|Kiwaniscope Volume 5, Number 4
District Kiwanis's Award-Winning Bulletin
Don’t You Ever Question Your Government?
Every time I question something about my government, I think back to the
late 1960’s when a lot of people were questioning my government concerning
the Viet Nam war. I was director of the first Upward Bound program
at Ohio University in 1968 in which we brought needy, high school students
to campus for several weeks. The goal was to motivate them to go to
graduation from high school. I employed several college students to
stay in the dormitory with the high school students and serve as mentors.
The Upward Bound program was one of the Great Society programs funded by
The program was in session during
the Athens County Fair and one day my secretary told me that she had heard
that a veterans’ group was going to confront anyone who was passing out anti
Viet Nam literature at the fair. Also, she told me that our college student
mentors were planning to pass out anti Viet Nam literature at the fair.
I could just see the headlines in the Athens Messenger, “Upward Bound Staff
Accosted at the Fair for Passing Out Anti Viet Nam Literature.”
So, I called the mentors together
and explained that they had a perfect right to demonstrate against our government,
but I didn’t think they should accept money from the same government that
they are demonstrating against. Therefore, if they passed out anti Viet Nam
literature at the Athens County Fair, they would be terminated.
At that point one of the mentors,
Clarence Page, asked me, “Don’t you ever question your government?”
I still remember my response went something like this, “No, because I know
that our leaders are better informed about this war than I am and I trust
That response haunted me the rest
of the time we were in Viet Nam. The mentors did not pass out anti
Viet Nam literature and there was no demonstration. Clarence Page went on
to serve in Viet Nam and become a Pulitzer-prize winning columnist for the
Chicago Tribune. In one of his
columns he quoted Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “Free thought -- not free thought
for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”
If Clarence asked me today,
“Don’t you ever question your government?” I would say, “Yes, but I want
to unite behind our leaders and the troops who are risking their lives for
March 3, 2003: Dave Miller, special F.B.I. agent, discussed
Terrorism in the Post 9/11 environment. He described different types
right wing and left wing terror groups in this country (domestic terrorists
as opposed to international terrorists). Dave joined the F.B.I. in
came to Athens in 2001. He told us that there are 11,000 special agents
16,000 support staff in the F.B.I. at the present time.
March 10, 2003: Set up for the 43rd ANNUAL
March 11, 2003: Another successful Kiwanis Pancake
Day. Thanks to everyone
who made it all possible.
March 17, 2003: Mayor Ric Abel brought us
up to date on what is happening
in Athens. He described the progress of the widening of East State
and the plans for new businesses along East State Street.
March 24, 2003: Ray Skinner reported on the
recent Kiwanis Pancake Day. A
discussion was held to try to improve Pancake Day for 2004. It was
suggested that we go back to the traditional time to hold Pancake Day.
year’s date will be February 24, 2004 with March 2 as a back-up in case of
snow. We discussed how to get more children to take advantage of the
pancakes and get more parents to attend in 2004. We were down from
children and 271 parents in 2002 to 103 children and 141 parents in 2003.
We felt that we were able to serve people this year more promptly and no
went home without “getting all the pancakes they could eat.”
March 31, 2003: Howard Stevens will describe the
new voting machines.
April 7, 2003: Jimmy Stewart, our state representative,
will share his
experiences in the Ohio House of Representatives.
April 14, 2003: Rhonda Bentley will describe the
Nelsonville Kids Program
which we have helped fund.
April 21, 2003: Dr. James Rankin, O.U. Avionics
April 28, 2003: Rollie Swart will describe the work
of the Athens
Editorial: Why I Have a Hard Time Criticizing My
When I see rock throwing mobs in foreign countries and in some of our large
cities, burning our American flag, I feel sick. I think, “Isn’t
it a wonderful country where people have the freedom to express thoughts
that we hate.” If the demonstrators realized how lucky they are to
live in a
country where you can criticize your government and not worry about being
thrown in jail, they wouldn’t criticize our government so vehemently.
As I watch what is happening in Iraq, I want to support our
troops. I don’t want to see them killed or taken prisoners. I
don’t want to see our
planes and helicopters knocked down.
I am sure the demonstrators against the war feel the
same way, but the difference is in the reaction to these dangers. The
demonstrators blame Bush for getting us into the war. They want to
ignore the failure of Iraq to comply with the United Nations orders to disarm.
(Even the United Nations seem to ignore their own orders.)
The demonstrators want us to capitulate and bring our troops home.
Have they ever thought what a coup this would be for Saddam Hussein?
If he claimed he won the last Gulf War because we didn’t chase him out of
Baghdad, he could really brag about defeating the Americans in this war.
My reaction to the dangers our troops are experiencing is to support them
in every way possible. The quicker we can dethrone Saddam Hussein the
quicker our troops can come home. The quicker we can help Iraq to recover
from the war and the hardships of living and dieing under Saddam Hussein
the better. We can’t achieve this by marching in the streets with ridiculous
signs that give comfort to the enemy.
2003 Report on Serving the
Children of the World -- Pancakes
The following Athens Elementary Schools participated in the the contest to
see which school could bring the most adults to Pancake Day:
ADULTS TOTAL CHILDREN ADULTS TOTAL
Morrison John Gordon Miss Green
East Denny Boger
West Joan Linscott
The Plains Shelly Conrath
Beacon and The Plains (Two classes of students)
150 141 291
Book Review: When Dreams Came True
Michael J. Bennett traces the passage of the G.I. Bill
and the making of modern America in his book, When Dreams Came True.
I admit a bias for this book, since I was a recipient of “my dreams coming
true.” I grew up in a small village by the name of Dumontville near
Lancaster. I attended a one-room school for three years then went to
Carroll public schools for the rest of my elementary and high school education.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor and World War II began when I was in the 10th
grade. No one thought the War would last very long until shortages
and rationing began. I learned to drive with 35 miles per hour speed
During my senior year, I realized
that I would have to serve in the military; boys were drafted as soon as
they turned 18. I would be 18 on April 21, 1944, so I enlisted in the
Army Air Corps with the promise that I could graduate before being called
up. The Air Corps was oversubscribed
with pilots, so I wasn’t called up until September, 1944.
After surviving a life-threatening tonsillectomy during
basic training,-- I almost bled to death, I waged war in the kitchen at Chanute
Field, Illinois. Upon my discharge from the Air Corps, I learned about
the G.I. Bill. No one in my family had ever attended college; very
few graduates of Carroll High School had ever attended college. I always
dreamed of going to college, but my father, who was a veteran of World War
I, was a factory worker all of his life. We barely made it through
the depression; we had no money for higher education.
Now this counselor tells me I can go to the college
of my choice free with a stipend to help pay for room and board because congress
had passed the G.I. Bill. Of course, my college of choice was Ohio
State University and my major of choice was Physical Education, so I could
be a coach. My dreams came true!
It wasn’t until I read Bennett’s
book on the passage of the G.I. Bill that I realized what an important role
the American Legion played in getting the G.I. Bill passed. There were
opponents to giving the veterans anything after World War II. Our Distinguished
President Roosevelt vetoed several bills that were passed by congress because
he thought everyone should receive the same benefits.
Union leaders were reluctant to give
special status to the veterans (including blacks) today, because we will
be faced with the problem of special consideration for minority groups tomorrow.
Higher education leaders headed by James Conant, President of Harvard, were
worried that, “the least capable among the new generation...flooding” the
In a statement attributed to 56 educational
institutions and ten governors, they called the G.I. Bill “the most serious
threat to the existing state and local control of education that has yet
appeared in this country.” The professional educators did not want veterans
to go out and buy
educational services in the open market which threatened the traditional
patterns of control. The G.I. Bill allowed veterans unrestricted access to
education -- even for blacks.
In January, 1944, the American Legion
was emerging as the prime player in the battle over veterans’ benefits as
the G.I. Bill superseded the administration proposal. Henry Colmery,
National Commander of the American Legion in 1936, did the seemingly super-human
task of taking the material selected by a committee and drafting the bill
in Suite 570 of the Mayfower
Hotel in Washington D.C. The formal title of the bill was Servicemen’s
Adjustment Act of 1944, but soon became called the G. I. Bill. It was
an omnibus bill that included unemployment compensation, home ownership,
job placement, and educational opportunities.
The bill was formally announced at
a press conference held on January 8, 1944. Now it had to pass both
houses of congress and have the president’s signature before it could become
law. Committee jealousies were overcome by keeping the bill together
as an omnibus bill and not break it up into its components and sent to the
various committees to fight over each provision. Roosevelt allowed the Legion
to carry the ball; he did not want any disputes with representatives of the
millions of American servicemen and women risking their lives daily in combat.
Other veterans’ groups became far
greater obstacles to the passage of the G.I. Bill than anyone or any group
in the government. The VFW wanted a deferred compensation plan similar
to the failed deferred compensation plan for World War I veterans.
Four veterans’ groups lobbied congress, “Let us not have another example
of Œact in haste and repent in leisure’” Their
opposition centered around the educational component, claiming it was “so
broad in scope and potential cost ... would probably prevent any consideration
of other veterans’ benefits.”
Another provision for unemployment
compensation was attacked by the DAV.. They felt, “The lazy and “chiseley”
(sic) types of veterans would get the most benefits, whereas the most resourceful,
industrious and conscientious veterans would get the least.” Some felt
that the servicemen were heroes overseas but bums at home. (As it turned
out veterans collected benefits
under this provision for an average of 17 weeks when they were entitled to
Even Army and Navy brass had objections
to the bill. The Legion was concerned about many soldiers and sailors
being given less that honorable or blue discharges for trivial or essentially
unfair reasons. The representatives of the War and Navy Departments
finally agreed that benefits
would apply to those discharged under all conditions other than dishonorable.
Besides the American Legion, Representative
Busby from Ohio felt, “The lobby (for the G.I. Bill) is from the people;
it is from the press; and it is for all those patriotic citizens who want
some thing done on behalf of these veterans. I want to pay particular
tribute to the press, and especially the very active cooperation and participation
that the Hearst publications have put forward in behalf of this G.I. Bill
If William Randolph Hearst’s writers
had not been threatened by Andrew Jackson May, Congressman from Kentucky,
early in the legislative process, perhaps Hearst would not have thrown the
full resources of his enormous newspaper empire into the battle for the G.I.
Bill. May had threatened the Hearst newspaper reporters with “a visit
with the undertaker” when they
reported May’s foot dragging on a bonus bill for veterans.
Among the members of Congress who
played starring roles in passing the G.I. Bill were Representative John Rankin
of Mississippi who stood up to Harvard’s president Conant to insist that
historically black colleges be covered by the bill. Senator Bennett
Clark from Missouri and Edith Nourse Rogers, senator from Massachusetts helped
pass the G.I. Bill. Perhaps the
most nail-biting moment of the bill’s passage came when Representative John
Gibson of Georgia had to be summoned back to Washington to cast a tie-breaking
Two versions of the G.I. Bill had
been approved without a dissenting vote in either house. A conference committee
was charged with resolving differences between the two versions. On
June 8, 1944, as some two hundred thousand allied troops were breaking out
of the beachhead they had secured on forty miles of Normandy beaches the
day before, the conference committee
was deadlocked over the job placement and unemployment title. The Senate
version wanted control entirely within the VA but the House conferees, without
Gibson present, were divided evenly 3-3 blocking passage. Gibson had
gone home several days before because of being sick or campaigning.
He was hastily summoned back to Washington
and sharply at 10:00 a.m., as the conference committee went into session,
Gibson strode in and announced,” I’ve come here to lick anyone who tries
to hold up the G.I. Bill of Rights. Americans are dying in Normandy in the
greatest invasion in all history -- and anyone who dares to cast a vote against
this bill should be publicized
to all the world.”
The vote was unanimous, and the six-month
fight was over. One of the most important bills to pass Congress was
about to become the law of the land. It was about to unleash a silent
revolution in America. In less than a decade after the war the number
of college graduated more than doubled.
In 1942, 213,491 received college degrees and
in 1946, 157,349 earned degrees. When the G.I. Bill kicked in, 317,607
earned degrees in 1948, 496,874 in 1950; 454,960 in 1951.
Of the 15.6 million veterans eligible,
7.8 million took advantage of the education and training provisions of the
G.I. Bill. I, along with the 2.2 million other G.I.’s who attended
college saw my dreams come true. Thank you America! Thank you Henry
Colmery, former National Commander of the American Legion.
of Teams for the Kiwanis Pancake Day Ticket Selling Contest
The Terrible Toys
Captain Bob Toy $300.00 + Ad
Dix Asleson 100.00
David Brennan Loaned grill
Linda Fife 52.00
Richard Guder 80.00
Luther Haseley 73.00
Earl Mathews 70.00
Richard Mayer 25.00
Peg McDargh 20.00
Milt Ploghoft 50.00
Dave Redecker 80.00
Pat Sauber 80.00
Barb Sesher 40.00
Michael Smeltzer 84.00 + Ad
Dan Spratlin, Jr. 40.00
Tom Taggart 80.00
Jim Wilson 80.00
Captain Rick Crossen
16.00 + Ad
Craig Mathews 10.00 + Ad
Kurt Sauber Donated pancake mix
Paul Schmittauer 35.00
Dan Spratlin, Sr. 40.00
Jack Warner Loaned
Augie Zorn 1,560.00+2Ads
GRAND TOTAL $3,456.00
Preliminary Financial Statement
for 2002 -2003 Kiwanis Pancake Day
1. Pre-Sale of tickets: 1,000 @ $4.00 =
2. Sale of tickets at the door: 455 @ $4.25 =
3. Sale of ads in newspaper & place mats: 40 @ $50
($48 @ $50)
4. Honest man return
5. Sale of ads on back of tickets 4 @ $50 =
1. Sausage, milk, butter, coffee, creamers, etc
2. Syrup, pancake mix (Kurt McD)
3. Non-sugar syrup (Bob Evans)
4. Sweeteners (Krogers)
B. Table Service:
1. Plates, napkins, cups, etc.
Plates, sugar packets, utencils, foil,
2. Table decorations (Flags, ribbon, etc.)
3. Place Mats - covered by ads (Tribune)
4. Helium for balloons (Pellini)
TOTAL TABLE SERVICE
C. Lobby Display:
1. Lettering, posters, etc. (Athens Office Supply)
2. Glossy prints, film, etc. (Ray & John)
TOTAL LOBBY DISPLAY
1. Two full-page ads in The Athens News
2. Print tickets - covered by ads on back (Tribune)
3. Print flyers, posters (Tribune)
Tax on printing at Tribune
4. Print Handbooks & Other printing (Kinko’s)
6. Other printing (OU Duplication)
1. Costumes for Captains
2. Passed out peanuts
F. Kitchen and Cooking Tent:
1. Rented tent (Bedrock)
2. Fill propane tanks (Pellini - Ray)
3. Fill propane tanks (Pellini - Paul)
4. Spatulas and pitchers (Big Lots) + Latex gloves
Plastic tubs, trash bags, plastic
syrup bottles, (Big Lots)
Pitchers, tongs, turners, etc.
5. Particle board for grill
6. New coffee urn (John Biddle)
7. Rented dumpster
8. Health Dept. License
TOTAL KITCHEN AND COOKING TENT
($1,184.97 less than 2002)