State: Minnesota

City: Minneapolis

Chapters: 958

Members: 49,684

Convention: Minneapolis, MN - June 18-21, 1941

Income: $58,300

Director of Social Welfare in Minnisota, 34 year old, Walter W. Finke elected president for a full term.

Vice President: Binford Arney Austin, TX
Public Affairs
Vice President: Minor Hudson Washington D.C.
Defense Activities
Vice President: Wiley Moore, Jr. Atlanta, GA
Extension & Training Camp Services
Vice President: T. Cedrick Browne Santa Monica, CA
Leader ship Training
Vice President: Ernest T. Hertz Billings, MT
Committees & Awards
Vice President: George W. Cammarn Columbus, OH
State Organizational Affairs
Vice President:** Douglas Timmerman St. Joseph, MO
Membership & Internal Affairs
Treasurer:* H. Bruce Palmer Newark, NJ  
Executive Vice President:*

Douglas Timmerman

St. Joseph, MO National Office
Washington Representative: *
Public Affairs Secretary
Fred Linton Washington, DC  

* Appointed position.

** Resigned a day after his election to become Executive Vice President was replaced by Benedict G. McDonald of Kansas City, Kansas.

Dallas, TX to host 1942 convention.

The twenty-second administration of Walter W. Finke was one of the most crucial ones in the history of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, for it saw the organization severely hit by the impact of World War II. Still, the entry of the U.S. into war was not unexpected although the actual Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, came as a surprise - and groundwork by Finke in the summer and fall helped to prepare the organization for the switchover from a peacetime to wartime operation. Even with this preparation, however, the war was still a severe test of the administration's adaptability.

Finke himself was highly skilled in organization work, not only from his experience as a Jaycee director and national vice president, but as a law graduate from the University of Minnesota. Furthermore, at the time of his election, he was Director of Social Welfare for the State of Minnesota.

Finke’s ability is al so shown by the fact that, during the early period of the process of conversion to the war effort, he served as chairman of the Small Business Advisory Committee of the Office for Emergency Management. Later, he worked with the Office of Civilian Defense in connection with its broad programs to mobilize civilian effort in the United States. His great ability as an administrator, as well as a highly-capable headquarters staff, was one of the organization's most valuable assets in 1941-42.

At the beginning of the term, Finke's paid staff included Doug Timmerman, executive vice president; Ray Millard, organization services secretary; Hal Herman, publications secretary; and Walter Stone, field service secretary. Due to financial problems, Stone had to be released in late fall of 1941. The rest of the staff remained intact until December of 1942, when the veteran, Millard, resigned. Finances did not permit hiring of a replacement, and Timmerman and Herman handled all staff duties through the 1943-44 administration of H. Bruce Palmer. The presence of Timmerman and Herman in headquarters was to add much-needed continuity during the War years.

One of the first moves made by Finke was to revamp the technique of running the headquarters office, to make it more efficient and economical. With this reorganization came more and better services for local organizations, and during the administrative year, a number of new manuals were prepared.

Two of the most important of the new manuals were “Today’s Minute Men” and “Facts About the USJCC.: Both of these stressed the principles upon which the Junior Chamber was based and served as excellent materials to explain the movement to outsiders. “Today’s Minute Men” cleverly described the members of the USJCC as “Minute Men,” who have (for 21 years) been springing into action across America. They ask no favors …instead …they stand ready to serve.

Most of the manuals published in 1941-42 were printed on glossy paper and featured covers in color. Additional titles included, “The Light That Must Not Fail,” “Public Safety Manual,” “Manual on Agriculture,” a “Leadership Training” manual, and bulletins and pamphlets pertaining to wartime activity.

FUTURE magazine was improved greatly when a new publisher was secured in January of 1942, just before the new $1.00 dues were to take effect in April and insure that every Jaycee received a copy of the national Jaycee monthly. The new publishers of FUTURE were Herb and Joe Graffis of Chicago, and they were to spice the magazine with a revised format and many new features. Herb Graffis, nationally known as a golfing writer, was to author many articles for FUTURE.

Taking over as editor-in-chief in February of 1942 was Walter Brooks. He replaced Felix Streyckmans, who left for the armed forces. Brooks served only until September of 1942 when Herb Graffis took over until 1944.

The first five months of Finke's administration were relatively uneventful, even though war was threatening. Then came, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and what many people thought might be the end of the USJCC - at least for the duration. Almost all of the key Jaycee leaders realized, however, that the best thing for the movement and the nation was to keep as many chapters as possible operating. The work of more than 20 years had to be preserved.

Following our entry into the war, Finke called a special board meeting to be held in the Chicago Towers on February 27 and 28, 1942. In announcing this meeting, Finke said:

“... I urge every Junior Chamber man to attend who can possibly do so. The meeting will be devoted to a consideration of the dual obligation of young men in national and world affairs today, namely first, ‘winning the war,’ and second, ‘winning the peace.’ We must develop further ways and means of throwing the full force and vigor of Junior Chamber men behind America’s war effort. Not only must this influence be felt by the participation of many of our members in the armed forces of our nation, it likewise must produce the full measure of implementation for all of our essential war efforts at home.”

Actual attendance at this meeting set a record for fall or mid-winter board sessions, with 155 delegates on hand from 40 states. The meeting was also precedent shattering since there were a record number of speakers, representing almost every important government agency.

The importance of this meeting is described by Finke in his annual report:

“Another milestone in the history of the organization was the holding of the second board meeting during the current year. This meeting, held in Chicago the end of February, pointed out our process of conversion to war effort activity. It likewise made possible a sound consideration of problems of post-war planning in the solution of which young men today inevitably accept responsibility tomorrow. This second board meeting gave tremendous impetus to the work and program of our organization. It likewise represented one of the finest forum discussions yet held in this country on subjects relating to war and post-war problems.”

Although this meeting helped shape the Junior Chamber’s participation in the war effort and a brilliant record in scrap drives, sale of defense bonds, entertainment of soldiers, and a myriad of other home-front activities, it was not forgotten that actual military service was still the most important duty of eligible men. As Doug Timmerman pointed out at the February meetings in Chicago:

"Service with the armed forces is absolutely number one on any young man’s list today. Service on the home-front by those men, who for valid reasons remain there, is an essential activity to aid in the war effort and maintain civilian morale."

Andrew Carnegie, the famed author of “How to Make Friends and Influence People,” helped finance this meeting with a gift of $2,500.

As would be expected in an organization with an age limit of 21-35, the USJCC was greatly depleted by the war. It is estimated that before World War II was over, 85 percent of all Jaycees had seen duty with the armed forces. Actual membership only went down about one-third, however, since a concerted effort was made all through the war years to bring in new blood.

Although the age limits of the Junior Chamber were not changed, the organization did not enforce either the upper or lower age limits, and, as a result, many men under 21 and over 35 were brought into the organization, for they provided vital finances and manpower.

During the war, the Junior Chamber movement dipped heavily into the ranks of farmers for it’s membership, since many of these men were deferred from the armed forces.

The war’s effect on the Junior Chamber is best indicated by a comparison of membership figures. At the beginning of Finke’s administration, the individual membership stood at 66,542 and there were 1,066 individual chapters. By July 1, 1942 individual membership was down to 49,684 and the number of organizations had dropped to 958.

From a financial standpoint, the organization did not suffer in 1941-42, with the big decrease in, income to hit the following year. Finke operated on an income of $58,300 and finished around $1,200 in the black. His total income was almost identical to that in 1940-41 under Matthews, although expenses were greater and it was not possible to save $6,500.

The change in programming in 1941-42 must be emphasized. Many of the old standard projects were retained during the war, but the major portion of most Jaycee activity across America was going into scrap drives, blood drives, bond drives, the providing of entertainment facilities for soldiers, civil defense work, and volunteer service in a myriad of wartime projects. The amount of time put in by Jaycees was often phenomenal, for men not in service felt duty-bound to contribute to the war effort" Civic work had become an absolute patriotic duty of every American.

The TOYM program gained still more prestige with the naming of the 1941 winners in the January, 1942, issue of FUTURE. The magazine's selections made in collaboration with Durward Howes were:

  • Colin P. Kelly, Jr., U.S. Air Corps Flyer who single-handedly sank the Japanese ship “Huruna”
  • Lamory Laumeister, the scientist who made it possible to habit Wake Island;
  • Orson Welles, youngest producer-writer–director in Hollywood history;
  • Drew Middleton, foreign news correspondent;
  • James Carey, Secretary of the CIO;
  • Glenn McPherson, expert on administration of legal war assets;
  • Edwin McArthur of the New York Metropolitan Opera;
  • Nelson Rockefeller, head of the program for cooperation with the American Republic;
  • William Lovelace, II, inventor and leading authority on aviation medicine; and
  • Walter, Finke, President of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce

Kelly was honored a month later by being posthumously awarded the national Distinguished Service Award for the year.

The convention or "War Conference" as it was tabbed to conclude Finke's administration was held in Dallas, and surprisingly enough, the turnout was the greatest of any convention to date. This can likely be attributed to the desire of many Jaycees to attend a final Junior Chamber get-together before going off to war. As would be expected, the program was packed with military and government leaders discussing various phases of the war effort and post-war planning.

Resolutions adopted at Dallas covered many phases of the war effort, including endorsement of selective service, voting privileges for soldiers, and encouraging of all members to invest 10 percent of their earnings in defense bonds. To cap off these wartime resolutions, it was resolved:

“We do re-pledge our full and continued support and willingly offer our service and lives, if need be, to the accomplishment of that desired victory and peace.”

Another vital resolution - which was to see results the following year - called for investigation and then the possible extension of the Junior Chamber movement into the Latin American countries. This particular project was to be spear headed by Canadian President J. Allyn Taylor - present at Dallas – and the newly- elected USJCC president, William M. Shepherd of Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

A by-law change was also enacted giving the Canadian president a berth on the USJCC Executive Committee. Canada, reciprocated shortly thereafter by giving the U.S. a place on its Executive Committee. This policy had continued through several years.

William Shepherd was named president at Dallas after edging Bruce Palmer of Michigan in a close election. Palmer had been favored to win the position, but Shepherd's brilliant campaigning gave him the victory over Palmer and a third candidate, George Cammarn of Columbus, Ohio.

Another hotly-contested vote involved the selection of the next convention city, with Milwaukee, Long Beach, Omaha and Chicago all bidding. Milwaukee was the winner, but when 1943 came, there was only a small-scale war conference in Chicago. Therefore, Milwaukee was told that it would get the first real convention after the war. This came in 1946, since a war conference was held in Omaha and Chicago in 1944 and 1945, respectively.



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