In 1944, Miss Dorothy Thompson (1893-1961) delivered a radio broadcast at the beginning of the Fourth War Loan(1). I add at this time, admire the work, not necessarily Dorothy’s Flip Flop views, occurring even way back when. It is interesting to note that the title of her broadcast is now a questioning statement on the tip of so many tongues today!
America At Auction
What is America? America is real estate. A hundred and fifty years ago most of that real estate was wilderness, and anyone could have it for the asking. Land-hungry men came from northwestern Europe to take it; speaking many languages, Anglo-Saxons and Teutons, Scandinavians and Slavs, squatting in shacks, felling trees with their axes, breaking soil…
Enterprising men… followed them, laying railroads, building towns, often towns of muddy streets and jerry-built shacks. Prospectors delved in the unknown mountains and sifted the waters of the streams finding gold, finding silver, finding oil and bauxite and iron, hard coal and soft coal–driving shafts, and driving men.
Americans conquered the plains. On the plains they planted corn and wheat. Americans conquered the muckland. In the mucklands they planted all the vegetables that grow anywhere, in any country, in any clime. Americans conquered the rolling lands. On the green rolling lands they raised herds of cattle and sheep. In the flat lands and the hill lands they planted farms and villages.
After the farms came the villages. They built themselves a townhall, to govern in; a court, to judge in; a church, to pray in; a school, to the hall, the court, the church and the school came the craftsman, the manufacturer, and the trader. After the villages came the cities.
Now came new men, from southeast Europe, seeking not land but work. For factories had started. They put their backs into steel and coal and stone; and inventive men arose; finding old and new uses for steel. They built houses of steel that towered toward the skies. They built railroad ties of steel and railroad cars, tying village to village and city to city, until a continent was tied together, from ocean to ocean.
America is crops. It has three and a half times as much corn as any other country can produce, and more wheat than any other land except the Soviet Union.
America is industry. America has almost as much steel as all the rest of the world combined.
America is ingenuity. The telegraph and telephone, the electric lamp and the internal combustion engine, the airplane and the radio, nylon… all were invented or first perfected by Americans.
America is people. The people have been melted out of all European races and many non-European. They speak a language built on the great English tongue but full of its own whimsicalities and imageries. Wherever you meet an American in the world you recognize him. You know him by his walk which is long-stepped and free; you know him by the air he has of never having known how to be servile.
America is an idea. That idea is that, given a chance, the most ordinary man can pull himself up; given freedom he will improve himself; given opportunity he will work; given a chance to be any man’s equal, he will strive for equality with something higher.
Ladies and gentlemen, what will you offer for America? It is generations of sweat and blood; it is generations of genius and faith; it is generations of humble toil and titanic building… It is the ally of all the free; it is the foe of every tyrant. It is matter and spirit, brain and hand, power and generosity.
It is all the remembered tastes of things. It is hot doughnuts in New England kitchens, and hot dogs on a roadside stand; it is baked apples and pumpkin pie; it is spaghetti and chow mein; it is steamed clams and broiled lobsters and fried bass on a campfire beside a lake.
It is all remembered sounds. The sound of the axe in the winter woods; the swish of water past a canoe; the rattle of the “L” in the Chicago Loop; the tumult in a great plant as the machines slide past the assembly belt; the ear-splitting yells when the baseball runner slides across the plate.
Is America gild-edged with power? It is underwritten with faith? Is it guaranteed with the blood of the lovers? Is America a good risk?
(1)Fourth War Loan
Begun on January 18, 1944, and ending almost a month later on February 15, the goal for the Fourth Bond Drive was set at $14 billion. Largely targeted at farmers and women, almost $25 million worth of advertising was contributed in support of the drive, and over 6 million Americans donated their time as volunteer salesmen. The result was sales of almost 70 million separate E Bonds, or 107% of the quota. $16.7 billion was sold during this war loan drive.
Via “Brief History of World War Two Advertising Campaigns War Loans and Bonds”
Illegal Aliens Sponging off of America and Chinese Loans Misused by the Bogus Administration begs the question Is “America at Auction?”