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Kiwanis Club of
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KiwaniScope (Club NewsLetter)

April 2003



Click here for an index to previous Kiwaniscopes

News Items:
Kiwaniscope Volume 5, Number 4 
 District Kiwanis's Award-Winning Bulletin
April, 2003

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 college upon
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 government.  

    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 them completely.”

    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 my security.”


March Programs

March 3, 2003: Dave Miller, special F.B.I. agent, discussed Counter
Terrorism in the Post 9/11 environment.  He described different types of
right wing and left wing terror groups in this country (domestic terrorists
as opposed to international terrorists).  Dave joined the F.B.I. in 1997 and
came to Athens in 2001.  He told us that there are 11,000 special agents and
16,000 support staff in the F.B.I. at the present time.

March 10, 2003:  Set up for the 43rd ANNUAL PANCAKE DAY

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 Street
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.  Next
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 free
pancakes and get more parents to attend in 2004.  We were down from 184
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 one
went home without “getting all the pancakes they could eat.”

March 31, 2003: Howard Stevens will describe the new voting machines.


April Programs

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 Department

April 28, 2003: Rollie Swart will describe the work of the Athens
Foundation.


Editorial: Why I Have a Hard Time Criticizing My Country

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:

                          WINNING CLASSROOMS                      SCHOOL
SCHOOL:         PRINCIPAL:                TEACHER   CHILDREN ADULTS TOTAL CHILDREN ADULTS   TOTAL
Morrison    John Gordon         Miss Green      9            13        22           64          88         152
East            Denny Boger         Hall-Jones      4               6        12           17          21          38
West          Joan Linscott                                                                          14         16           30
The Plains  Shelly Conrath                                                                          8         14           22
Chauncey                                                                                                   1           2             3
Beacon and The Plains    (Two classes of students)                                   46                         46
TOTALS                                                                                                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 limits imposed.

    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 college campuses.

    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 52 weeks.)

    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 of Rights.”

    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 vote.

    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.




    Preliminary Results 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
Candy Byron            75.50
Linda Fife        52.00
Tony George            Ad
Richard Guder        80.00
Luther Haseley    73.00
Joe Jagers            Ad
Ted Jones            28.00
Earl Mathews        70.00
Richard Mayer    25.00
Peg McDargh        20.00
Milt Ploghoft        50.00
Dave Redecker    80.00
Dave Sager            Ad
Pat Sauber        80.00
Barb Sesher        40.00
Pat Sheriden
Michael Smeltzer    84.00 + Ad
Dan Spratlin, Jr.    40.00
Tom Taggart        80.00
Jim Wilson        80.00
TOTAL         $1,357.50


Crossen’s Cruisers

Captain Rick Crossen
John Biddle            40.00
Earl Funk                  177.50
Dan Harlett                Ad
Dan Inman            16.00 + Ad
Tina Jeffers
Abby Lavelle
Craig Mathews        10.00 + Ad
George McCarthy
Bill Rader            80.00
Don Reed
Bob Roth
Kurt Sauber  Donated pancake mix
Paul Schmittauer        35.00
Ray Skinner            80.00
Penne Smith            24.00
Dan Snoddy            20.00
Dan Spratlin, Sr.        40.00
Mike Ward            16.00
Jack Warner          Loaned hot box
Dave Wickham
Augie Zorn          1,560.00+2Ads
TOTAL             $2,098.50
GRAND TOTAL     $3,456.00


Preliminary Financial Statement for 2002 -2003 Kiwanis Pancake Day

     Receipts:                                                                                      2002          2003
    1. Pre-Sale of tickets: 1,000 @ $4.00 =                                      $4,150        3,456
    2. Sale of tickets at the door: 455 @ $4.25 =                                2,393        1,791
    3. Sale of ads in newspaper & place mats: 40 @ $50 =                 2,000        2,400
($48 @ $50)
    4. Honest man return                                                                                           10
    5. Sale of ads on back of tickets 4 @ $50 =                                       200           40
    TOTAL RECEIPTS:                                                                   $8,743        7,697

     Expenses:
      A. Ingredients:
    1. Sausage, milk, butter, coffee, creamers, etc                              586.35       468.28
    2. Syrup, pancake mix (Kurt McD)                                          Donated      Donated
    3. Non-sugar syrup (Bob Evans)                                                     25.00        88.00
(Smuckers)
    4. Sweeteners (Krogers)                                                                                    7.98
    TOTAL INGREDIENTS                                                         $619.33       557.23

     B. Table Service:
    1. Plates, napkins, cups, etc.                                                            313.48       228.43
       Plates, sugar packets, utencils, foil, etc (Krogers)                                           125.64
    2. Table decorations (Flags, ribbon, etc.)                                           93.98            0
    3. Place Mats - covered by ads (Tribune)                                         140.00       125.00
    4. Helium for balloons (Pellini)                                                             22.00            0
    TOTAL TABLE SERVICE                                                       $569.46       479.07

     C. Lobby Display:
    1. Lettering, posters, etc. (Athens Office Supply)                                                 66.88
    2. Glossy prints, film, etc. (Ray & John)                                                               60.00
    TOTAL LOBBY DISPLAY                                                                         $126.88

     D. Advertising:
    1. Two full-page ads in The Athens News                                         400.00       600.00
    2. Print tickets - covered by ads on back (Tribune)                              60.00        65.00
    3. Print flyers, posters (Tribune)                                                        152.50       165.00
        Tax on printing at Tribune                                                                                 17.19
    4. Print Handbooks & Other printing (Kinko’s)                                                     74.92
6. Other printing (OU Duplication)                                                                            15.61
    TOTAL ADVERTISING                                                               $628.11       922.11

     E. Parade:
    1. Costumes for Captains                                                                                     40.00
    2. Passed out peanuts                                                                                           25.00
    TOTAL PARADE                                                                                             $65.00
     F. Kitchen and Cooking Tent:
    1. Rented tent (Bedrock)                                                                   150.00       175.00
    2. Fill propane tanks (Pellini - Ray)                                                     22.00      donated
    3. Fill propane tanks (Pellini - Paul)                                                    88.00      donated
    4. Spatulas and pitchers (Big Lots) + Latex gloves                              10.36        12.00
        Plastic tubs, trash bags, plastic syrup bottles, (Big Lots)                                    38.61
        Pitchers, tongs, turners, etc. (Wal-Mart)                                                           41.31
    5. Particle board for grill                                                                                       24.78
    6. New coffee urn (John Biddle)                                                                           30.00
    7. Rented dumpster                                                                                              50.00
    8. Health Dept. License                                                                      50.00         50.00
    TOTAL KITCHEN AND COOKING TENT                           $320.36        509.70
   
    TOTAL EXPENSES:                                           $2,329.14     $2,468.11
    TOTAL PROFIT                                                 $6,413.86     $5,228.89

                                                  ($1,184.97 less than 2002)
 

Newsletter Editors:
Ray Skinner
John Biddle

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