• U.S.

Letters, Apr. 12, 1937

16 minute read

Bat for Nye Sirs:

With reference to Mr. Warren Terry’s letter (TIME, March 15), may I not come to bat for Senator Nye despite the fact that he has chosen to endorse a cigaret?

Doubtless it is poor policy for any public official to so use his name, but perhaps others’ indignation will be quelled, as was mine, when learning the motive behind the acceptance of money for testimonials. While I don’t pretend to know what all the Senators did with their checks, I do know that Senator Nye endorsed his $1,000-check and gave it to local charity THREE WEEKS PRIOR TO THE APPEARANCE OF THE ADVERTISEMENT wherein he gave his opinion (?) of Lucky Strikes. I don’t remember the exact organization he favored, but it was either a crippled children’s home or an orphanage in eastern North Dakota.

Don’t you think Senator Nye’s action commendable and worthy of more publicity than State newspapers can offer?

LUTHER L. MOTT Bismarck, N. Dak.

The $1,000 check given Senator Nye by Lord & Thomas advertising agency for his endorsement of Lucky Strikes was made payable to the Good Samaritan Home for Crippled Children, Fargo, N. Dak.—ED.

Bridges and Luckies Sirs:

In your issue of March 15, on p. 4, there is an Editor’s note stating that “New Hampshire’s Bridges” was among the Senators who had endorsed Lucky Strike Cigarettes.

If you will ascertain the facts you will find that Senator Bridges has not endorsed Lucky Strike Cigarettes nor does he intend to endorse Lucky Strike Cigarettes or any other brand.

A statement to that effect in an early issue will be only fair.

F. V. CARTLEDGE Secretary to H. Styles Bridges United States Senate Washington, D. C.

New Hampshire’s Bridges, like Nebraska’s Burke, received a check for his endorsement, but later exercised his privilege to withdraw from the arrangement.—ED.

Alabama Boys Sirs:

May I add to your article on Judiciary “Youngest” p. 14 issue of March 22, that both the tramp Judge [Alfred P. Murrah] and the U. S. Senator [Josh Lee] who introduced and recommended him to the President were Alabama boys who had gone elsewhere and made good, just as have so many other Alabama boys (not “Scottsboro boys” none of whom was from Alabama) in the past.

It is interesting to note how fast Alabama boys skyrocket toward the top once they get away from the strenuous competition facing them here from thousands of other boys just as good. For instance, at least five of the nine Alabama boys composing the team at Alabama University when I was there (Class of ’21) landed directly into Big League Baseball—Joe Sewell, Luke Sewell (still catching for Chicago White Sox), J. Riggs Stephenson, Lena Styles and Ike Boone.

SHELTON STREET Attorney at Law Gadsden, Ala.

Apparently so potent is Alabama’s influence that eloquent Senator Lee needed only three years’ residence there after birth to send him on to fame & fortune. And Judge Murrah, born in Oklahoma, left Alabama when he was 15. —ED.

Hard-Boiled Towns Sirs:

The writer has just read about the Supreme Court decision in regard to the Fuller Brush Co. [TIME, March 22]. The issuance of door-to-door peddling licenses has gotten to be quite a racket in some of the smaller towns of this Slate. If a farmer goes to town with a load of peaches or watermelons they take his finger prints like he was a criminal. Some peddlers have learned to drive by the Mayor’s home and leave a big watermelon or bushel of peaches. Then things are hunka dory. Insurance men get in a town and make a stand in with those in power then they keep others out. The first insurance man is allowed to peddle his insurance under the pretext that he is a local man. It may not be in restraint of trade but it certainly gives a lot of people a chance to work a little graft. It never helps the town because a lot of the inhabitants get mad and buy from other places.

J. F. FITZGERALD Stephenville, Tex.

P.S. I send men out from my orchard to sell fruit and instruct them in one of these hard-boiled towns to be sure and leave the Marshal and Mayor a bushel of fruit.

Ideas and Innovations Sirs:

TIME, March 22, p. 40, tells about the week-end jail sentences originated by Judge Jacob Gitelman, City Court, Rochester, N. Y.

Judge Gitelman can be credited with another innovation. Those traffic offenders convicted by him who do not receive jail sentences (either week-end or continuous) are given fines, if the offender is the car owner or related to the owner who is insured, the Judge imposes a fine depending on circumstances. If the offender is not insured, Judge Gitelman imposes a fine of $75 (which allows enough leeway to cover public liability insurance for personal injury and property damage on any car) and gives the offender the choice of paying the fine, surrendering his driving license for 60 days, or suspending as much of the fine as will pay for the minimum public liability policy, which must be kept in force for one year. Upon presentation of the receipted bill for the insurance the fine is reduced by the amount of the premium. If the balance of the fine seems too large, Judge Gitelman will then suspend as much of it as he considers fair.

The Judge, knowing the unsatisfactory results of compulsory automobile insurance in Massachusetts, has made another suggestion. Apropos the recent movement to lower the car registration fee and have it fixed on a flat basis, the Judge believes that it would be to the State’s advantage to permit motorists to earn for themselves the lower registration fee by getting credits based on their own care and their acceptance of responsibility to others, which would be demonstrated by each one carrying public liability insurance. He therefore has suggested that the State ”adopt the policy of allowing a credit on the car registration fee of those motorists who carry such insurance and in addition thereto if they have had no accidents.” The State, of course, would have proof that there had been no accidents by a certificate from the motorist’s insurance company. This would give a reward to those who carry insurance and have had no accidents, and still would permit the insurance companies to select their own risks.

Obviously the Judge is a man of ideas and innovations. ROBERT E. FRIEDLICH Rochester, N. Y.

Since his election in 1934, Judge Gitelman has indeed given birth to many ideas and innovations with respect to the law’s relation to motorists. Another of his notions is that taxicab companies should provide double-chauffeured cabs, one driver to take a tipsy motorist home, the other to take his car.—ED.

Harper’s Millions Sirs: It is very unfortunate that TIME, a magazine that is presumed by so many people to be a source of fact, on p. 24 of its March 22 issue, should add so much fuel to that utterly erroneous idea that the remark “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute” had to do with the American difficulties with the Barbary Pirates about 1803. From any good U. S. history, one can establish that this utterance is ascribed to Charles Cotesworth Pinckney when he was Minister to France about 1796, and referred to the levy being made upon American shipping and seamen by the French Republic, contrary to all treaties.


Wausau, Wis.

Reader Kuebler is guilty of a careless misconstruction. TIME’S words were: “President Thomas Jefferson 132 years ago decided to uphold the doctrine of ‘Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.’ ” Ambassador Pinckney was not the author of this phrase. The spokesman appears to have been Representative Robert Goodloe Harper of South Carolina on the occasion of a dinner given by Congress to John Marshall, just returned from France, at Philadelphia in June, 1798.—ED.

Amana Sirs: Communistic experiments did not stop at Indiana’s New Harmony (TIME. March 22, p. 91), for Iowa’s Amanas (East, West, North, South, and Big and Little) cover thousands of acres of most fertile Iowa soil, an artificial lake, and fill hundreds of unpainted frame houses, shops and barns, near Cedar Rapids.

Like Oneida, this Midwestern community has changed, for recently a capitalistic form of management was inaugurated, and wise are its directors, among them a learned M. D. whose studies took him to the best European clinics, and whose library would do justice to a more widely famed specialist. . . .

Old stone ovens continue to bake the sweetest bread, and after a meal in one of Amana’s several large kitchens the guest is enthusiastic to meet the fine German-speaking Frauen and Fräulein who are responsible.

The people are well and happy, now adapting themselves to electricity which they postponed connecting until after Christmas in order to use up the large supply of candles poured in the community.


Indianapolis, Ind.

Of all the religio-communist societies which dotted the U. S. in the early 19th Century, only the Amana colony, in the Iowa River Valley 18 mi. southwest of Cedar Rapids, remained nourishing in the 20th. In 1932 Amana modified its communal way of life, adopted a form of co-operative capitalism.

Spiritual descendants of old German Pietists were the members of the “Community of True Inspiration” who, hounded from their homeland, settled at Ebenezer, N. Y. in 1843. Outgrowing this home, the community trekked westward to Amana, where it acquired 26.000 acres of good farmland. The colonists built seven villages of unpainted German-style houses.

They tilled the soil, in succeeding years dammed the river for power, built woolen and flour mills, dyeworks, woodworking shops. Each adult had a coupon book worth $40 to purchase a year’s necessities at a village store. Community kitchens provided meals for everyone. Rule-breakers were punished by being excluded from religious services.

By 1932 the Community of True Inspiration had seen enough of the outside world, by way of mail order catalogs and passing motorists, to want a change. The 1,400 colonists did not, however, split up their $2,060,000 common property. They formed a corporation under the laws of Delaware, issued one share of common (voting) stock to every adult, issued preferred stock in proportion to years of service. They now work for wages. Nevertheless, Amana Society still provides free medical care and burial, gives its members a 10% discount at general stores, a 665% discount at drug stores. Chief Amana products: fine woolen blankets.

Westphalian style hams, hand-turned furniture.—ED.

New Words Sirs:

Your story of the resuscitated Jefferson, Tex. Jimplecute in the March 22 issue may be responsible for giving the eternally lively American language a much-needed new word. From such otherwise meaningless terms, applied to simple and yet characteristically American phenomena, have come such good Americanisms as gerrymander, stogie, greenback, O.K., and boondoggle. They have appeared when need arose for describing a practice or an article not described with sufficient patness by any word of the standard language. Now if Mr. Foster’s Jimplecute takes hold and flourishes again, the national tongue may be enriched with a useful word for characterizing a thing once great, recently moribund, and once more reviving. There is real need for such a word. Phoenix is too classical a term, associated with the speech of political spellbinders and suggesting Arizona or life insurance to the casually trained; comeback, while genuinely native, has too verbal a connotation and is associated in the American sport-lover’s memory with too many disappointed has-beens to be very useful. And the current American Recovery, plus the myriad full-circle swings of the pendulum of popular interest in this always amazing country, may well provide many situations where the use of Jimplecute would be most apt.

In the long run, Uncle Sam cares not who makes his laws, so long as the American genius for making his language is never denied. CHARLES CASSIL REYNARD Girard, Ohio

Jimplecute is a word formed from the initials of the paper’s original motto: “Join Industry Manufacturing Planting Labor Energy Capital in Unity Together Ever-lastingly.” Do other readers approve of its sound and proposed meaning enough to sponsor its admission into the language?—ED.

Not with Mirrors Sirs:

TIME has made history right in broad daylight by erring in its otherwise excellent review of my new picture History is Made at Night [TIME, March 29]. What you term the best shot in the picture was not made with glass on a split screen, but was actually an iceberg constructed on one of our largest sets and then combined by a special technical process with the view of men on the bridge of a full-sized ship which was also built especially for the picture. Would appreciate publication of this correction since the current tell-all-the-technical-secrets trend in motion picture reporting tends to convince the public that every unique, unusual scene is done with miniatures or mirrors; when, as a matter of fact, the studios are expending huge sums of money to create authentic scenes whenever possible.

WALTER WANGER Los Angeles, Cal.

United Artists’ Manhattan office, whence came TIME’S information, should synchronize with its Hollywood office when explaining U. A.’s cinematographic wonders. —ED.

Nichols v. Purists Sirs:

The music industry has been dealt a severe blow and a serious setback by a recent issue of The March of Time movie. I am referring to a recent release of this usually reliable news medium which features the new swing music craze. This picture establishes the idea that swing is nothing new and is the same music as played by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band back in 1916.

That impression is as unfair as one which would tend to represent today’s great newspapers as not a bit more important than the first crude stone carved message.

The point I am trying to make is that despite the fact that the Original Dixieland Jazz Band was the acorn that performed its part in producing the oak of swing music, the greatest share of credit must be given to the past and present day arrangers, leaders and instrumentalists who, as a result of years of painstaking effort have developed and produced the brand of swing music that is heard today.

I, myself, feel that an important contribution to swing music was made by my “Five Pennies” orchestra which featured such stylists as Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Joe Venuti and other outstanding swing exponents.

Swing music is not the invention of the Original Dixieland Band but the combination of their inspiration plus the genius of a cavalcade of talented musicians, arrangers and leaders.

Among its followers, swing music has reached a high point of artistry Only after a long period of experiment and development. It is but remotely related to the 1916 era. Therefore when an influential medium such as The March of Time movie purveys a wrong impression, it is my opinion that it should be revised or censored to give the public an authentic picture. RED NICHOLS New York City

No movement has been more thoroughly and contradictorily expertized than jazz music in the past few years. Trumpeter Loring (“Red”) Nichols, one of the great players of the nation’s native rhythms, states a widely accepted point of view on swing music’s development. The March of Time, whose February issue contained a salute to the Original Dixieland Jazz Band as the organization whence swing music sprang full-born, was stating a belief also widely held by jazz reactionaries, academicians and purists. Most of “Red” Nichols’ recordings during his great period in 1922-28 (Ida, Back Beats, Alice Blue Gown) are available on re-issued Brunswick records.—ED.

Christy’s Science Sirs:

In your issue of March 22, under the caption “Prayer v. Prophylaxis,” in speaking of a bill which the District of Columbia Committee of the House of Representatives had before it in Washington the previous week in regard to eye prophylaxis at birth, the statement is made that “The bill carried a Senate amendment which was so full of religious implications that a “subcommittee had to be appointed to deal with it.”The chief U. S. church which treats human ailments by prayer is the Church of Christ, Scientist.” You further quote Dr. George C. Ruhland, District Health Officer, as saying, “I have the highest regard for religion, but religious belief does not prevent blindness.” May I take issue with Dr. Ruhland on this point, for thousands of individuals have been healed of blindness and many cases where from a medical standpoint total blindness was considered inevitable, Christian Science has restored perfect sight. I present for your consideration the following statement by one of America’s most noted artists: “March 28, 1937. ” It is fitting that I should give testimony of my healing in Christian Science on this Easter morning, as it was twenty-eight years ago at Easter Time when first my health was returned to me. Previous to this time I had been partially blind, and numb from the knees down. I had tried all kinds of cures but no help. I tried to forget through drink. The doctors said I could live but a few months.

“One day my relative, a Christian Science practitioner, called to see me. I managed to hobble into the front room where she was sitting and during the conversation she asked me if I would like her to give me a treatment. Right then something told me from within that I would regain all my strength; so I answered ‘Yes, go ahead.’ While she was talking everything in the room began to clear. I could even see the color of her eyes, which were blue. It was as if a fog had lifted. I stood up and wanted to walk out in the clear air and did for a three-mile walk—bought tickets for the theatre that night, and actually saw the actors clearly for the first time in many months.

“That night I read three pages of the Christian Science textbook (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy) and had no trouble in reading the fine print. The next day I went to work and have worked ever since. In a few minutes time my life was changed from discouragement to joy and light and happiness, and gratitude is mine and will always be so long as I live.

(Signed) Howard Chandler Christy.”

Among the distinguished men and women who have sat for Mr. Christy in the last few years are: President Harding, President Coolidge, Will Rogers, Amelia Earhart Putnam, Vice President Garner. . . . I will appreciate your giving this letter space in your valuable publication.


Christian Science Committee on Publication for the State of New York New York City

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com