City: Des Moines
Convention: Columbus, OH - June 26-29, 1935
Attoney, 31 year old, Alan Whitfield elected president for a full term.
||Charles H. Barber
||Gareth N. Brainerd
||George A. Bray
||Charles I Campbell
||Walter W. Finke
||William E. Hoeflin
|| St. Louis, MO
||Walter E. Holman
||B. B. Kerr
||Oklahoma City, OK
||Roswell P. Rosengren
|| Buffalo, NY
|| Edward P. Kautzky
||Des Moines, IA
St. Louis 11/35
|Walter E. Ackerman
|| Belleville, IL
|William D. Becker
|Edward P. Deverey
|Joseph H. Fox
|Ivan P. Gillett
||Arkansas City, KS
|John P. Gillin, Jr.
|John A. Grammer
|Joni Jones S
||an Antonio, TX
|F. Allen Meitzen
|Clarence A. Michael
|Harvey C. Miller
||San Jose, CA
|Frederick J. Milligan
|M. Stanley Niehaus
|Thomas C. Powell Jr.
|Rufus A. Putman
|Allen H. Seed Jr.
||New York, NY
||Sioux City, IA
|William C. Turner
||Fort Worth, TX
|Elery A. Van Diest
|Paul L. West
|Sidney M. Wilson
* estimated figure.
** Appointed position.
Memphis, TN to host 1936 convention.
The rebirth of Young Executive magazine, establishment of permanent headquarters in St. Louis, acquisition of the Junior Chamber’s first true sponsor, and setting up of a national DSA award were the highlights of Allen Whitefield’s outstanding administration.
Active in the Junior Chamber since he joined the Des Moines group in about 1928, Whitfield had served as a local vice president and president, state president, chairman of the National Councilor’s League, and national director, before his election to the USJCC presidency.
Whitfield also had a fine formal education, having graduated from Iowa State College with his B.S. degree, and from Harvard University as a lawyer.
The question of permanent headquarters for the National Junior Chamber, which had been of concern for several years, was finally settled at a board meeting held in Omaha, Nebraska, in fall of 1935.
At this meeting, it was decided to set up headquarters in St. Louis at the Mayfair Hotel. The St. Louis Jaycees provided $1,000 for purpose of the move, which took place in November.
After lengthy discussion at the Columbus convention and at the Omaha board meeting, it had been decided to finally turn down an offer for space in the Chamber of Commerce National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The location was one factor which influenced the decision, but, more important was that the Jaycees did not risk coming under domination of the senior group. If the Junior Chamber had accepted headquarters, it would have had to agree to maintain no policies contrary to those of the senior group, and to not establish a local Jaycee chapter unless the local senior Chamber was agreeable.
These requirements were almost identical to those agreed to by the USJCC in 1930, but they seemed objectionable in 1935. In 1934, it had seemed likely the USJCC would accept Washington headquarters, but the Jaycees were beginning to move away from, rather than towards, the senior group.
This is not meant to say that there was any “breach” in relations, for Whitfield and past President West served as member of the Chamber committee on Participation of Young Men in Chamber of Commerce Work, and a pamphlet was presented by the senior group describing Junior Chamber operation. Nevertheless, as Whitfield states in his annual report:
“… In the future, we believe we must retain a substantially independent position yet we need the advice, suggestions and active cooperation of older business men.”
Relations between the two groups were satisfactory. Little more could be done without actual affiliation, and the Jaycee did not want to forsake autonomy. Whitfield, however, was one of the principal speakers at the annual NACOS banquet in Washington, D.C. and was thus the first junior Chamber official to be so featured.
At any rate, headquarters were established in the Mayfair Hotel in St. Louis, and since then the USJCC has always had what can be called a “permanent home” although a move to Chicago was made in 1939, and a shift to Tulsa in 1947.
The adoption of permanent headquarters – rather than those switching yearly to the home of the national president – made a far more efficient office operation possible. Not only could the executive secretary stay on top of things, but a complete turnover in typists, etc., was not necessary each year.
Another important step taken at the Omaha board meeting was to draft formal Declaration of Principles for the organization. Realizing that the Junior Chamber now deserved to be called the “Voice of Young Men in America,” it was necessary to consolidate the actual beliefs of the federation.
Briefly stated, the principles called for : work to prevent juvenile delinquency: full employment and cooperation with the Civilian Conservation Corps; abolition of government competition with private enterprise; economy in government; a constructive program in Americanism; settlement of the war debt by use of the O’Bryan Plan; abolition of wars of aggression; elimination of employment discrimination in private and government business; development of a code of business ethic; immediate modernization of homes, and conservation of natural resources.
To help present the views of young men – but with no intent to lobby for any special interest – a part time representative in Washington was employed. The first such man was William Press of Washington, D.C. He was replaced by Fred B. Linton, also from the nation’s capital. Linton continued in the post until 1939, when the job was abolished.
One of the plans mentioned in the Declaration of Principles, which seemed of vital importance at the time, concerned the settlement of the War Debt from World War I. This O’ Bryan Plan, named after War Debts Committee Chairmen Thomas D. O’Bryan of Chicago, proposed to settle the debts by having debtor nations issue chits of credit to the U.S. These chits would then be sold to U.S. These chits would then be sold to U.S. tourists going abroad, and be redeemable overseas.
Money paid out by the foreign countries in settlement of their debts, therefore, would all come back into their economies and the chit debts could then be retired as a long term internal obligation rather than as obligation owed outside of the country.
As logical as it seemed, however, the O’Bryan Plan died a quiet death. It was important because it pointed out that, in the 1930’s, the American public believed war debts should be paid, in contrast to our current policy of assuming that such debts can only be pass off as handouts.
Another decision made early in the term was to bring back Young Executive magazine. Actually, the magazine had been in existence under auspices of the Chicago Junior Association following its demise as a national publication in later 1930 after a very short reign.
The rebirth of Young Executive is best described by Chicago’s George Bray a Jaycee who was a director of the magazine both when it was a Chicago publication and adopted again as the monthly of the USJCC:
“As you undoubtedly know, the Young Executive was the official publication of the Junior Association of Commerce from April, 1931, to November, 1935. It was somewhat of a pet project of mine during that interval, as well as during the time it became the official journal of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce."
“ In 1935, it was chosen as the best magazine by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. Subsequently, I submitted a recommendation to Allen Whitfield on July 5, 1935, offering the Young Executive as a publication for the U.S. Jaycees. This had the wholehearted and unanimous approval of the officers and directors of the Chicago organization. After a further exchange of correspondence and after several conferences, a plan was set up to publish the magazine as the official organ of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce in December, 1935. From that date until August, 1938, it was published every month. Fortunately, I have found one copy of all the 33 issues of the magazine."
“Many members of the Chicago group cooperated fully in the publication of the magazine. Those who did an outstanding job in the editorial department were Ed Logelin and Charles J. Morese. Arthur Osgood gave much help in maintaining the financial record of the publication. The encouragement and assistance given by Allen Whitfield of Des Moines, Iowa, past president of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, is especially noteworthy."
“The Young Executive operated entirely from income received from advertising and the sale of subscriptions. During the period it was published as the national magazine, the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce subscribed for 1,000 copies at the rate of the $100 a month. It was not always possible for the magazine to meet its commitments and, during such periods, it became necessary to sell additional advertising."
“Everyone who served the magazine did so without compensation. There were no expenses allowed of any type, not even for meals to advertisers and prospects. Throughout the years, I have maintained contact with many of the members who worked on the publication and all of them state that it was a rich, rewarding, and satisfying experience…”
Bray’s comments about tell the story of Young Executive, although it must be added that it did not go to all members, but only to those who subscribed. The national organization did circulate its 1,000 copies, however, and encouraged all its members to subscribe. Young Executive had faults in financing, circulation, and content, but it was nevertheless a valuable addition to the USJCC.
The most lasting program innovation of Whitfield was establishment of a national DSA award. Since the time of George Olmstead in 1931-32, there had been Distinguished Services Awards for presentation at local level across the country, but it was up to Whitfield to inaugurate an award to honor the one young man in the nation who had contributed most in the field of business science or government. He had to be of Jaycee age.
The first recipient of the award was Honorable James V. Allred, Governor of Texas. Allred was feted at a banquet in Houston, Texas, on January 22, 1936, and the national Jaycee anniversary broadcast originated from that city.
The national DSA award for several years remained the greatest honor that could be conferred on a young man. Then, for several more years, it existed along side with the Ten Outstanding Young Men Awards also given by the Junior Chamber. Finally, in the mid 1940’s the single DSA award was dropped and replaced by the TOYM honors. However, until 1957, the actual key given to the TOYM bore the DSA emblem.
The DSA program is still as strong as ever at local level, with the keys awarded yearly in hundreds of cities to outstanding young men in the respective communities.
Fine publicity for the Junior Chamber was also secured during Americanism week from February 12-22. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and many governors commended the Jaycee Americanism program, and CBS contributed radio time.
Congressman Melvin J. Maas of Minnesota opened the week on Lincoln’s birthday, and it was closed by a broadcast from Washington, D.C., by Massachusetts’ Congressman John W. McCormick, on Washington’s Birthday.
By this point in Jaycee history, programs endorsed by the national organization were so numerous it is impossible to list them all. Among the most important committees, however, were those on Americanism, aviation, Christmas activities, conservation, juvenile welfare, major crime, retail trade, sports, taxation and civic safety.
The list of pamphlets and brochures available from national was extensive, and included those on topics such as “Junior Chamber Courtesy Project for New Residents,” “Model Home Bulletin,” “Hobby Shows,” “Juvenile Welfare” and “Clean Up and Paint Up” as well as those on basic subjects such as membership and chapter operation.
Then, as now, projects at local level reflected far greater range as could be possibly suggested at national headquarters. National importance in influencing the programming of chapter’s had been increasing, however.
The diversification of Jaycee activity is well illustrated by mentioning that for several years a national telegraphic bowling tourney had been conducted, with chapters across the country submitting their scores in competition with other groups.
The tourney had been held since 1932-33 under President Otis, and grew in popularity until 47 chapters competed during Whitfield’s administration. It was discontinued, however, because some Jaycee clubs did not submit correct scores!
A unique action program was executed by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce during this administration. For years, many enthusiastic groups of citizens were interested in conservation of wildlife resources, but their efforts had not been coordinated and adequate federal and state legislation had not been adopted.
Working with J.N. “Ding” Darling, then one of the America’s most famous cartoonists and then serving as the top official of the United States Government dealing with conservation of wildlife resources, the United States Junior Chamber of commerce undertook the work of welding together the diverse groups interested in conservation. A special board of directors meeting of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce and its Conservation Committee was held in St. Louis, Missouri, during the Christmas holiday period for the purpose of planning the program.
In January, state meetings were held in 30 states sponsored by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce and its affiliated state organizations to which representatives of Garden Clubs, the Farm Bureau, the Isaac Walton League and all other similar groups were invited. These state meetings selected representatives who attended a meeting in Washington, D.C., in February, at which time the national Wildlife Federation was organized.
The National Wildlife Federation, representing all conservation groups, became the spearhead through which adequate legislation for conservation of our national resources was developed at the national and state level. The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce received nationwide recognition for this program.
the National Wildlife Federation, whose creation was made possible by the action program of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, has served effectively in the field of conservation of wildlife resources for more than twenty years.
A grant of $5,000 for traveling purposes had made possible much of the Junior Chamber’s work in regard to this movement, and probably deserving distinction as the first true sponsor of a Jaycee program was the Portland Cement Association. It agreed to annually provide prizes of $250, $150 and $100 for Civic Safety Awards. The awards would go to Jaycee chapters making outstanding contribution in the cause of safety.
Whitfield, who realized that future success of the USJCC depended on securing more outside help in the form of sponsored programs, was also working to obtain a grant from the Bookings Foundation in President Holman when $2,400 was given to the USJCC to pay the expenses of 20 men to Washington D.C.
Although sponsored programs did not really become an outstanding - part of the Jaycee budget until after World War II, the foundations had been laid by Whitfield, Jaycee budgets were still small in 1935-1936 Whitfield took in about $17,000.00.
Expansion during 1935-36 was the best in several years, and the net increase in affiliated chapters was about 60. Since 1931, the USJCC had grown rapidly, as proved by the fact that, in June of 1931, there were approximately 90 member groups. Just five years later, in June of 1936, this number had swelled to 317 (individual members totaled 40 to 50 thousand.)
Many reasons are given to account for this; one important one was that the veterans groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of the Foreign War attracted a great many young men in the 1920’s. By 1930, most of the Jaycee age men were now veterans’ and so competition with the veterans’ societies disappeared.
Furthermore, competition with service clubs such as Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions was decreasing. These groups, which were established in 1905, 1915 and 1917 respectively, had recruited a great many young men in their early days.
However, due to their rigid membership restrictions, there were soon few openings for young men. As a result, civic minded men between 21-35 would turn to the open doors of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
The improvement of relations with the senior Chamber also had its effect, since few Chamber locals now strongly opposed the Jaycee movement.
The rapid improvement in national services also was a factor, since many – but not all – skeptics now realized that the USJCC had something to offer for the dues dollar.
Under president Whitfield, expansion had also been stimulated by charging only $7.50 for a charter. Even this was boost from the previous term, when the fee had been waived entirely.
Expansion was bringing its problems, however, and of particular concern was the complex problem of national state local relationships. Some local groups refused to affiliate with the national federation, while belonging to the state organization. Others would join national, but not state. Taken all together it indicated an unhealthy condition.
Things were further complicated by the fact that the organization was still setup on the basis of ten major regions. For several years, the growth of state organizations had taken away any real meaning form the regional divisions as such. Jaycee leaders knew reorganization had to take place, with states and not regions of prime importance.
Actual groundwork for a streamlined and “integrated” Junior Chamber was being carried on in Ohio. With State President Phil Ebeling
Things were further complicated by the fact that the organization was still setup on the basis of ten major regions. For several years, the growth of state organizations had taken away any real meaning from the regional divisions as such. Jaycee leaders knew reorganization had to take place, with states and not regions of prime importance.
Actual groundwork for a streamlined and “integrated” Junior Chamber was being carried on in Ohio. With State President Phil Ebeling as the leader, the “Ohio Plan” was passed in that state in May of 1936 and presented for consideration at the national convention in Memphis in June. The “Ohio Plan” required all state groups to belong to national, and all locals to both national and also state, if the state group existed. President Whitfield actually drafted the “Ohio Plan,” but active promotion was left to Ebeling in Ohio so that the program could be attacked as something handed down from national.
(Note: In June of 1936, there were Jaycee locals existing in 38 of the 48 states. Nineteen of these states had organizations which were granted convention votes as qualified state associations. These states were California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. All of these states thus had the required six locals belonging to the state association.)
Although presented for consideration at the 1936 convention, the “Ohio Plan” was not actually approved until fall of 1937. The history of this legislation will be considered briefly in the net two chapters.
Actual constitutional changes during 1935-36 consisted of an increase in the number of directors from 25 to 30, and a change in the procedure to choose the convention site. Under new legislation only a majority vote of delegates was needed to pick a convention city. Formerly a 2/3 majority had been required.
THE DEATH OF HENRY GIESSENBIER in November of 1935 was one of the somber notes of the 1935-36 administration, as was a plane crash on March 25, 1936, near Phoenix, which took the life of four men – one of them Director Harold A. Marks. The others, also Jaycees, were Paul Swasey, Paul O`Neal and John Powles.
This accident marked the first time that Junior Chamber members had died in the line of organizational duty, and Marks is now remembered in the Harold Marks award, given annually to the top single Jaycee chamber in the country. It was first set up to honor the most efficient local president in the nation.
Giessenbier was also commemorated by an award presented in each state to the most outstanding local organization, and originally the Giessenbier award went to the most efficient state president. these awards were actually established in March of 1937 under President Holman, but are mentioned here because the deaths occurred during the Whitfield administration.
Another honor – but to a man still living – was conferred during the Memphis convention, when John Amrbruster of St. Louis was made an honorary vice president for his work as “Keeper of the Log” of the mythical ship “S.S. Fellowship.” Armbruster had begun the log – a news- letter to past officers which he still issues – in 1931.
Chosen as president at Memphis for the coming year was Walter E. Holman of Portland, Oregon.