foresters and representatives of nongovernmental groups, to explore the fire loss problem in all its ramifications within their respective jurisdictions, for the purpose of setting up practical fire prevention programs tailored to the needs in each particular area.
It is recommended that where an effective fire prevention committee does not already exist, the mayors, city managers, or chief executives of all cities, towns, villages, or other municipalities appoint a fire safety committee composed of both public officials and representatives of nongovernmental organizations to carry on a continuous campaign of fire safety throughout the year.
It is recommend that each of the National and State organizations represented on the Committee on Organized Public Support be urged to endorse and support within the limits of the objectives set forth in its charter, constitution, or bylaws, the recommendations of the President’s Conference on Fire prevention. Each organization should extend the fullest cooperation possible at the National, State, and local levels.
Mr. Chairman, before presenting the motion for the adoption of that committee recommendation, I should like to make this additional statement. Those of us who are in this room do not believe in communism; we do not believe in statism; we do not believe in any kind of totalitarian regime. We believe in the potentialities of the individual. But that at the same time calls upon us to see to it that the individual does his job.
Sometimes I think we are inclined to think that, “Well, I as an individual cannot do very much.” Let me give you just a grand example to show how wrong you can be in that belief. Three or four years ago, after the war had got well under way, the Boeing Aircraft Co. in Seattle was having a great deal of difficulty in recruiting employees to turn out its B-17’s and B-29’s, and so after having exhausted the orthodox methods of recruitment, it called upon the Army and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce to help solve the problem, and here is what they did.
They called together a huge mass meeting at the stadium of the University of Washington. That stadium ordinarily would hold perhaps 45,000 people. On this particular occasion the outpouring of the public was so great that by loudspeaker each person was asked to crowd over so that three people could sit where two would normally sit, and so I suppose it is safe to say that there were 60,000 people gathered there that evening.
The Governor of the State was there, the mayor was there, we had other dignitaries there. Gen. Hap Arnold was there and gave a half-hour radio talk on a national hook-up. It was a great occasion. But perhaps you will understand why the outpouring when I tell you that Jerry Colona was there, and Frances Langford was there, and Bob Hope was there. Need I say more?
Yet in spit of the attractions and the grandness of that program, there was a young fellow who was wearing the khaki of Uncle Sam’s Army who stole the show. Just about the middle of the program he stood out there in the open end of that horseshoe stadium, which had as its backdrop beautiful Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains, and standing there in a simple,