issues are also found within the collection.
Call number: 2017055 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Devon Proudfoot in January 2018.

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by Ruth K. Graves (donor no. 9855) in five accessions between 2012 and 2017.

Access Restrictions:

This collection is open without restriction.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Ruth K. Graves papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. [URL]


Ruth K. Graves is a Quaker and high school chemistry teacher from Ypsilanti, Michigan. During the 1960s, Graves and her husband Bruce became involved with the National Council for the World Peace Tax Fund and began withholding taxes that contributed to the military.

In 1975 the IRS served the Graves a notice of deficiency over their 1973 tax return. The Graves appealed the dispute, eventually bringing the case to the Supreme Court of Michigan. While the court ultimately dismissed the Graves' case, it drew local and statewide attention to the World Peace Tax Fund efforts.

In addition to her work with the National Council for World Peace Tax Fund, Ruth Graves has also been active in other local organizations such as the Ann Arbor Friends, the Gray Panthers of Huron Valley, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Ruth K. Graves papers document Graves' objection to military taxation during the 1970s. The collection primarily contains reports and meeting minutes of the National Council for the World Peace Tax Fund, as well as newspaper clippings and journal articles about Ruth and her husband Bruce, Graves' involvement with the organization. Also included is personal correspondence, most notably between the Graves and Michigan Senators Carl Levin and Donald Riegle, discussing a World Peace Tax Fund. Organizational records of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Ann Arbor Friends, and other local organizations can be found within the collection.

A substantial portion of the collection includes video and audio programs from the public access series, Peace InSight, amongst other television programs covering social issues.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Pacifism.
  • Quakers -- Michigan -- Ypsilanti.
  • War tax resistance -- United States.
  • Audiocassettes.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Video recordings.
  • Videocassettes.
  • Graves, Ruth K.
  • Graves, Bruce.
  • Graves, Bruce.
  • Levin, Carl, 1934-
  • Riegle, Donald W., 1938-
  • National Council for a World Peace Tax Fund.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Ruth K. Graves papers 1972-2007 [series] (1.4 linear feet)
Box   1  
War Tax Resistance and Organizational Records 1972-1987 (9 folders, 1 expandable folders)
Public access programs
Box   2  
"Ann Arbor's Sister City" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Compelled By Conscience: Why We need a Peace Tax Fund" (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Conscience and War Taxes" (1 audiocassettes)
Box   2  
"Countering the Threat of the Far Right" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Education in Crisis" April 7, 2007 (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Organizing Across Borders: Sweatshops in U.S. and Canada" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"The Peace Tax Fund" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Peace InSight Television Program
Box   2  
"Nicaragua: Children and their Friends" October 4, 1988 (1 videocassettes (U-matic))
Box   2  
"Nicaragua Graphics" undated (1 videocassettes (U-matic))
Box   2  
"Sister City Education Delegation" 1989 (1 videocassettes (U-matic))
Box   2  
"Sister City Medical Connection" December 6, 1988 (1 videocassettes (U-matic))
Box   2  
"Sister City Delegation" June 13, 1989 (1 videocassettes (U-matic))
Box   2  
"The Beginning of a New Era in Global Security" February 19, 1989 (1 videocassettes (U-matic))
Box   2  
"Rights of Passage" 1997 (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"The Living Wage" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
"The Middle East Forum"
Box   2  
Part 1 undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
Part 2 undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"A Call for Justice in the Global Economy" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Ban Landmines Bus Program" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Landmines: Overcoming a Lethal Legacy" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Nuclear Free Middle East" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Are We There for Our Children" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Privatization: An Attack on Social Democracy" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Hiroshima Day 1997" August 4, 1998 (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"NAFTA Superhighways" January 13, 1998 (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Women + Children: Lives on the Edge" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"The Chiapas Media Project" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"The Justice Gap" June 9, 1998 (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Box   2  
"Iraq Sanctions Challenge" undated (1 videocassettes (VHS))
Additional Descriptive Data
Related Materials

The Bentley Historical Library houses Gray Panthers of Huron Valley Records.