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STATEMENT OF DR. JOY ELMER MORGAN, PRESIDENT, SENIOR

CITIZENS OF AMERICA

Dr. MORGAN. Senator, I have a statement here which I have prepared for the record which gives an account of the origin, organization, and work of Senior Citizens of America.

Senator McNAMARA. It will be made a part of the record at this point.

(The statement referred to follows:)

PREPARED STATEMENT OF JOY ELMER MORGAN, PRESIDENT, SENIOR CITIZENS OF

AMERICA

Senior Citizens of America is more than an organization. It is a philosophy of life and citizenship. In each issue of its monthly magazine-Senior Citizen-it carries two quotations which express this philosophy:

"He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best” and the Senior Citizens prayer: “Heavenly Father, give us serenity to accept what cannot be changed; courage to change what should be changed ; and wisdom to know one from the other. Amen."

Everywhere we encounter the phrase "the problems of the aging” and we are inclined to think in terms of that fraction of our older population out of which problems arise. Would that we could get the emphasis away from “aging" to "living"; away from "problems” to “opportunities”; away from "getting" to "giving"; away from “money” to “higher motives”; away from “idling" to "serving"; away from “self” to "citizenship”; away from “fear” to “faith.”

The facts of the situation which we are here to consider are already well known to this committee:

That during the existence of our young Nation, life expectancy at birth has doubled from 35 years to more than 70.

That since 1900, while our population has doubled, the number of persons over 65 has quadrupled, that it now is more than 15 million and is increasing at the rate of about a thousand a day.

That during the first half of this century, life expectancy has increased from 48 years to more than 70 and is still going up, so that the active working life of adults has been virtually doubled in 50 years.

That during this same period the length of the workday, the workweek, the workyear, and the worklife has been steadily shortened, while production of farm and industrial products has steadily risen.

That even with immense expenditures of money and manpower' for de fense and the manufacture of defense materials, our country is producing great surpluses of food and manufactured goods.

That the effects of automation on industrial output are only beginning to be felt and may be expected to increase in the future. These are not depressing facts. They are inspiring facts that should lift us to a new sense of adventure, perspective, purpose, and destiny-to a deeper love of country and a surer hope for mankind.

The situation in which we of this generation find ourselves is so new that we have much to learn-and I might add-to unlearn.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND OF WITNESS

I want to give you a little of my personal background because it is out of that and out of the corresponding period in the life of our Nation that this present work with Senior Citizens of America grows.

Your speaker was born in Nebraska on the margin of the cattle country. Orphaned in one of the early depressions, he was taken as an infant into the home of his grandparents.

He ran away when he was 14 and went on his own for an independent career which he has had ever since. He owes most of what he is to the free public schools and the great teachers who came into his life through the years. The first of them was Jennie Collins in district 46 in Franklin County, Nebr., who awakened his love of learning. Then in normal schooldays there was Herbert Brownell-father of the well-known Brownell brothers, Herbert and Sam. He was graduated from the Peru State Normal School and from the University of Nebraska. He came up through the free public schools as teacher, principal,

superintendent and eventually trained for librarianship. He intended to give the rest of his life to librarianship because it seemed to him that the most important part of education was to learn how to read and then to read.

He was director of camp libraries in Camp MacArthur during the World War I and after the war worked with the American Library Association in the de velopment of its enlarged programs.

Then in 1920, the National Education Association voted to establish division of publications and to start a journal for its members. He was urged to come to Washington to head that division and found the NEA Journal. His old friend, J. W. Crabtree, who had been president of the Peru Normal in his student days, was then NEA executive secretary-struggling with small means to build an organization to meet the growing educational needs of this country. During 34 years of service with the NEA he saw the NEA Journal grow from its small beginning to a circulation of more than 600,000 and the NEA become the largest publishing enterprise of its kind in the world.

During those 34 years, starting at a young age, he had the free run of this country. He was in every State in the Union meeting with various groupsteachers, parents, preachers, service clubs, bankers, lawyers, doctors, and business men and women. He served on the national board of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers for a period of years and—as a volunteer-was head of its division of publications. He built the Educational Press Association from a handful of members to several hundred.

In 1923 at San Francisco he handled public relations for the First World Conference on Education, out of which grew the World Federation of Education Associations—the forerunner of the World Confederation which is meeting here in Washington this week. He was one of the founders of the Horace Mann League and secretary of the Horace Mann centennial celebration in 1936–37. As an outgrowth of the Horace Mann centennial he founded Future Teachers of America which is now an active organization in thousands of high schools throughout the country.

In 1943 and 1944 he was director of the war and peace fund campaign which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help win the war and the peace. That campaign marked the turning point in NEA development.

In 1946 he developed and presented to the representative assembly of the National Education Association the victory action program which was adopted at its Buffalo convention.

In 1951 he developed and presented to the NEA representative assembly the centennial action program which reached its climax in the Philadelphia convention of 1957.

These many activities were made possible by the friendship and cooperation of thousands of the finest people to be found anywhere, and by the leadership of such men as J. W. Crabtree and Willard E. Givens, who followed Mr. Crabtree as executive secretary of the NEA.

Among his friends through the years were men and women in their 80's and 90's, and several over 100 who were still active, constructive citizens. He couldn't help comparing the usefulness of those older people who had kept active up into their 80's and 90's and 100's with others who were forced into retirement as the compulsory cutoff date of 65 came into vogue. He saw men in industry and in government and in colleges and schools cut off in the prime of life, often giving up, doing nothing—letting go to waste talent that should have had 10 or 15 or 20 years of useful service. That led him to think about the problems of the later years of life.

As he came nearer the chronological deadline of 65 himself, he faced a new problem. He had been completely absorbed in an enterprise that took every ounce of creative energy and time and thought that he could give. Now he faced the prospect of being cut off from that enterprise. So he decided that he was going to find something to do before that time came.

He began to look for the greatest need in American life. It is his conviction that one finds the greatest happiness by searching out the greatest need and then serving that need. He considered many possibilities, but the one need that stood out above all others was the need to do something about the changed situation which has arisen as the result of the gift of added years. He decided to spend the rest of his life without pay serving that need to see what could be done. Since most of his life had been spent in organization building, the most logical thing seemed to be to develop an organization of older citizens who would work on their own problems and the problems of the community.

As he began to prepare for his new responsibility, his first effort was an endeavor to see the situation in perspective. He gathered all the books he could find on the subject, most of them written within the past 5 or 10 years. As he studied this literature, it grew upon him that man's tenure on earth is a relatively recent thing. If one takes the age of the earth as represented by the Washington Monument, the age of man would be represented by a penny on top of that monument and the age of modern civilization would be but the thickness of a tissue paper. The human race is still young. Man is just beginning to be man.

Going back into history, they tell us that among primitive men the average lifespan was about 18 years—just long enough to fight and find a mate and leave offspring and survive. By the time of the classic age of Greece and Rome while there were a few people who reached ripe old age-disease and war cut most of them down; the average life expectancy at birth was then only 23 or 24 years. Between that day and the founding of our own country some 1,700 years later, the lifespan had increased to an average expectancy of only 35 years.

Conditions in the young country were still primitive no roads in the sense that we know them today; no railroads or airplanes or steamships or automobiles; no telephones or radios or refrigerators or anything of that sort. People were still struggling to keep warm with their little fireplaces and to get along with their home industries.

ROLE OF EDUCATION

Then our free public schools began to develop. I want to comment on that development because it is the free public school and the growth of science, medicine, and industry which it made possible—that has been the most powerful force making for longer life in this country. A few years ago I wrote a little book entitled “The School That Built a Nation" in which I traced the influence of universal education upon our national life.

Horace Mann is known as the father of our system of free public education. He died just 100 years ago on August 2—so in a sense we are now observing his centennial.

Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and others had seen the necessity of education in a free country where the voter is king. Washington proposed a national university. Franklin laid the foundation for what became the University of Pennsylvania, and Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Jefferson had also written a plan for elementary and secondary school, but it had not been adopted. Horace Mann, who was then a member of the Massachusetts Senate, recognized that someone had to do the practical job of building a system of common schools to educate citizens if the young Republic was to survive. He got a law through the Massachusetts Legislature in 1837 creating the first State board of education in the United States. How recently that is. Afer the law was passed, his associates in the legislature and others insisted that Horace Mann become the first secretary. They gave him $1,500 a year for salary, office and everything else. He gave up a lucrative practice of law and a career as a statesman to take the humble job of building schools in Massachusetts. He gave such an outstanding leadership that he became renowned all over this country, and in some measure all over the world. He issued a clarion call for free public schools. In his famous Fourth of July address in 1842 he exclaimed:

"Pour out light and truth, as God pours sunshine and rain. No longer seek knowledge as the luxury of the few, but dispense it amongst all as the bread of life. Summon the mightiest intellects, collect whatever of talent, or erudition, or eloquence, or authority the broad land can supply and go forth and teach this people. For in the name of the living God, it must be proclaimed that licentiousness shall be the liberty; and violence and chicanery shall be the law; and superstition and craft shall be the religion ; and the self-destructive indulgence of all sensual and unhallowed passions shall be the only happiness of that people who neglect the education of their children.”

Because of this educational revival which Horace Mann led during the second quarter of the 19th century this country got a new start-a new start educationally, a new start politically, a new start economically. Horace Mann had put health education into the schools. Doctors were beginning to get a little more training than they had before. By the middle of the century, life expectancy had gone up to 40 years and the idea of required universal elementary education had become established.

And then another thing happened which deeply concerns us here—the coming of the free public high school. It always seemed to be paradoxical that in a country committed to the ideal of democracy it should have required a generation of the bitterest fighting in public forums, in legislatures, and in courts to establish the right of an American community to tax itself for the high school education of its own children. But the battle did have to be fought. It was fought and won, so that by 1880 there were some 100,000 young men and women in our free public high schools.

I give the round figures showing the development of our high schools since then, because this growth of education on a higher level is at the very heart of the American story. By 1890, high school enrollment had jumped to 200,000; by 1900, to 500,000; by 1910, to a million.

I like to think of the year 1910 as marking the great turning point in American life from an agricultural to an industrial Nation. It takes a lot of money and a lot of teachers and a lot of buildings and a lot of books and a lot of of time to keep a million young people in high school, but we had done it by 1910.

By 1920 we had 2 million in high school, and by 1930, 5 million. The number is now more than 10 million, and soon will exceed 15 million. The high school has become a part of the free common school system of our country; and we are moving forward into junior colleges and colleges and universities on an immense scale. Adult education under the auspices of the free public schools is expanding rapidly. The time is coming when the adult who does not pursue some formal study throughout life will be looked upon as we now regard persons who cannot read or write.

Do you want to know why America has shot up like a meteor among the nations? Why this almost explosive development of our economy? Why this sharp increase in life expectancy? It is because through our free public schools we have laid such a foundation as no nation had ever before dreamed of laying. Then came medical schools built upon the education in the lower schools. Then came hospitals and better technology, with shorter weeks, and shorter years, with vacations for all. That is why during this century we have added more than 21 years to the expected lifespan—the most tremendous gift that has ever come to mankind.

INCREMENTS TO TALENT RESOURCES

When you stop to think that it takes about the first third of life to get started, just to get an education and get established, you can see that in adding those 21 years we have virtually doubled the effective lifespan of the American citizen. And we have this enormous resource of talent which we haven't quite yet learned how to use. We are still thinking of ourselves, we are still thinking of our communities, much as they might have been in the days when people were old at 35 or 40_they felt old and acted old, and frequently they died. We have today literally 6 or 7 million people alive in the United States and active who wouldn't be here at all had the state of health and medical science that existed even as late as 1920 not improved. This is not so much a problem as it is an opportunity.

We need not be surprised that we are slow in rising to this opportunity. There is always a timelag. We tend to go on in the old ways when changed conditions require new ways. I think of the verse about the dachshund—that little underslung dog that was brought over from Germany :

There was a little dachshund once so long he had no notion,

How long it took to notify his tail of his emotion.
So while his little eyes were full of present woe and sadness,

His little tail kept wagging on because of previous gladness. The effort to understand the changed situation arising from the gift of added years is so new that we have seen more progress since Senior Citizens of America was founded 5 years ago than in all the time that went before. It is interesting to note, for example, that the American Geriatrics Society was not established till 1940 and the Gerontological Society in 1945. A brief review of developments may help us to understand the situation.

In the past century there weren't so many old people, and most of them lived on farms. Many of them were very healthy and strong gecause the weaker ones had died off earlier. Such efforts as existed to give them any special service centered around an occasional poor farm or around what they then called the Associated Charities. They centered around the beginnings of homes that the churches and lodges provided for some of their older people. The burden was not so heavy because there weren't so many of them, and that was pretty much the picture well into this century.

IMPACT OF THE DEPRESSION

Then during the depression of the early 1930's all of the problems became accentuated. The disemployment of older people, separation of older people from their homes and the community not only provided tasks for the social workers but also the churches. It became evident that there was widespread poverty and something had to be done about it. The politician and the statesmen came to life and began to try to do something for the financing of the later years of life, That was the easiest, most obvious thing; so we got social security and made a beginning in 1935 of what has grown into an enormous institution and what is undoubtedly the greatest social revolution that ever took place in a great nation without violence. It created almost at one stroke an entirely different situation for our entire population including people not only over 65 but for widows and dependent children. This puts us in line with the best thinking around the world.

Then the social workers began intensifying their efforts in trying to understand the increasing problem. The medical profession, most of whose patients are in the second half of life, became conscious of it and a handful of them established the Geriatrics Society. Then other groups began to get concerned. The psychologists and people in various walks of life formed the Gerontological Society. Some of the universities got interested and started conferences on aging, such as the one at the University of Michigan. The publishers began to get interested and books began to appear. The school people began gradually to wake up and do something for older people in their adult education programs. Most of that centered around the vocational aspect, helping people to train for various vocations. The recreation people began to find that they not only had children on their hands but they had idle older people and therefore they began to establish little centers where older people could get together in the daytime. Some of the churches began to be concerned about the widows and widowers, the lonely older people, and they began to establish clubs to get them together and keep them busy.

What I have tried to emphasize here that, so far, this problem has been largely attacked around the edges by special groups doing splendid and needed things. But there is a larger opportunity in what I would call the typical or normal older person who is not necessarily in financial need, who does not necessarily depend on the daily ministrations of the physician or the nurse, who wants something more than to be merely entertained and kept busy. He wants to go on living a normal and useful life.

It is the purpose and function of Senior Citizens of America to bring together all these varied and special interests into one central clearinghouse maintained by the senior citizens themselves. It seeks to serve them all-the welfare departments, the recreation departments, the schools, the libraries, the churches, the industries, the labor unions, the entire community. Unless there is such a clearinghouse, our efforts to aid older citizens may divide rather than unite our communities.

Let us assume for a moment that all the agencies I have mentioned were doing their work fully. You can imagine a situation in which we have solved all the problems. Our older citizens have been provided for financially and our country is abundantly able to do that. Another $7 or $8 billion a year would do it. You can imagine a situation in which the health needs of older people have been provided for as fully as we know how to do; and it is sheer folly not to do that. You can imagine a situation in which all our citizens, young and old, are properly housed. You can imagine a situation in which all our older citizens are fully entertained—bridge parties, bingo, dancing, and shuffleboard everywhere. All this and what then? Life is more than problems. It is more than money or housing or even health and recreation. The good life requires meaning which can come only from high purpose, self-discipline, and unselfish community service. Life must be significant as well as comfortable. We need to emphasize what older people can do for themselves and for the community.

Are older people just going to sit down and play bridge and keep themselves busy, or sit in hotels and wear out the travel lines, while the world itself literally goes down in chaos and international confusion and violence?

In one of his writings H. G. Wells discussed the locus of power in the government of men. He said that at one time in history the locus of power was almost entirely in the military, as in ancient Rome.

Then there came another period when the power was almost entirely with the church. The church installed the kings and the princes and in the end, the

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