Make love, not war is an anti-war slogan commonly associated with the Americancounterculture of the 1960s. It was used primarily by those who were opposed to the Vietnam War, but has been invoked in other anti-war contexts since, around the world. The "make love" part of the slogan often referred to the practice of free love that was growing among the American youth who denounced marriage as a tool for those who supported war and favored the traditional capitalist culture.
The phrase's origins are unknown. Several people claimed to be the inventor of the phrase, including Gershon Legman and Rod McKuen. Radical activists Penelope and Franklin Rosemont and Tor Faegre helped to popularize the phrase by printing thousands of "Make Love, Not War" buttons at the Solidarity Bookshop in Chicago, Illinois and distributing them at the Mother's Day Peace March in 1965. They were the first to print the slogan. In April 1965, at a Vietnam demonstration in Eugene, Oregon, Diane Newell Meyer, then a senior at the University of Oregon, pinned a handwritten note on her sweater reading "Let's make love, not war", thus marking the beginning of the popularity of this phrase. A picture of Meyer wearing the slogan was printed in the Eugene Register-Guard, after which a related article turned up in The New York Times on May 9, 1965.
When the slogan was used during a protest in California in 1967, then Governor Ronald Reagan joked: "Those guys [the protesters] look like they can't make either of both".
In the movie 1989 Field of Dreams, fictional character Terence Mann is credited with coining the phrase.
The character of 'Pop', in the futuristic Queen musical play We Will Rock You, shouts "Make love, not war!" as he is brainwashed at the start of the show, which leads into the stage performance of "Radio Ga Ga".