Young Americans for Freedom
Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) was founded by Bill Buckley in 1960 as a conservative student group on college campuses. The organization operates today as the chapter affiliate of Young America's Foundation.
A group of young conservatives met in the Sharon, CT home of William F. Buckley, Jr. on September 11, 1960 to write the Sharon Statement, the founding document of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF).
In 1962, Ronald Reagan joined the YAF National Advisory Board. He eventually became YAF’s Honorary National Chairman, a relationship that would last for over forty years until his passing. Also in 1962, YAF spearheaded the "Rally for World Liberation from Communism," hosting 18,500 conservatives at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event is one of the largest conservative events in history. Later, YAF helped popularize the phrase "Don't Let Them Immanentize the Eschaton!".
In 1969, YAF launched an all out attack on the Students for a Democratic Society. At the 1969 YAF annual convention, there was a break between traditionalists and libertarians, with the Libertarians leaving to form the Libertarian Party. Also in 1969, the predecessor to the Young America's Foundation, called University Information Services (UIS) was established at Vanderbilt University with the goal of providing students with conservative ideas that were missing in their educations.
In 2011, Young America's Foundation and Young Americans for Freedom become one united YAF. Young America's Foundation remained the name of the parent organization, and Young Americans for Freedom joined the National Journalism Center and the Reagan Ranch as a project of Young America's Foundation.
As the chapter affiliate of Young America's Foundation, Young Americans for Freedom chapters are active on high school and college campuses around the country, acting as the visible representation of the conservative movement at their schools. YAF activists carry out a range of activism initiatives each year, host conservative speakers, attend activism trainings and conferences, and work as the voice of freedom when conservatism comes under attack from the Left.
- John A. Andrew, The Other Side of the Sixties: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of Conservative Politics (1997) excerpt and text search
- Gregory Schneider. Cadres for Conservatism: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of the Contemporary Right (1998)