On the outbreak of the First World War in Europe, Henry Ford, the wealthy American businessman, soon made it clear he opposed the war and supported the decision of the Woman's Peace Party to organize a peace conference in Holland. After the conference Ford was contacted by America's three leading anti-war campaigners, Jane Addams, Rosika Schwimmer, Oswald Garrison Villard, and Paul Kellogg. They suggested that Ford should sponsor an international conference in Stockholm to discuss ways that the conflict could be brought to an end.
Ford came up with the idea of sending a boat of pacifists to Europe to see if they could negotiate an agreement that would end the war. He chartered the ship Oskar II, and it sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey on 4th December, 1915. The Ford Peace Ship reached Stockholm in January, 1916, and a conference was organized with representatives from Denmark, Holland, Norway, Sweden and the United States. However, unable to persuade representatives from the warring nations to take part, the conference was unable to negotiate an Armistice.