This LIFE Magazine Editorial appeared fifty years ago in the December 13, 1968 issue.
We shall be hearing more from Lyndon Johnson, not only in his last days as President, but thereafter as a lecturer and author, perhaps as senator again, certainly as a leading citizen. We may even come to think more highly of his administration than is now common. When he first took office during the national shock of President Kennedy’s assassination, Johnson said his primary aim was to unify the American people, and for quite a while he did. Toward the end, after the country’s deep divisions and his own unpopularity forced him to renounce a second term last March, he said he would rest his case with the historians. What are they likely to say?
Not even the journalists agree on that. Arthur Krock, dean emeritus of the Washington press corps, thinks the Johnson Presidency was an unmitigated disaster, while L.B.J.’s fellow Texan William S. White all but canonizes him. Even those who have worked for Johnson seem unsure; his achievements have plenty of admirers, but the man himself has few fervent fans. His has been the most puzzling administration of this century. His enormous political skill, energy and intelligence-and his unabashed delight in the use of power-have put him in the tradition of our most activist Presidents. His first full year in office, 1964, made him look like a potentially great President. In that year’s election, with a big assist from Goldwater, he scored the greatest popular margin ever (61.1%). Yet by 1966 he had sunk lower in the Gallup poll than any other President but Truman (for one spell). By 1967 Richard Rovere of The New Yorker could reckon that “what may well be a majority of the American people are persuaded that the President is a dishonest and dishonorable man. This comes close to being a national disaster.”
The matrimonial achievements of Dr. Witzhoff (see note below), the gentleman with the brilliant black eyes and the 120 wives, have brought down a storm of denunciations on the head of the marriage broke. This functionary, so we are told, is frequently the arch-bigamist’s advance agent in his adventures in the matrimonial field, and, according to the generous estimate of one New York feminine social reformer, is directly responsible for 50,000 ruined lives in America.
Though marriage broking as it is at present carried on both in the United States and in England, says a writer in the London Chronicle, may sometimes be open to grave evils and abuses, the very fact of his existence and the enormous number of his clients is a tacit recognition that the marriage broker fulfills a real social want.
The necessity for the marriage broker and bureau is, of course, by no means the same everywhere. In the country, where there is still a social life, a continual round of garden and tennis parties in the summer and dances and at homes in the winter provide excellent facilities for making acquaintances. But the young provincial man or woman whose lot is cast in London, the City of Deadly Solitude – and there are tens of thousands of them – has no such opportunity for making friends.
Living in the loneliness of lodgings without friends at hand, except for the casual business acquaintances who may or may not be congenial associates, the solitary exile is completely cut off from the companionship of women of his own social position These lonely ones – and they form the great marriageable mass of the community – want opportunities for cultivating each other’s acquaintance.
But there is no kind-hearted matchmaker at hand to watch over the destinies of would-be lovers, to pave the way to those friendly meetings which are the beginning of wet closer relations, and so the young man of limited income, making his way in London without friends, too often wrecks his career at the very outset by an unsuitable marriage
True, there is the church, with its centuries of accumulated experience, which still leads its children to the altar. The churches and especially those offshoots of church life, the Sunday-school, the social institute, and even the mutual improvement association, are by no means to be despised as matrimonial agencies, and, having no money-making ends to serve, the churches have no inducement to force on undesirable unions. But the young provincial during his first years of emancipation from home restraint too often keeps outside the churches.
The pamphlet, “Habit-forming Agents their Indiscriminate Sale and Use a Menace to the Public Welfare” by L. F. Kebler, Chief of the Division of Drugs in the Bureau of Chemistry at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was released in 1910.
In this publication, Kebler uses strong language and examples to condemn the use of addictive ingredients in products used by Americans of walks of life. Its release was the culmination of an investigation that revealed the “alarming extent to which such habit-forming ingredients are used, and the large number of channels through which they reach the public, which is not informed as to their nature.”
I have included a few excerpts from the document here, but the whole thing can be read here. Of special note, this was released during the period when Spelling Reform was a hot topic. As a result, you will see some simplification rules in use like cocain for cocaine and sirups for syrups.
Extent of Importation and Use
The amount of opium (exclusive of smoking opium, which is now denied entry into this country), consumed in the United States per capita, has been doubled within the last forty years. Large quantities of other habit-forming agents, introduced chiefly for medicinal purposes, have been used. For example, “cocain” (cocain hydrochlorid), has been used for about twenty-five years, and the amount consumed at present is estimated at approximately 150,000 ounces per annum.
There are at present at least 100 sanatoriums advertising treatment for drug addiction, and it is well known that many thousands of cases are treated annually by physicians in private practice and general hospitals. The writer knows of at least 30 so-called mail-order “drug-addiction cures,” some of which apparently have a large patronage. The manager of one of these treatments stated that his company had 100,000 names, including alcohol addicts, upon its books. The number of drug addicts in the United States is variously estimated by those who are conversant with the situation at from 1,000,000 to 4,000,000; the latter number is probably excessive.
It was not an uncommon practice in former days to represent to the consumer that such agents were absent when, as a matter of fact, the very drugs named in the disclaimer were present. The reason for this subterfuge is plain. Normally no one desires to take preparations containing known habit-forming agents, which are frequently responsible for the use of, or demand for, the preparations containing them.
Soothing sirups naturally occupy the first place in such a list. Under this title will be briefly considered baby sirups, soothing sirups, “colic cures” children’s anodynes, “infant’s friends,” teething concoctions, etc. It has long been known to the medical profession that these products, as a rule, contain habit-forming agents, but the majority of mothers have been and still are ignorant of this fact.
The following are representative of this class:
Children’s Comfort (morphin sulphate)
Dr. Fahey’s Pepsin Anodyne Compound (morphin sulphate)
Dr. Fahrney’s Teething Syrup (^morphin and chloroform)
Dr. Fowler’s Strawberry and Peppermint Mixture (morphin)
Dr. Groves’ Anodyne for Infants (morphin sulphate)
Hooper’s Anodyne, the Infant’s Friend (morphin hydrochlorid)
Jadway’s Elixir for Infants (codein)
Dr. James’ Soothing Syrup Cordial (heroin)
Kopp’s Baby’s Friend (morphin sulphate)
Dr. Miller’s Anodyne for Babies (morphin sulphate and chloral hydrate)
Dr. Moffett’s Teethina, Teething Powders (powdered opium)
Victor Infant Relief (chloroform and cannabis indica)
Walter Moravsky Was In Action Before His Real Age Was Discovered
YONKERS, N. Y., July 3. (AP) – Walter Moravsky, 15-year-old Yonkers schoolboy with eight months’ Navy service and an honorable discharge is worried now. He’s afraid he won’t be promoted in school.
His service included five months on an aircraft carrier before his commanding officer finally found out he was 15 instead of the required 18.
Worrying Walter was the thought that he might be put back in the eighth grade. Torpedoes, Machine gun fire and bomb bursts – including one that gave him a nasty shrapnel wound – didn’t bother him much, he said.
He is six feet tall and husky for his age.
During his service he advanced to seaman first class. Until battle stations was sounded, he was a baker. Then he was a gunner. He was on deck firing at the Japs when he got the shrapnel wound.
Source:The Plain Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania) – Saturday, July 3, 1943
An Incident Which Shows That
One Should Not Talk Too Much.
Here is an incident which, to be appreciated, needs a glance at the sweet womanly face of the young Mrs. Stanton.
Mrs. Stanton was summering at Saratoga, eagerly enjoying the delights of that fascinating young watering place half a century ago – a merry young mother, in great demand for her agreeable manners and sparkling conversation, as well as for her talented performances upon the guitar.
Chatting with a friend one day, the woman question – that bugbear of the moment – was brought up.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“Isn’t it dreadful,” he remarked, “to think of a woman so unsexing herself as actually to appear before the legislature at Albany?”
Naturally enough, the heroine of this very shocking procedure protested against this interpretation of woman’s sphere; yet, amused by her friend’s faux pas, mischievously she led him on.
“What kind of a woman is this Mrs. Stanton?” she inquired.
“Oh, a dreadful kind of a woman!” was the reply. “Just the kind of woman one would expect would do such a thing.”
“Do describe her,” pleaded his tormentor. “Tell me more about her.”
And he, nothing loath, went on: “Well, she’s a large, masculine-looking woman, with high cheek-bones and a loud, harsh voice don’t you know just one of those regular woman’s rights women.” (more…)
Wonderful Work Being Done to Hide Hideous and Shattered Features the Surgeons Cannot Help
“Camouflage of Mercy” is the term by which many describe the work being carried on by Anna C. Ladd, the sculptor, under the auspices of the American Red Cross. It is a wonderful work for soldiers whose faces have been hideously mutilated by German shells. Mrs. Ladd is the wife of Dr. Maynard Ladd, medical adviser of the American Red Cross, but her work has nothing to do with medicine.
In many hospitals, of course, plastic surgery is doing much to build up shattered faces. Mrs. Ladd, however, finds her subjects among those whom the surgeons cannot help. They are soldiers whose faces have been so shot to pieces that they present a hideous spectacle, one which their friends and relatives prepare to shun. The sufferers realize this and become very unhappy and sensitive and are inclined to hide themselves away from their fellow-beings. Mrs. Ladd has become greatly interested in the work of Captain Dervent, who improved on the gelatine and rubber formerly used and made metal masks. To make these masks, Mrs. Ladd takes a plaster cast of the mutile’s face, and then from pre-war photographs or descriptions furnished by friends, builds up in clay or plaster the missing parts until the cast is a good likeness of the man as he was.
From this cast, a thin copper mask is made and then plated with silver. This is fitted perfectly and the camouflage is held in place by a pair of spectacles. The final stage is to paint the mask so that it is practically indistinguishable.
In the accompanying illustration, it will be noted that the mutilation has not been so general and the pair of spectacle with eyes painted in disks behind the glasses serve to change this man from a fearsome evidence of war into a pleasant-looking Poilu whose friends easily recognize him. Of course, when painting the eyes on the disks great care was used to get the exact color and to get a natural appearance.
The masks, of course, do not restore the functions, they only camouflage these poor faces so that their owners will not hesitate to go about among their friends.
Source:The Monroe Journal (Claiborne, Alabama) – Thursday, November 21, 1918
Photos of Anna Ladd's Work
The Red Cross kept this photo library to share the work being done in Mrs. Ladd's studio - Click a photo to start the slide show.
Dr. Hill is a physician in Atlanta, Georgia and an elder in Trinity Presbyterian Church where he gave this talk before a Sunday morning adult class which he teaches, in a series on “The Church Faces Racial Tension.”
I am a Southerner. I was bred in the South where my forefathers were slave-holders and Confederate soldiers. I was born and raised in Southern towns with their rigid racial patterns and their typical Southern prejudice. I was away from the South for a few years but I returned to live in the South by choice and intend to remain here for the rest of my life. I love the South and its people.
Dr. Haywood N. Hill, Atlanta, Georgia
I like having two black arms in my kitchen and two black legs pushing my lawn mower to help take the drudgery out of living for myself and my family, and I like having them at a very minimum of cost to me.
I like choosing my own friends and associates and I like eating in pleasant places with well-bred people of my own race, class, and status.
I like to worship in a church which is composed of my friends and equals where I will be among my own group, racially, socially, and intellectually.
I like for my children to go to school with their own kind and with other children of their own racial, social, and intellectual level. I like for them to be shielded against poverty, ignorance, dirt, and disease.
I like to practice medicine among intelligent, cooperative people who understand what I am trying to do for them, who are friends as well as patients and who pay their bills.
I like to live in a neighborhood composed of people of my own group who have pleasant, well-kept homes and where there is no conflict or strife.
I do not want my daughter to marry a Negro.
I like the racial status quo. I am a Southerner.
But, I am also a Christian. As a Christian, I must believe that God created all men and that all men are equal in the sight of God. I must believe that all men are my brothers and are children of God and that I am my brother’s keeper. I must believe that Jesus meant what he said when he commanded me to love my neighbor as myself and when he commanded me to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. I must believe that the church is God’s house and that it does not belong to me, to the congregation of Trinity Presbyterian Church or to the Southern Presbyterian Church. I must believe in the fellowship of all believers.
This 1959 letter to Virginia Governor Wise from John Randolph Tucker, Virginia’s Attorney-General at the time.
Gov. Henry A. Wise
It outlines Virginia’s legal assertion that it had the right to censor the mail and prosecute those importing Abolitionist literature into the state of Virginia. It details the process of destroying material by fire in the presence of a judge.
Tucker skirts the First Amendment issues and focuses on the Postal Service’s role as a delivery system as opposed to a role akin to a publisher.
Tucker (1823–1897) was from a distinguished slaveholding family, he was elected Virginia’s attorney general in 1857 and after re-election served during the American Civil War. After a pardon and Congressional Reconstruction, Tucker was elected as U.S. Congressman (1875-1887), and later served as the first dean of the Washington and Lee University Law School.
SIR, -The question is submitted to me for an Opinion as to the effect of the law of Virginia upon the distribution of mail matter when it is of an incendiary character. A newspaper, printed in the State of Ohio, propagating abolition doctrines, is sent to a person through a post ofiice in Virginia.
What is the duty of the Postmaster in the premises?
The law of Virginia (Code of Va., chap. 198, sec. 24) provides that:
“If a Postmaster or Deputy Postmaster know that any such book or writing (referring to such as advise or incite negroes to rebel or make insurrection, or inculcate resistance to the right of property of masters in their slaves) has been received at his office in the mail, he shall give notice thereof to some Justice, who shall inquire into the circumstances, and have such book or writing burned in his presence if it appear to him that the person to whom it was directed subscribed therefor, knowing its character, or agreed to receive it for circulation to aid the purposes of abolitionists, the Justice shall commit such person to jail. If any Postmaster or Deputy Postmaster violate this section, he shall be fined not exceeding two hundred dollars.”
This item appeared in the May 23, 1918 issue of the Lake County Times, in Hammond, Indiana.
Prowlers Must Fight, Says U.S.
Slickers and Slackers, Night Owls, Gamblers and Idlers Will get Shock After July lst.
It is estimated that in Hammond, Gary, East Chicago, and Whiting there are 1,000 idlers affected by the U. 8. war department’s new ruling. Many of these men sleep by day and prowl by night. Some of them are gunmen. They are draft dodgers. News that Uncle Sam is after them is glad news to the police departments of the Calumet region cities. (more…)
This essay by John Harvey Kellogg appeared in Association Men, the official publication for Y.M.C.A. leaders during World War I. The piece caught my eye because so many people I encounter have an almost unreasonably nostalgic view of the past that does not make sense when looking at the world through the words of people living at the time. “People are people” and that has always been true.
The Decay of American Manhood
By J.H. Kellogg, M.D.,
Battle Creek, Michigan
History records nothing so wonderful as the development and progress of this great nation in the last hundred years.
But a blight has struck us.
American manhood is decaying.
We are going morally at a terrifying rate.
We have foes at home more deadly and destructive than our European enemies.
Davenport has shown that one in every hundred men is mentally defective, insane, epileptic, habitually criminal, or feeble-minded.
Recent military examinations have brought out most appalling facts.
Major Orr, a medical officer of the regular army, tells us that two to three out of every four applicants for the army are rejected as physically unfit.
Draft examinations show more than half our young men unfit for military training.
The examinations of the Life Extension Institute show only one man in a hundred wholly free from disease and physically fit. (more…)
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