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Title:      We Stand United and other Radio Scripts
Author:     Stephen Vincent Benét
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Language:   English
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A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook

Title:      We Stand United and other Radio Scripts [1940-1942]
Author:     Stephen Vincent Benét [1898-1943]



  1. Letter From a Farmer
  2. Letter From a Businessman
  3. Letter From a Working Man
  4. Letter From a Housewife and Mother
  5. Letter From an American Soldier
  6. Letter From a Foreign-born American










This declaration was read over the CBS Network by Raymond Massey
at an America United Rally sponsored by the Council for Democracy
at Carnegie Hall Wednesday evening, November 6, 1940.

The program was directed by Paul F. Hannah and the music was by
Paul Whiteman.


There is one great issue before us--an issue that concerns every
man and every woman in the United States. I am going to talk
about that issue as simply and plainly as I can. What I myself
think and feel--one man speaking alone--is, and can be, of little
moment. But the cause for which we are met tonight--the reason
why we are here--is a momentous cause and a momentous reason. As
a great American once said, from the floor of the Senate, in a
time as troubled as ours, "Hear me for my cause!"

Yesterday, in this country of ours, we held an election. Fifty
million Americans went to the polls and decided upon the
Americans who are to lead and govern this nation for the next
four years. They did not go with guns at their sides--or with
despair in their hearts. They were not driven or hounded there by
armed guards or secret police. They went of their own free will,
believing--and sometimes bitterly--in one party or the other, but
with freedom to choose between the two. I saw them--we all saw
them. In barber-shops and schoolhouses--in community centers and
little untidy stores--all through the length and breadth of the
continent they voted. It was a serious task and they took it
seriously. You could see that in their faces.

I do not know how you felt about that voting--we are still so
close to the heat and clamor of the campaign. But I know this for
myself. The sight of those long lines of men and women, quietly
waiting their turn outside the polling places--the knowledge that
everywhere, all over the country, all the people, not just a few,
were getting up and saying who and what they wanted--it filled me
with an extraordinary pride. For it meant that democracy worked,
and worked in a crisis. It is only once in four years that we see
the whole people. We saw them yesterday.

I am speaking without bias of party. Had the election gone the
other way, I would not alter one word of what I have said. I say
and I repeat that yesterday democracy performed a great and
essential act. In spite of omen abroad and turmoil at home, in
obedience to the Constitution and with respect for law, the
United States chose its leaders. To those who say that democracy
is a failure--to those who say that all democracy must be weak,
divided and corrupt--and you know the names--that is our first
answer--and it is like a block of forged steel. To them we say:
We have been able to do in peace what you could only do by
force--we have been able to do by a mark on a piece of paper what
you do by the gun and the whip. We have not been afraid of
hearing both sides of a question. We have heard both sides and
acted as a people. We shall never abandon that right.

Now that is a great thing to have done. It is a very great thing.
And yet, in another sense, it is only a beginning. I shall try to
say why that is so.

This campaign has been a very bitter one. We had better face that
fact and admit it--we would never have built this country if we
had not been willing to face facts. On both sides--not just on the
one side--false and cruel things have been said. On both sides--not
just on the one side--party spirit has gone into partisanship and
partisanship into hate. The smears and the dirty stories--the lies
and the rotten eggs--all the charges and countercharges of the last
months--they were there and we know they were there.

In ordinary times, that doesn't matter so much. You call my
candidate a horse thief and I call yours a lunatic and we both of
us know it's just till election day. It's an American custom,
like eating corn on the cob. And, afterwards, we settle down
quite peaceably, and agree we've got a pretty good country--until
next election. But these are not ordinary times.

These are not ordinary times because there is a crisis in our
national life. It was not brought about by the election and it
has not passed with the election. We have decided to arm as we
have never armed in peacetime. We have decided to call our young
men to military service as we have never called them in
peacetime. We have done this because, in a year, we have seen the
fall and ruin of free nations, and a new creed of barbarism on
the march. We can no longer take our own way of life for
granted--we know that it may be challenged. And we know this
too--and know it ever more deeply--we know that freedom and
democracy are not just big words mouthed by orators but the rain
and the wind and the sun, the air and the light by which we
breathe and live.

How shall we defend them--how shall we defend ourselves? We know
one thing--Abraham Lincoln said it more than eighty years ago and
he was speaking of this turbulent, endlessly seeking country of
ours. He said: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." We
cannot be a house divided--divided in will, divided in interest,
divided in soul. We cannot be a house divided and live.

The issue goes beyond battleships and airplanes--it goes beyond
tax bills and laws--it goes into the heart and mind of every one
of us. Each one of us is responsible--not one of us can shirk his
own responsibility. In the troubled years to come, we must have
unity and a united nation--not the blind unity of the slave
state, but the deliberate unity of free men. And, if we really
believe in democracy, we must begin to seek that unity now.

I know the task is hard. It is hard to put aside partisanship. It
is hard to give up the easy wisecracking jeer that divides and
destroys. It is hard--very hard--to have worked sincerely and
wholeheartedly for a cause and to have lost. Most of all, it is
hard to put aside personal prejudices. And yet we must put these
things aside.

There is one essential thing. We have a great past to help us, in
putting these things aside. This election, hard fought as it was,
has been but a mimic battle. It has been bitter--but the struggle
between Jefferson and Hamilton was bitter--and yet both men were
able to labor for the good of their country. It has been
bitter--but the Civil War was bitter--and yet, at the end of that
war, the idol of the South, Robert E. Lee, laid down his sword
forever and spent the rest of his life, not in bitterness and
anger, but in working for peace and concord and a united land.
That was a harder thing to do than any of us are called upon
to do today. Yet he did it, and so doing, won a victory of
the spirit as great as any victory he had ever won on the
battlefield. Stephen A. Douglas died campaigning at the side of
his old adversary, Abraham Lincoln. Let us be bold enough and
free enough to follow the great examples--the men of good will
and honor who put aside little ways and petty hatreds to build
the American dream.

And, first of all, let us take two words we have heard a great
deal of in the last two months--take them and bury them deep. The
first is dictatorship and the second is appeasement. They do not
apply to us--they do not apply to this nation or to the
government of this nation. With God's grace and with the strength
of a united people, they will never apply to this nation. Let us
dig their graves here and now, with a long strong spade.

No administration that ever ran this country--not even
Washington's--has done so without opposition and criticism. That
is just and right and our way. But there is something which is
neither reasoned opposition nor reasonable criticism--a sort of
sit-down strike of the mind which says: "The score went against
me. Very well, I won't play ball." If any of us--any man, any
group, any class--could ever have afforded such an attitude, we
cannot afford it now. We cannot afford the creeping paralysis
that destroys the effective will of democracy--the paralysis
carried by hate and rancor, between class and class, person and
person, party and party, as plague is carried through the streets
of a town. I am speaking bluntly--I know you would not wish me to
speak otherwise. For this paralysis of will--this sit-down strike
of the mind--has attacked and ravaged other nations. We cannot
afford to let that happen here.

Let us say this much to ourselves, not only with our lips but in
our hearts. Let us say this:

"I myself am a part of democracy--I myself must accept
responsibility. Democracy is not merely a privilege to be
enjoyed--it is a trust to keep and maintain. When by idle word
and vain prejudice, I create distrust of democracy itself, by so
much do I diminish all democracy. When I tell my children that
all politics is a rotten machine and all politicians thieves and
liars, by so much do I shake their faith in the world that they
too must build. When I let loose intolerance, whether it be of
race, creed or class, I am letting loose a tiger. When I spend my
time vilifying and abusing a duly-elected government of the
people because I did not vote for it, by so much do I weaken
confidence in government by the people itself. Rich or poor,
young or old, Republican or Democrat, I cannot afford these

"I cannot afford them because there are forces loose in the world
that would wipe all democracy out. They will take my idle words
and make their own case with them. They will take my halfhearted
distrust, and with it sow, not merely distrust, but disunion.
They will take my hate and make of it a consuming fire."

Let each one of us say: "I am an American. I intend to stay an
American. I will do my best to wipe from my heart hate, rancor
and political prejudice. I will sustain my government. And,
through good days or bad, I will try to serve my country."


This is a series of six scripts prepared for the Council on
Democracy by Mr. Benét and based on original letters addressed
to Hitler by representative farmers, businessmen, laborers,
housewives, soldiers, and foreign-born Americans.

The entire series was broadcast over the NEC Red Network on
successive Sunday afternoons beginning June 21, 1942 (with the
exception of July 19th), and ending August 2, 1942. The series
was directed by Lester O'Keefe (with the exception of "Letter
from a Foreign-born American," which was directed by William M.
Sweets), was produced by Milton Krents, the music composed by
Tom Bennett and the orchestra conducted by Josef Stopak.

LETTER FROM A FARMER .................... read by Raymond Massey

LETTER FROM A BUSINESSMAN ............... read by Melvyn Douglas

LETTER FROM A WORKING MAN ............... read by James Cagney


LETTER FROM AN AMERICAN SOLDIER ......... read by William Holden

LETTER FROM A FOREIGN-BORN AMERICAN ..... read by Joseph Schildkraut


FARMER: Will you get me the pen and ink, mother? I want to write
a letter.

Got time enough, for once. Weather looks as if it would hold.
No, I'm not going to write the boy tonight. Wrote him last week,
to the camp, and told him how things were going.

He knows how it is--he was brought up on a farm. But there's lots
of folks that don't know.

Got it on my mind ever since the boy went away. Kind of boiling
and steaming up in me to say a few things. No, don't want the
county agent to do it, or even the President. They're all right.
But this is my letter. This is me and I want to talk to that
fellow over in Germany that started all this trouble.

Want to tell him just who I am and what I'm thinking.

Maybe time I did.

Got the pen, mother? Thanks. Now you just let me think it out.

Dear Adolf--This is me.

This is me--one American farmer.

Six million farms and over in this country, last census. Six
million places where we can raise food for freedom.

Food for the men on the ships and the men in the planes.

Food for the boys like my boy in his soldier clothes.

Food for Ed Summers' boy on his destroyer and Gus Taub's boy over
in the tank-plant.

Food for all kinds of folks I'll never see in my life who are
fighting on our side.

British children and British seamen and Chinese soldiers, most
likely, and Russians.

Shucks, I can't add 'em all up. I can't even add myself up. My
farm's just one of six million.

But I want to say this. We're all against you, Adolf. Every
bushel of wheat in this country is against you. Every furrow we
plowed this spring, we plowed against you. Every time a hen lays
an egg, that egg's against you. Every time an Iowa hog puts on
another pound, that pound's against you.

Against you and all your works, because we don't like you and
can't stand you and we're bound and determined to get rid of you,
whatever it costs us all.

Ever think what that means,--to rouse up a free people, Adolf?
Guess not.

You see, we farmers don't talk much. Never have. You can read in
the papers about us--parity prices and such--but that's politics,
that isn't our story. Our story's weather and land and the things
that stay. The wind around the corner of the barn and the lambs
in March, the look of a well-limed field, and the reason a man
likes to grow things, the reason it's a satisfaction.

The reason a man will put up with hail and drought, blight and
blizzard and cornborers--put up with them and cuss them out and
fight them all his life and get through somehow--just because
he's got a fool idea in his head that that's what he was born to

You hitched up the wrong horse when you thought that farmers
can't fight, Adolf.

Farmers are used to fighting. They fight every day in the year.

There's never enough rain for a farmer, except when there's too
much. There's never a good crop but there couldn't be a better.
There's never cash in the bank but the tractor don't break down.

That's us. You can call us cantankerous and slow to change. You
can call us independent, too, because that's what we are.

Our own government's found that out and you're going to find it
out, too.

We're labor and capital--both. We've got everything to lose, if
you win. And we know it.

Sure, we didn't bother about you for quite a while.

We had our own problems here, and we've been working them
out--ever since triple A came in. Sure, lots of things we didn't
like about triple A--at first. But we've worked it out with our
government over ten years now, and they've listened to what we
said. Can you say that for any of your farmers? Not that I've

And meanwhile, of course, there's the work--the work that never

Twelve hours a day--seven days a week--that's what work means to
a farmer.

You can't rush it but you can't let up on it. You can't tell a
cow not to calve because you want to go to the movies. You can't
tell corn "Please stop growing--I've worked my eight hours a day
and that's enough."

Then you've got to get in the hay, you've got to get it in--it
won't wait till Tuesday.

So, with that kind of work on our minds, we didn't pay undue
attention to your goings-on across the water. Not at first.

Though we didn't like the way you took on about races and
such--we don't ask if our neighbors are Aryans or what have you.
We just ask if they're good neighbors.

And when you started spreading all over Europe like a mess of
tent caterpillars, well--But it looked, for a while, as if other
folks could do the spraying.

But you take my brother--he's a farmer too, up in the Northwest.
He wrote me a letter awhile ago and this is what he says:

VOICE: Four years ago when you'd bring in a can of cream to our
Farmer's Co-operative Creamery, you would find German-American
farmers and Danish-American farmers and all kinds. And they are
all good farmers and good Americans except when they have a
schoolboard election. Then the Swedes all vote for a Swede and
the Germans for a German and so forth. Doesn't mean hard-feeling.

Just habit.

Then, a few years ago, this Hitler starts making the world over
again according to his own ideas. And a funny thing happens at
the Farmer's Co-operative Creamery.

Because one day, Hodak, who is a Bohemian, gets a letter from
some relations in Czechoslovakia. This relation writes things
look bad over there and Czechoslovakia is going to be swallowed
up by Germany.

Well, Otto Libers and Heinie Grootschnitt laugh and say it is a
lot of lies. They say Hitler is a great man because he is the
Fuehrer which means leader and he has no idea of hurting

But it turns out Hodak is right and Hitler takes Czechoslovakia
and Hodak's relations and everything they've got, including their

Then, later on, Hans Christiansen is in the harness shop and he
pulls out a letter from a cousin in Denmark who is a farmer. He
writes that they can no longer sell cream and butter to England
who used to pay cash but now they got to sell it to Germany and
all they get is worthless scrip.

It is only a few days after that when we hear Denmark is
occupied. And Hans Christiansen does not hear any more from his
cousin. He does not hear any more from his cousin at all.

And the same kind of stories come to us farmers at the creamery
from France and Norway and a lot of other countries. They are not
good stories to hear or pleasant to hear.

And all the time this Hitler claims he is making a United States
of Europe. But I can tell him he is making a United States of
America and making it right in our neighborhood.

Because we do not like to hear about stock being stolen and
people being starved and folks being shot without cause. And if
he could see people like Otto Libers and Heinie Grootschnitt
plowing up older cultivator shovels and other scrap iron to shoot
back at him, this Hitler would know what he had tackled when he
tackled us.

Because there aren't any German-Americans or Danish-Americans in
our neighborhood now. They are all Americans, and they are all in
this war and that is the answer.

FARMER: Well, Adolf, that's the answer.

That's how some of us got to know what you were like.

And the rest of us--well, maybe it came with Pearl Harbor--or
even before. We'd upped our food quotas before. But Pearl Harbor
and the way those Japanese beetles acted just touched it off.

Now, we're mad.

We're mad and we're out to get you, Adolf--get you and your
pals--every one of us.

And, when we say you and your pals--we mean just that.

We mean this Mussolini that you've got cooped up in Italy like a
broody hen--that's a way for a man to act, isn't it?--and those
smart little sons of heaven that took their farms away from the

We don't like that kind of thing. We don't mean to stand it.
And, most of all, we'll be immortally damned if we have it here.
Sorry, mother, just lost my temper a minute.

Want to know what we're saying--all over the country--us farmers?
This is it.

There's a woman up in New Hampshire and she says:

VOICE: "I can't fire a gun but bless you, I can keep firing this
sausage out of here for the folks that need it to fight on."

FARMER: There's a fellow over in Maryland. He's had hard luck, as
you can tell. But he says:

VOICE: "The orchard is worthless, peas suffered from drought,
potatoes suffered from drought, sow had no pigs, three cows
culled, pipe line rusted and busted, but I'm keeping on. I read
about how our soldiers need more food from us farmers. They'll
get it if I have to bust myself wide open."

FARMER: There's an acre in the South--one of many all over the
South--and the sign says this on that acre:

VOICE: "I hereby dedicate this acre of my cropland, to be planted
in peanuts, to James Walls, my soldier in the service of the U.S."

FARMER: There's a fellow in Kansas and he says:

VOICE: "I'll be willing to eat hard bread and drink ditch water
for the soldiers that fight this war for me."

FARMER: There's a fellow who writes in to the FSA and he says:

VOICE: "I have a brother and a brother-in-law already in service
now and many close friends, some of whom have already been
killed. And I am willing to work for small profits so those boys
may have everything they need and the best we can give them. I
used to be scared of war but, I can see why men are ready to
fight--yes, fight for their country and their freedom. And
whatever it takes, I am ready. I want to show these dirty
back-stabbers what a country of God-loving and free people can do
or the last one of us die trying."

FARMER: And this is a lady down in Alabama. I'd like you to pay
attention to this, Adolf. I know that kind of lady, and we've got
a lot of them. And this is what she writes:

VOICE: "My husband has been ill. But I will tell you what I and
two girls did in '41. We made 100 bushels of corn and a ton of
peanuts, 30 bushel of peas, 20 bushel Irish potatoes, 40 bushel
of sweet potatoes. A good garden, one bale of cotton, raise about
200 chickens and have plenty of eggs. Eleven months ago a friend
gave us a little pig. I fed him with a spoon and last December I
butchered this pig. He weigh around 400 pound. If I could get the
hogs and where to fix a hog pasture I could do more. Because this
is the lady's war, same as the men. And I pledge myself in '42, I
will can double the amount of '41. I will raise two hogs for the
boys in service, one for myself. I have Pearl Harbor wrote down
on my heart."

FARMER: That's it, Adolf. That's our answer--the answer of our
part of the home front.

They won't be flying "E" pennants from the silos and we won't be
getting medals and decorations. But we've got Pearl Harbor
written down on our hearts, Pearl Harbor and Wake Island and the
names of the dead. We'll work for them and fight the earth for
them. We'll do what we're asked and more. We'll produce as we
never produced before.

The government's asking for milk--125,000,000,000 pounds of
milk--eight billion and a half more pounds than last year.
They'll get it.

Enough milk to fill up the whole River Rhine at Emmerich, Adolf,
and keep it brimming for seven and a half hours. Enough milk to
float two thousand battleships like the Bismarck. 3,855,000
pounds more milk this year from Hunterdon County, New Jersey,
alone. Enough milk so our folks at the front and at home stay
strong to fight you. Enough milk so we can ship it dried to our
Allies who need it.

How's the milk in Germany, Adolf? How much are your people

You promised them guns and butter. How many guns would they swap
for some of our butter? How much milk are your soldiers getting
on the Russian front? How much milk are their families
getting--the families they left behind? Do you even know?

All over America, the Victory gardens are growing. All over the
land we're raising the food for freedom.

No, it isn't an easy job. I'll be frank with you about that. You
see, we can afford to be frank. We don't have to lie to our own
folks to get things done.

We've got to work harder, every farmer, because with the army and
the war industries there'll be less and less help we can hire.

We've got to patch up the farm machinery and make it do because
it's more important right now to make bombs to drop on you than
it is to make farm machinery.

We'll get prices that may sound high but we'll make less on the
year. Feed's up and labor's up. There won't be $25 hogs in this
war--but we won't be slave labor afterward. We'll feel the pinch
like the rest and we'll go through like the rest.

My hands are getting stiff but I can still milk. My store suit's
getting old but I won't be needing it much. I take good care of
my car--but I'd rather have freedom than new tires.

Why are we doing it, Adolf? Well, that's something you wouldn't
understand. We like freedom.

Our government's not telling us to do this with machine guns. Our
government's saying "Can you do it?" and we're saying "Twelve
hours a day. Seven days a week."

My boy wrote me from his camp this spring and he said:

VOICE: "Of course I am lonesome sometimes because I miss the
folks and home on the farm in the hills. I know our soil is none
too rich, after use and misuse by many generations of farmers,
and some of it is stony; but I know our hills are green, now. I
don't know why, but I love them most when the snow drifts deep
under the hemlocks and shakes down from the trees when I walk
through with my gun and my dog. No time is too long to fight to
keep our home in the hills safe and free."

FARMER: And I feel just the way my boy does. That's the way I
feel about this country.

It's too big for puny affairs and small potatoes. It's too big
for grumbling and name-calling and holding back in the pinch. And
it's too immortally big for you or folks like you to meddle with
or put your brand on.

We'll choke you with wheat and corn, Adolf--we'll drown you in
New York State milk--we'll smother you with cotton and soybeans
and roll you up in the middle of a big Wisconsin cheese.

The earth's roused up against you, Adolf--the prairies and the
big plains--the black earth down in the Delta and the little
hillside farms where you have to plow between the stones.

There's six million farms against you, Adolf--six million farms
and their farmers--the men with the slow talk and the sunburnt
backs to their necks--the women who know that a farm woman's day
never ends.

And we're not a special class or a special interest. We're part
of something and working for something that's bigger than any of
us--something big as the sky above us and fertile as the earth

It's called the United States, Adolf. And she was born in

[_Music swells_] That right, mother?



BUSINESSMAN: Yes, that's the afternoon mail, Miss Smith.

All signed.

Yes, I talked to Major Lempert. Going to meet him at the plant.
Any other calls?

Mrs. Benson did? Well, I can't get back for dinner. The Major and
I will pick up something, somewhere. He won't mind.

Yes, Miss Smith, I had lunch. You can tell Mrs. Benson I had
lunch. And don't look as if I never had it. That was just last
week when we got the changed specifications.

No, I don't know when I'll be through. I may sleep at the plant:

Take a letter, please, Miss Smith.

Adolf Hitler, Berchtesgaden, Germany--yes, that's right and look
up the spelling.

I've had this letter on my mind for quite a while. Ever since the
boy got into the Air Force. Well, he's a good boy and--

All right--take this letter.

Dear Adolf--this is me.

This is me--one American businessman--J. B. Benson of Benson and

I run one plant in one town in a place called the U.S.A.

I'm 49 years old, three children and a dog. Been in the
manufacturing business ever since I got out of the last war.
Believe in it, too.

I'm a church member and a Rotarian and a lodge member. In
politics I usually vote the straight ticket though, once in a
while, I'll split it for a good man.

Sometimes Mrs. Benson says that's stubborn of me. Sometimes she
says I'm broad-minded. It all depends, I say.

I'm vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce, in my town. I help
run the Community Chest.

And there are thousands like me all over this country. Just the
plain, ordinary businessmen who sit at table 24 at the convention
dinners and are out on the end of the row when they take the
group photograph.

That's why I'm taking time off to say "We're all against you,

The businessmen--the manufacturers--the industrialists--the men
who designed and put together the whole big plant of
America--we're moving against you.

We're against you and we're out to lick you, come hell or high

It's a big job and we know that. But we make everything in this
country from electric toasters to suspension bridges. And, if we
don't know how, at first, we scratch around and find out.

We make gadgets and dofunnies and jiggers--and things that last.
We're crazy about three-ton presses and automatic lighters, about
cash registers that ring bells at you and cranes that pick up
tons of steel. We're crazy about feeding stuff in at one end of
an assembly line and having a car drive out on its own power at
the other. We're crazy about jigs and dies and tools that make

And that's why this war is up our alley, Adolf. Because it's
mechanized war. You said it yourself.

We admit, you got a head start. You were making machine guns
while we were making washing machines. You were making tanks
while we were making pleasure cars. We could have converted
earlier and maybe we should have. But we were making peace while
you were making war. Well, that changed at Pearl Harbor.

Now you've given American business the biggest order of its life.
You've taken the everlasting lid off our production. We
understand your market's war, Adolf--well, we mean to see that
market glutted. You started fooling around with tools of death.
We're toolmakers by trade. We've delivered a few samples
already--ask Tokyo and Rumania. But the real mass production's
just starting on the way.

It's in the plants and on the freight cars and trucks. It's
crossing the oceans in convoy. It's pouring from thousands of
factories, all over America. The soldiers we send to fight you
are going to be as well-equipped as American skill can manage.
There are typefounders making tank guns, locomotive works making
barbettes, tire companies making leakproof gas tanks. It's
boiling in the converters and humming over the power lines. It's
being stamped out and welded and machined and finished--and
marked with your address.

There are plants a mile long that do nothing, night and day, but
work at it. There are little shops that do nothing, night and
day, but work at it. There's a fellow who used to make musical
cigarette boxes. He's making airplane parts. There's a fellow who
used to make children's slippers. He's making canvas saddlebags
for the Army. There's General Motors and Ford, Allis-Chalmers and
Bethlehem Steel, Gary and Hartford, Pittsburgh and Youngstown,
the River Rouge and Willow Run. And there are hundreds of plants
you never even heard of. But they're turning the stuff out, now.

Why? Well, there's just one reason why--

A COOL, THOUGHTFUL VOICE: "Our resources will beat the Axis. But,
if we don't hammer those resources into tools and planes and
tanks in time, we might just as well be buried with our unused

NARRATOR: No, that wasn't our government, Adolf. That was a
manufacturer in Louisville, Kentucky. And that's why the wheels
are rolling. That's why cornfields turn into tank plants. That's
why we build the plants a mile long. Want to hear another? Well,
this is the most respected man in my town, talking to our Chamber
of Commerce.

A CONSIDERED VOICE: "Gentlemen, war business is not good
business. It's hard to get and it's harder to get a profit on it.
It's as full of troubles as Pandora's box. I'm taking all I can
get, because, if American business does not make a success of
this job, it will never get the chance to fail at another."

NARRATOR: That's our own men--talking horse sense. We've heard
what you did to your businessmen. We've heard what you did to
Thyssen and Hugenberg and the businessmen of Germany. They backed
you or they didn't--but, whether they backed you or whether they
didn't, you stole them blind. You broke the labor unions
first--and they thought that was fine. But then you broke _them_,
and you broke them to powder. And the only business that's
running in Germany today is your gang's business, Adolf. Well,
that isn't the way we want it here.

Sure--some of us thought for a while that we could do business
with you, even if you conquered all Europe. But we don't think
that any more.

You can't do business with a man who doesn't know the meaning of
a contract. You can't do business with a firm who swears they'll
do one thing one day and does just the opposite the next. You
can't do business with a company who takes your goods on a cash
basis and then pays you off in bum harmonicas. You can't do
business with people whose whole idea of business is "Heads, I
win. Tails, you lose." We call those people chiselers in this
country, Adolf, and when they get to be too much of a nuisance,
we put them out of business. And that's just what we mean to do
to you, and your friends the Japanese war lords. Because you're
international chiselers--and there can't be any real business
done till you're stopped. Sure--we kick about a lot of things
here. We kick about taxes and we kick about red tape. We kick
about rules and regulations and we kick about government
interference. We kick about questionnaires and we kick about the
New Deal. We can kick--we're free men. Your fellows can't
kick--or they're shot. It's curious, Adolf. Not one American
businessman has yet been shot by our government because he didn't
agree with our government's policies. It's curious because, with
all that, we're making a production record now that we never made
in our lives.

It must be curious to you. But we mean to keep it that way. And,
as for our business objective--here's what one plant manager

VOICE: "After a 94 per cent excess profit tax and higher
inventories, there won't be much gravy left for the stockholders.
But that old whistle out there will still be calling men to work
after this war is over. And that is more than some of
Schicklgruber's whistles are doing right now."

NARRATOR: Yes, that's our objective, Adolf. It's a low commercial
ideal, according to your way of thinking. It isn't geopolitics or
a co-prosperity sphere. It's tied up with buying and selling,
free enterprise and competition, labor and management. And--who
was that guy awhile ago who was sure he could lick the British
because they were a nation of shopkeepers? What _was_ his name?
He marched into Russia, too.

I'm not painting a rosy picture. Things are tough and they're
going to be tougher. Industries that can't convert will suffer
badly. Many businesses will suffer badly. We'll all be regulated
as we've never been regulated before. Some chiselers will make
undue profits. And we'll all see many changes. But we built the
big plant and we mean to keep it working. For the U.S.A. Not for

To work and to plan and to do something. To try new things and
get them done. To get the cost down and the volume up so the
ordinary man can have things that only the few could enjoy a
little while ago. To make some kind of profit out of brains and
skill and management. And to get the world straightened out so
that people like you won't keep gumming up the world's business.

That's our hope, for what it is. But, nowadays, we don't even try
to put that hope into words. We just keep on driving. Because,
always, at the back of our minds, we hear--

COOL VOICE: . . . Our resources . . . But if we don't hammer
those resources into tools and planes and tanks in time, we might
just as well be buried with our unused resources . . .

CONSIDERED VOICE: ... If American business does not make a
success of this job, it will never get the chance to fail at

NARRATOR: That's what the clock keeps ticking, Adolf. That's how
we see your threat to our kind of people. There are those who
would try to divide and disunite us--set class against class,
creed against creed, race against race, management against labor,
business against government. But that's _your_ game, Adolf. And
we're getting on pretty fast to the very few in this country who
like to play your game. We've got a good country and we believe
in it. We've got a good way of life and we believe in that. We
may not spout about it much but, if we've got any sense, we know,
deep down in our hearts, that, whatever we've given this country,
it's given us more. And we intend to pass on those gifts to our

No--we won't die in battle. We'll die of coronary and Blight's
and the overwork diseases--maybe a few years earlier than if
you'd never been born. Well, that's all right. If you send a
plane over tomorrow and lay a bomb on this plant and bury me
under it--well, it was J. B. Benson's plant and he lived and died
J. B. Benson, a free American.

He wasn't Henry Ford but he did all right in his line. He kicked
at his government and he never broke ninety on the golf course
but they liked him pretty well in his town and he paid his bills
on the first. And, when he figured he owed the United States a
debt, for value received, he paid it. He paid it by scratching
around and getting things done that couldn't be done in less time
than there was to do them. And, if there's a balance due--and
there probably is--his son and his partners and the company will
take over the rest of the debt and see it's paid in full.

They won't slacken and they won't tire. They won't rest and they
won't fight about objectives. They'll keep the wheels humming and
the drafting boards busy and the plant turning out the stuff till
the iron-jawed Axis boys who thought J. B. Benson was a sucker
and a softy yell "Uncle." For J. B. Benson worked for money and
he made plenty of mistakes. But, when the pinch came, as the
schoolbook says, he would not bow to tyrants. He got up on his
hind feet instead and said "Let's go!" He was a Past Grand Master
in the Assorted Princes of the Desert--he wore plus-fours when
they were fashionable and looked like hell in them--he was proud
of his children and his electric razor--he liked to broil steaks
on a special outdoor grill and he made a special sauce for them
that gave Mrs. Benson the willies--he'd tell you at the drop of a
hat about the speech he made at the convention. But he would not
bow to tyrants and he worked his head off to lick them. And
that's all you need to know about J. B. Benson. Except that,
living or dead, he doesn't intend to be licked.

[_In a slightly different voice_]

That's all, Miss Smith. Yes, use the company letterhead. Copy to
Mussolini? No, I don't think we need to waste paper. But send one
to Hirohito. And mark them both--special delivery. By bomber. Now
I'd better get over to the plant.



[_Open with music and background noises of a big plant at work_]

NARRATOR: Dear Adolf--

[_Grind of a lathe_]

A VOICE: Shift number one. Machine Shop. Shift number one.

NARRATOR: Dear Adolf--

[_Thud of a mechanical hammer_]

VOICE: Shift number two. Drop Hammer. Shift number two.

NARRATOR: Dear Adolf--

[_Noise of welding_]

VOICE: Shift number three. Welding. Shift number three.

NARRATOR: Dear Adolf. We're writing you a letter and it isn't in
fancy words. It's written around the clock by the working stiffs
of America--the guys with grease on their faces who know what
work means. It's written in steel and plastics, carborundum and
tungsten, rivet buckers and drill templates, planes and guns. How
about it--you guys at Raw Stores?

VOICE: O.K. Send it on to Adolf!

NARRATOR: How about it, Sheet Metal?

VOICE: Don't give us the oil. We're busy. Send it on to Adolf!

NARRATOR: How about it, Production, Inspection, Engineering?

VOICES: --on to Adolf!

NARRATOR: Experimental--Metal Bench--Finishing and Plating?

VOICE: Got no time to gab. We're busy. Send it on to Adolf!

NARRATOR: How's it coming, Final Assembly?

VOICE: Can't you read the chart, you dumb bunny?  The figures
keep climbing, don't they? Send them on to Adolf!

[_Music up into a big factory whistle. Tramp of men's feet.
Machine noise continues in background, uninterrupted_]

NARRATOR: That's the old shift going off and the new shift coming
on. And, eight hours from now, that shift will go off and another
one come on. And eight hours from then--same business. Because
this is an American war plant and it's making war!

A NAZI VOICE, BREAKING IN: But that is impossible, my good man.
You cannot make war. Your workers only work forty hours a week. I
have read it in your papers.

NARRATOR: Listen, sap, don't give me that baloney. Sure we got a
forty-hour week, base pay. And wouldn't your sweated workers like
to have one. But--how many hours did you work last week, in your
plant, Jimmy?

A VOICE: 52.

NARRATOR: How about you, Shorty?

A VOICE: 48.


A VOICE, ITALIAN [_excitable_]: I don't know how hella da long I
worka dis week till I getta da paycheck. Maybe 56, maybe 60. I
know dam well I worka da overtime because we gotta rusha job and
she's gotta _rush_.

NARRATOR: 48--52--60. Well, why are you doing it?

VOICE 1: Got kids. Raising 'em.

VOICE 2: I get paid for the overtime, don't I? So what?

ITALIAN VOICE: Da old woman she tella me she wan ta fix uppa da
house. She say, Mike, getta da lead outa your pants and work on
da rusha job--da house she needsa be fix.

A FAT, AMERICAN VOICE [_breaking in_]: Just what I suspected.
Just what I've always said. Apathy. Selfishness. Greed. Eyes
that never look beyond the paycheck. Labor asleep at the switch.
Oh dear, oh dear. Don't you realize that, while you get paid for
overtime, our brave American boys are fighting and dying--

NARRATOR: You needn't tell us. We know. We got brothers in the
Army and Navy, we got sons and nephews and guys that worked at
the same bench with us. We aren't spilling off about them but we
aren't forgetting them. We don't like the bunk and the oil and
the big words. We don't like star-spangled orations that don't
add up. But we know what we're doing--and we know what they're
doing. Every time we throw a switch or pull a lever--every time
we set up a new job--every time the whistle blows for the new
shift--we know what we're doing--over twenty million of us--and
don't be fooled about that. Did you ever sleep in what they call
a "hot bed," Mister--a bed that never gets changed because, as
soon as you get out of it, the guy from shift three gets in? Did
you ever work in an asbestos suit in front of the hot steel? Did
you ever work on high iron--did you ever climb the poles? Did you
ever go down the mine shaft, in the cage, and wonder, now and
then, about the guys last week who never came up from Shaft Six?
Did you ever see a man's hand chewed into red pulp, just because
he slipped up for a split second?  Then don't talk to us, mister.
We aren't softies and we aren't pampered. We're working stiffs
and we're tough.

That's where you made your mistake about us, Adolf. You thought
we weren't tough. You thought dough was all we were after. And
you thought we couldn't think.

Well, we're thinking now and we're thinking about this war. We
aren't thinking about it in slogans--Ax the Axis and Set the
Rising Sun. I guess they're all right, as advertising. But we're
thinking about it like this.

A RATHER SERIOUS VOICE: I'm a mechanic. Live in Seattle. Guess I
wasn't so sold on this war, at first--no, not even on the need for
victory. Then I heard a broadcast listing the names and trades of
twenty Norwegians, shot by the Nazis because they tried to escape
to England. One of those men was a mechanic. I could imagine
myself in that man's place. Perhaps he was just like me; maybe he
had a family just like mine. If that could happen to a mechanic
in Norway, it could happen to a mechanic in Seattle. Every time
somebody grumbles about the war, I think of that mechanic in
Norway. I think about him and me.

NARRATOR: Get that one? O.K. Here's a guy from New York State.

VOICE, MAYBE BRONX: I'm a radical drill operator, working in a
plant that turns out vital equipment for our Navy. I work to
close tolerances. My machine is intricate and requires deep
concentration. I can do my work fast and efficiently for two good
reasons. Peace of mind is one--we've got decent wages and working
conditions and my loved ones are secure. And then there's my
desire to do my share in aiding my country. That's part of it
all. Well, just multiply these thoughts by millions of fellows
like me.

NARRATOR: Multiply them, Adolf. Add them up. And stick this one
in. Here's an electrical worker from Kansas City, writing in to
his union journal.

VOICE, MIDWEST: A while ago, in these columns, we snarled "What
war?" We know now "what war." It's a war in which laborer and
employer must fight shoulder to shoulder or perish side by side.

NARRATOR: Here's one from an airplane plant.

OLDER VOICE: I have two sons who are in the American Army. I
don't want to see them fail for lack of equipment. And here's
where we're turning out the stuff. Every time I complete my
particular work on an airplane assembly, I speed it on the way to
my sons.

NARRATOR: And here's something just a little different. He
isn't a skilled worker--he's nobody you ever heard of. He's just
a rag peddler. Yes, I said rag peddler. But, over here, Adolf,
even rag peddlers can have ideas of their own. And he says--

GERMAN VOICE [_old_]: I am an old man and an individualist. My
German inheritance comes from three generations, born here in
America. As a young man, I traveled through Germany and half of
Europe. My trades are many but now rag peddling is my only

In the dark streets and alleys, in the lawns surrounding the
residences of the so-called better class, through the
nerve-killing noise of industry, I make my daily trips. There I
see the gambler, the stickup man, the prostitute, the worker, the
businessman and all the different kinds of people what make this
world. I see plenty rags of human minds. And once, in my bundle
of rags, I find your book, _Mein Kampf_. I read it because I want
to know what it's about.

After I finish that book of hate and nonsense, something happened
inside of me. I have a strange desire to live till the biggest
rag-collecting job in the world is done and I know it will be
done. We will take your rags on par value, Mr. Hitler. The world
will see you naked. The medals and uniforms of your Hermann
Goering, the ropes of your Heinrich Himmler, and all the rags you
accumulated will be collected. The rate of fear, the sufferings
of your tortured Europe, will go with the swastika on the big rag

Adolf, your time is gone. I want your rags. I am old and I know
when things are good and when they are rotten.

NARRATOR: And now--back to another war plant and another workman.

VOICE: I have been buying war bonds with every spare dollar. I
have been working on my war job with every ounce of strength. I
intend to go on doing that because I know that never again will I
have overtime pay or a shop committee or the right to change my
job--if Hitler wins..

And he won't win, while the boys in Plant Four keep working.

NARRATOR: Get it Adolf? That's us.

More than twenty million workers, eleven million union members,
all over the U.S.A. Yes, I'm talking about unions. I'm talking
about C.I.O. and A.F. of L. I'm talking about every union man in
this country. Because we know what you do to unions, Adolf. You
don't fight them and you don't debate with them. You wipe them
out hide and hair.

Over here, a union button's a union button. In Germany, now, it
means your controlled Labor Front. In Japan, it never existed. In
Italy--well, can you imagine a Mussul-union? There's just one
thing about unions you've taught us, Adolf. They can't grow
inside your New Order. They can only grow in a democracy. They
can only grow on free soil.

A VOICE: Calling Local 6241. Calling Local 6241.

A VOICE: No answer. There's no answer.

VOICE: No answer from any local.

VOICE: No answer. Address unknown.

NAZI VOICE: All patriotic workers are now members of the Labor
Front. All unions are now a part of the Labor Front. There are no
other workers, no other unions.

VOICE: Hans was secretary of the local. Have you heard what
happened to Hans?

VOICE: Concentration camp. Term indefinite.

VOICE: Otto--he was treasurer--Otto--

VOICE: Otto--died.

VOICE: Gustav was on the shop committee--Gustav--

VOICE: Forced labor in Poland. Typhus.

NARRATOR: That's the way it is in your country, Adolf--and in the
countries you've conquered. And that's the way it isn't going to
be here.

Eleven million union men are against you, Adolf. Day shift or
night shift or middle shift--they're against you and they're out
to get you. And that doesn't just go for the unions. It goes for
all labor.

Let me tell you just one little story, Adolf--when Chrysler built
its first tank plant. You don't get balmy weather in Michigan, in
the winter. But the guys on the job gave up holidays and weekends
to stand in slush knee-deep, pouring 51,000 tons of concrete. It
snowed and they blew on their fingers and put up 6,500 tons of
steel in 70 days. And that was a year before Pearl Harbor. Well,
what do you suppose those guys are doing now--picking buttercups?
They did it for overtime pay? Well, let's see your Labor Front
match it. And, confidentially, Adolf--it wasn't all for the

THE FAT AMERICAN VOICE [_breaking in_]:
Distressing--racketeers--labor czars--corruption--intimidation

NARRATOR: Yeah. We hear _you_, too. We hear the divisive voices.
We hear the voices of those who would set class against class,
whites against Negroes, Christians against Jews. And we know
they're playing Adolf's game--and we're onto them. We hear the
voices of those--not many but a few--who would rather beat Labor
than Hitler, rather muscle in on Labor than save the United
States. And our answer to them and you is:--

[_Loud and derisive Bronx cheer from many voices_]

NARRATOR: Yep, that's coarse. Is isn't refined. I guess we're not
very refined when we get mad, Adolf. And you're getting us madder
every day.

The worse you make it--the madder we'll get. We know about the
guys on those tankers you've been sinking--they were working guys
like us. We know about the guys who died on Bataan--a lot of them
used to be working guys like us. There's a cap floating out on
the Atlantic with a union button on it. There's a kid who was a
smart mechanic, but he won't come back for his tool kit since the
Japanese sniper got him. Well, they were us--and we're them. We
don't need any fancy slogans to keep turning on the heat.

Sure, we're keeping the right to strike. Tell your workers
that--if you dare! Tell them the figures, too--in May there were
a hundred and thirty-seven thousand man-days lost by strikes. A
hundred and thirty-seven thousand man-days lost. But two hundred
and forty-two million man-days worked. The total loss was just
six one hundredths of one per cent. And let them think that one
over--and you d better think it over, too.

There's no cockeyed Labor Front in this country. There's no
Gestapo pushing us around. We've adjourned the big strikes for
the duration. We're doing that freely. We're giving up extras and
working overtime. We're doing that freely. We're back of the
President and back of the government. And we're sending you a
letter twenty million workers long. It's written in steel and
flame--in the planes that fly the oceans and the bombs that drop
from the planes--in the ships that slide down the ways and the
plants that work night and day, day and night. It's written in
brains and muscles and skilled hands moving fast on the assembly
line--in war bonds and war stamps and the sweat and grind of the
shift. It's written in plain American and it's signed "Yours to
blow you sky high--American labor!"

How about it, Assembly Line?

A VOICE: Sending it on to Adolf.

A QUIET VOICE: The time's short.

NARRATOR: How about it, Production, Maintenance, Metal Bench,
Center Wings?

VOICE: Sending it on to Adolf!

A QUIET VOICE: The time's passing.

NARRATOR: How about it, twenty million workmen?


[_Music up_]



HOUSEWIFE: It hasn't come to us yet, the bomb by night,
The machine-gun bullet by day, the shattered house,
The dead child held in the arms for so brief a space,
The other child not found, never found at all,
In spite of the rescue squads and all the cars.
And the people who tried to find him. No, not yet.
I am writing you a letter, Adolf Hitler,
And I'm not saying "Dear Adolf." Being a woman
I can't say that, not even in scorn or jest,
For you are the enemy of all I know,
Of all I feel with my body, know with my mind,
The enemy of all women, everywhere,
And so I can't say "Dear Adolf." Maybe men can
Say that, but I have my own things to say.
I am young and old, middle-aged, with my children grown,
With my children still in my care. I live in a town,
A city, a suburb, a pleasant, tree-shaded street,
A bare street, hard with traffic, ugly with noise,
And the bomb has not reached me yet.
I go up and down
On my day's small business that never begins or stops
Because a family never begins or stops,
It keeps on being a family, every day.
--The leftover steak and the socks and the school reports,
The child with a temperature and the watch at night,
The new kind of salad where Tom will say "What's this?"
But I'll give him waffles, too, and so he won't mind.

Yes, that's it. That's me,
The millions of us, all over America
Who tell the census-clerk "Occupation--housewife."
And we buy the food for the nation and guard its children,
We keep the house and see that Mister gets fed.
--And because of those things, we hate you, Adolf Hitler.
You are our enemy for life and death.
I do not say it is just or right to hate.
I say we hate you for having caused this hate.
And hate and love are lasting things for a woman.
The selfish and pampered woman of America,
According to your book, say this to you.

WOMAN'S VOICE: We would welcome more demands on our time, more
sacrifices, more jobs to do. My husband has drilled with the
State Guard all year. I teach First Aid eight hours a week. If we
have suffering, we'll manage. We can take it.

NARRATOR: The thoughtless and idle women of America, According to
your book, say this to you.

WOMAN'S VOICE: I wouldn't have believed that, resilient as we
are, we could have changed drastically in six months. It isn't
just the rationing, it cuts deeper.

NARRATOR: The peaceful and flabby women of America, According to
your book, say this to you.

WOMAN'S VOICE: I always thought war was the worst thing that
could happen. I still hate war but I realize that there are
things that are worse. We are not a people who could survive by
nonresistance. We must fight for our ideals and go on fighting to
the end.

NARRATOR: They say--

WOMAN'S VOICE: Twice in my lifetime! My husband had to go to war
in 1917. Now, thanks to you, he must go again. And this time, my
sons too must go. Twice in my life you and people like you have
put all I hold dear in danger. I know the price you are making me
pay. Our way of life is worth it. But if you know anything about
mothers, you will know that I and all other American mothers will
see to it that none of us ever pay it again.

NAZI VOICE [_breaking in_]: Say? Well, that's all very fine. But
what do they do?

GIRL: Air-raid warden--Post Seven. On duty. All quiet tonight!

NARRATOR: All quiet tonight, but there are thousands like her
and, day or night, they're on duty. There are others on other
duty--women with children . . .

BOY'S VOICE [_amused_]: Gee, what do you know? Mom signed up to
be an airplane spotter. Say, when Mom's up in the tower, we'd
better all run for the shelters!

WOMAN'S VOICE: Yes, that's what he said, at first. But I have
good eyes and, after I'd been in the tower for a couple of
nights, I discovered he was rather proud of me.

NARRATOR: Just a housewife. 47. In California. But she has good
eyes. And here--

GIRL'S VOICE: That makes twelve dozen, Mrs. Carey. All checked
and inspected. Now, how about those sweaters?

NARRATOR: Bundles for Britain--Bundles for America--Russian
Relief--China Relief--Red Cross--All the thousand things--the
thousand things the hands of women can do--

WOMAN'S VOICE: I am now going to demonstrate the triangular
bandage for serious head injuries. Please look at the board.

2ND WOMAN'S VOICE: When you pass your training and start working
in the hospital, your duties will be necessary rather than
glamorous. You will be expected to relieve the regular nurses of
a certain amount of detail and routine work which--

NARRATOR: First aid--nurses' aid,

And we've all seen the cartoons

And the jokes about traction splints.

Because here, somehow, we can make fun of ourselves

And yet keep on with the job and get it done.

And then, of course, for all of us, there is this.

CHILD'S VOICE: And, if we were really bombed, I'm to take care of
Elly, aren't I, mother? Because she's pretty little.

MOTHER: Yes, dear.

CHILD: And you'll be with us, if you're here--and I remember
about the sand in the pails. But if it's in school or anything,
I'm not going to be afraid and I'm not going to cause a--an
unnecessary disturbance--and neither, must Elly--

MOTHER: No, dear. But Elly understands.

CHILD: And remember about lying flat, Elly, if it comes very near

[_Music up and down_]

NARRATOR: That's why we hate you.
That's why we can't rest or have peace till you're blacked out.
Till you and all who are like you are blacked out
From the world we wish to have born.
You have stretched your hands at our children.
And there is blood on your hands.
The last war was bad and yet it was far away
For us, for most here, for the lucky.
This is near and near and near.
It walks into our own houses, every day,
In blackouts, in the identification discs
Strung 'round the necks of our children.
And we know what those are for.
In the sharp clear voices over the radio
And the going away of men

This is our war,
Our war, not only our men's, and we mean to fight it,
As you shall see, Adolf Hitler.
I'm not talking now of the women in uniform,
The girls in the plants, the nurses with the Army,
The women pilots, ferrying the big planes,
The pretty girls with curled hair and efficient voices
Who wait in the secret center and train and wait
Who mark the planes on the map-squares and train and wait.
We know who they are. We know what they can do
We've had them here from the first.
Women who went with the armies, like Clara Barton,
Women of wilderness-trails, like Rebecca Boone,
Builders of homes on the prairies, like Sarah Lincoln.
--But this is all of us, here.
And the tale is mixed and the equal rights took long,
But from Plymouth Rock, the women went with the men,
And not as toys or chattels. They worked and shared,
They knew who took the brunt of the pioneering,
The women who bore their children on clipper ships,
The women who kept the half-faced camps in the cold,
And they were free women and their strain is in us
And shall go on.

NEGRO VOICE: Free women? What of me?
What of my millions and my ancient wrong?
What of my people, bowed in darkness still?

NARRATOR: Dark sister, your wrong is old
And true and grievous and heavy on the heart,
And yet Sojourner Truth could rise and speak,
A woman and a slave,
Speak and be heard, even in darkest days.

NEGRO VOICE: They are still dark for many of my people.
I love my land as well as any of you.
I know that those we war against today
Despise my people and would drive them back
To the old slavery of whips and chains,
The lash upon the back, the ancient wrong.
And yet, even today, we find no place
Even in war, for much that we could do
And would do for--our country.

NARRATOR: That is true. And yet there is a change.
It comes how slowly but it comes at last,
It comes by inches, yet the ground is won
--And only on free soil, for only there
Can there be growth in change, can there be men
And women, who stand up for others' rights
Not only for their own, who will spend days,
Years, lives in striking at some ancient wrong,
Some old intrenched injustice till it falls.
Sojourner Truth and Susan Anthony,
Jane Addams, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton,
Women who fought for women--and for men--
For all the people, for the common people,
And each a handful of American dust,
Those are our women!

NAZI VOICE: Yes, that is just the trouble with your corrupt
democratic state. Your women mix into all sorts of things that
are none of their business. We have put our women in their proper
place--bed, cooking, work, children, bed. They don't have to
bother their heads about anything else. They are very happy.

NARRATOR: Are you so sure?

NAZI VOICE: We have the record. This is our kind of woman.

NAZI [_woman's voice_]: I am bearing my child for the Fuehrer. I
am happy beyond words to bear my child for the Fuehrer. When he
grows to manhood he will be a soldier for the Fuehrer. I will be
his mother and see him die for the Fuehrer. That is the highest
duty of womanhood, to bear children who can fight for the
Fuehrer, kill for the Fuehrer, die for the Fuehrer!

WOMAN [_older German_]: They will not let me put my son's death
notice in the papers. They say there are too many death notices
in the papers. It makes a bad impression.

NAZI [_woman's voice_]: Breed for the Fuehrer!

WOMAN 2 [_German_]: My son got the Iron Cross. They have sent it
back to me in a box. They have not sent back my son.

NAZI [_woman's voice_]: Kill for the Fuehrer!

WOMAN 3 [_German_]: There has been another great victory they
tell me. Another great victory. But there is no bread in my
house. There are no children in my house.

NAZI [_woman's voice_]: Die for the Fuehrer!

VOICES: [_in mechanical obedience, in a long defeated sigh_]:

NARRATOR: Yes, that's it. That's what you've done.
That's what you've done to the women of Germany.
That's what you've done to their children.
That's what you would do to ours.
To the flesh of our flesh, the bodies of our bodies,
Young, looking up with big eyes--

AN OFFICIAL VOICE: The infant mortality rate in occupied Greece
is tragically high and rising.
The Greek babies get no milk. No milk.

NARRATOR: Or the children, gawky and tall,
Gawky as colts and growing out of their clothes,
Just growing up into life--

OFFICIAL VOICE: There are no mortality statistics for occupied
Poland. We cannot compute mortality statistics for occupied
Poland. But we fear that an entire generation of Polish youth is
being wiped out.

NARRATOR: That is your war, that is your kind of war,
The war against the children.
The war against the children of your foes
With bombs and treachery and slow starvation.
The war against the children of your land
To make them shouting slaves of a machine.
And that is why we hate you, Adolf Hitler,
And ask for sacrifice and pray for courage
And will give up whatever must be given,
The pleasant days, the easy luxuries,
Just so your hands will not destroy our children,
Just so your hate will not destroy their hearts.
Oh, yes, we hear the small, divisive voices,
The petty voices, nagging in our ears,
Playing your game.

WOMAN'S VOICE: Well, my dear, of course it all sounds very
nice--United Nations. But if you think Britain and Russia won't
let us down the minute they get a chance--

MAN'S VOICE: A pint of milk a day for every child in the world!
Say that's the silliest idea I ever heard of!  Suppose they'll
want to give it to the Eskimos, too!

NARRATOR: Yes, those are voices playing your old game--
Class against class, ally against ally,
Race against race, smugness against the dream,
A pint of milk a day for every child?
That's a big order--but it isn't silly.
It isn't silly to women.
We happen to know children and know milk,
We're practical about real things like those,
We're practical in wanting--not just peace
But peace that will mean something.
We're practical in wanting a new world.
Where every kind of child has room to grow.
And, this time--statesmen, premiers, diplomats,
Men of good will and--men of less good will--
Our voices shall be heard at the peace table,
The voices of the free women of the world,
Loud in your ears, persistent as the sea,
"No peace unless it is a peace of justice!
No peace that does not set the children free!"



NARRATOR: Dear Adolf--this is me--one American soldier.

My dog-tag number's in the millions--my draft number came out of
the hat in every state in the Union.

I'm from Janesville and Little Rock, Monroe City and Nashua. I'm
from Blue Eye, Missouri, and the side-walks of New York. I'm from
the Green Mountains and the big sky-hooting plains, from the roll
of the prairie and the rocks of Marblehead, from the little towns
where a dog can go to sleep in the middle of Main Street, and the
nickel-plated suburbs and the cities that stick their skyscrapers
into the sky.

I used to be a carpenter and a schoolteacher and a soda jerker
and a mechanic.

I used to be a hackie and a farm hand and a leg-man and a
bookkeeper--the son of a guy with money and the son of a guy with
none. But I'm a soldier, now.

Four and a half million of us by the end of this year. Listen to
the roll call!

SERGEANT: Adamoffsky, Adams, Anderson, Bailey, Bratillo, Brown--

NARRATOR: That's my outfit--that's us. The biggest and
best-trained army ever raised on American soil. Ski troops and
parachute troops, motorized and mechanized, tank troops and tank
destroyers, cooks and cryptographers, bakers and bombardiers--

SERGEANT: --Cohen, Costello, Daughterly, Di Rosa, Dupont--

NARRATOR: From Alaska to Australia--from Australia to Ulster--in
the cold skies and the hot--under desert suns and clear skies and
jungle rains--

That's us--the United States Army!

[_Music up and down_]

NARRATOR: And we're not writing letters, Adolf. We're on the job.
We weren't picked out for our looks or our Aryan names.
We weren't picked out to heil heels or to chew up small countries
  that never did us any harm,
We weren't picked out to sit around on our parking spaces and
  wait for you to be nasty.
We've been picked out for a job and a very large and extensive
  job and we mean to police it up.
And that means you and Musso and old man Hiro-Stab-in-the-Back
  and all the rest of you rug-biters.
Sure, we let you get away with a lot. We sat around and argued,
  over here, while you were cooking with gas. But that's all over.
Let me tell you a few things about us--about the kind of army we
  are. They won't make you happy.
When my bunch went in, we had a drill corporal from upstate
Georgia. He didn't read the papers much--he'd rather go to town
and pick a scrap with the MPs. But he drilled us well--"hut, two,
three, four"--and every day he kept saying--

VOICE: "Now you birds damn well pay attention here. This
business is for keeps."

NARRATOR: That was March, 1941. But he knew what was coming. And
we listened but--well, most of us had left good jobs and that
seemed pretty important. We had a bunch of Italians and they
missed their spaghetti and conversation. We had a bunch of Maine
lads and they sweated under the Georgia sun and thought about the
lakes beginning to melt, back in Maine. We had some Poles--and
they knew the score. Their folks had heard from Warsaw. But they
didn't argue much. They just kept humping.

Sure--that was what we were like--just a little while ago. We
beefed. And we wondered why we were in the Army. But we learned
how to handle guns and we learned about Army chow. We learned
what a march under pack means, and we learned about teamplay and
discipline. We got confidence in our weapons and pride in a
well-oiled unit.

Yes, it was all pretty new. But when most of my company, at the
end of thirteen weeks, marched off to join a new division--well,
some of them were bawling like kids. Because, somehow, without
lectures and orders and editorials, there had jelled a sense of
comradeship that would make your well-advertised Gemeinschaftgeist
look sick.

And then we trained some more--and waited. For the answer you
gave us--you and your Axis pals. And that was when civilians
worried about our morale. Because military service wasn't our
chosen way of life.

We wanted to get a job done and get through with it. And
maneuvering against a Blue Army (which we knew was Yanks all the
time) didn't seem to be settling much. Even if it was making the
U.S. Army a good one, as you'll soon find out.

So that Sunday, when we lay on our bunks, full of chicken and
black-eyed peas, and idly turned on the radio--and got the
news--we didn't have to count pulses to know what our morale was.
It was there. Because now the real job was starting and that
meant something.

"It's about time," one soldier said. And that's about all you
need to know about us, Adolf.


SERGEANT: --Dalton, Davis, Dombrowski, Ettelsohn, Edwards,

NARRATOR: Like to hear from some of them? Here's one. From Ohio.
Used to drive a bus. Now he's mechanized infantry.

VOICE: In the part of Ohio I come from, lots of people have
religious convictions against war. I keep these prayers at the
back of my mind every day and believe these prayers. I pray for
peace. But I am not so much like those people in Ohio as I used
to be. My convictions are that war is evil and that the evil men
are those who started it. When you ask me what I have personally
to be angry against the Nazis and the Japs, that is my answer.
They have hurt me and my people by making us fight a war that in
our religion is bad. I don't know if I have made myself clear
but Hitler is my personal enemy and I aim to stop him.

NARRATOR: And--prayers don't make a soldier, Adolf?  Not by your
book? Well--ask about Lee's army--the Army of Northern Virginia.
They prayed when they felt like it. Here's another.

VOICE: I have always made my living in this country. Now I must
fight for it. This country didn't ask for war. I know I didn't.
But now we are going to win. The least thing I am fighting for is
to get my job back. And it was a good job, worth fighting for.

NARRATOR: That was a twenty-six-year-old garment
worker--sorry--corporal in the Air Force. And here's a
marine--just back from the Atlantic Patrol--and sore. Sore
because he's been made an instructor and isn't with his outfit.

VOICE: All I want to be is where I belong, in a mortar platoon of
the Marines. Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to wave the flag
or become "Joe Hero." But, surely, patriotism is something more
than knowing the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner." I'll admit
that, ten years hence, nobody may give a damn about what the boys
in uniform did today. Those who die in action will be hardly a
memory and those who come back maimed will be an expense, a bore
and a nuisance. But, for today, let's not forget the foxholes of
Bataan or the rape of Nanking or the ghettoes of Poland or the
million and one other acts that violate every human and decent
instinct of man.

I've seen death many times recently and dodged it on several
occasions, and, if I get killed--what the hell. Nobody ever left
this world alive and very few of us get to die for a cause. If I
do get through, I will have had the satisfaction of knowing that
I did try to do a man's job.

NARRATOR: And here's a letter from Bataan--February 12, 1942.

VOICE: "Dear Mother and Dad and Frances:

This letter may never be delivered. It will go to Corregidor and
there await transportation.

I am proud to be part of the fight that is being made here.
Bataan may fall but the eventual outcome of the war is

I have seen some horrible things happen and had my share of
narrow escapes. But I have also seen some very wonderful acts of
courage, self-sacrifice and loyalty. At last I have found what I
have searched for all my life--a cause and a job in which I can
lose myself completely.

Life and my family have been very good to me and given me
everything I have really wanted. Should anything happen to me
here, it will not be like closing a book in the middle. In the
last two months I have done a lifetime of living and been part of
one of the most unselfish, cooperative efforts that has ever been

Mistakes may have been made--but that has nothing to do with the
manner in which my comrades on Bataan--both Filipino and American
have reacted to their trial of fire. If the same selfless spirit
were devoted to world betterment in time of peace, what a good
world we would have (and "how dull" I can hear the younger
generation muttering).

This letter is written to send you all my love and thanks for
just being my family. It is written with no so-called
premonitions. My chances are pretty good. So I'll send it on its
way. Keep 'em flying--West!

Your loving son and brother."

NARRATOR: No--we haven't heard from that lieutenant.

Not since Corregidor fell. But--we'll keep 'em flying.

We're not talking about being Joe Hero. There's a long, dirty,
bloody job ahead of us. We know that.

Wars mean filth and thirst and pain and the scream of the dive
bombers on top of you and going on to the end of endurance, and
beyond. Wars mean seeing your best friend killed beside you and
it's only afterwards you have time to think about him, because
the line must be held. All right, mister, you started it rolling.

We know the score.

We're the guys who take cars apart and put them together, just
for fun. We're the guys who fiddle with radio sets and are crazy
about the comics--Bat Man and Terry and the Pirates and Donald
Duck and all kinds of people who do things they aren't supposed
to do. The Army wasn't supposed to get away with bombing Tokyo.
But it did. The Navy wasn't supposed to sink five Jap aircraft
carriers in the battle of Midway. But it did.

We don't build armies just to put guys in uniform and shove
civilians around. We build them to fight and win battles. We
build them just the same way we built Boulder Dam--and out of the
same kind of stuff.

No, we weren't so much on slogans, Adolf. We aren't talking about
a new order or a co-prosperity sphere. We aren't even talking
much yet about a new world. And when it's over and the bands
start playing--they're just as likely to play "Don't Sit Under
the Apple-tree" as they are "The Star-Spangled Banner." Because
we're that way.

We kid about things that mean a lot to us. We make wise-cracks
about generals and presidents. We say "Don't give us the oil"
when we mean business. And we mean business now.

And, back of us, all the time, there's a roll call and a

SERGEANT: --Follett, Fraser, Garrett, Hamilton, Herkimer--

NARRATOR: That's the muster roll of the Revolution, Adolf--the
muster roll of free men who fought for their country because she
had to be born. And they got worse chow than ours and they got
paid off in paper--and, if they were living, afterwards they went
back to their farms and hoed corn. But they knew what they'd
done. And they were satisfied.

SERGEANT: --Izard, Jones, Jacobson, Jackson, Kearney, Lee
Fitzhugh, Lee, R. E.--

NARRATOR: That's the roll of the Civil War, Adolf. And, out of
it, the Union lived and the free thing went ahead. It cost blood
and toil and long bitterness but it made us one nation.

SERGEANT: --Levinsky, Liebowitz, Liggett, MacArthur, McCook,

NARRATOR: That's the last war, Adolf--the Rainbow Division and
the First Division and all the divisions--the two million who
went to France. And we came in late and we had to borrow other
folks equipment because ours wasn't ready. But the record's
written from Cantigny to the Argonne. This time we'll have the
equipment--our factories are turning it out. And this time we
aren't going to stop with just "saving democracy"--and then
running out on it. This time we're after a durable peace--and it
isn't your kind.

SERGEANT: --Nason, Nathan, Nininger, O'Brien, O'Hare, Orlando--

NARRATOR: That's a few of the new names, Adolf. No, the roll
isn't finished. It won't be finished till you are.

SERGEANT: --Papagos, Patterson, Prokosch, Pryor, Quintanilla,
Quisada, Que Lung--

NARRATOR: Chinese, Italian, Greek, Bohemian, British,
Mexican--the sons of the men who fought six wars and won
them--the sons of the men who came here to get away from wars.
But they're all Americans now, Adolf--and all against you.
Against you and the Nipponese pals you sicked on us at Pearl
Harbor--against you and all your ideas and ways.

We don't like being ordered around, though we'll take it and like
it in wartime. We think one man's as good as the next and maybe
better. If we feel like going to church, we'll go to the church
we pick out and the next guy can go to his. If we want to get
married, we'll marry the girl we like--and the guy who makes a
crack about her ancestry had better look out for his teeth. If we
don't like the people who run our government, we'll change them
by peaceable election.

That's us. That's our platform. And behind us are a hundred and
thirty million Americans.

SERGEANT: --Raconski, Rattray, Rourke, Saltonstall,

NARRATOR: All the funny names there are--yes, Adolf--the old
names and the new--the names that made America from Jamestown to
the Cherokee Strip and back and forth and across and up and down.
Only this time, the building will be bigger than anything we've
ever tried. This time the roll call will not end with the

SERGEANT: --Camacho, Chiang Kai-shek, Churchill, Cripps, Curtin,
De Gaulle, Litvinoff, Quezon, Roosevelt, Stalin, Van Mook,
Wallace, Willkie--

NARRATOR: Yes--this time--it's for a new world. But not for yet.
Now it's the march in the mud and the heat on the steel box of
the tank and the stutter of the tail gun from the bombing plane.
And yet--

SERGEANT: The command is forward.

NARRATOR: Now--it's fever and wounds and the stink of the slit
trench. And yet--

SERGEANT: The command is forward.

NARRATOR: The command is forward. March!

[_Music up and down_]

NARRATOR: Got a nice rug to chew on, Adolf? Vanilla or chocolate?
Well, make it a double one with maraschino. You'll need it
before we're through.



NARRATOR: Adolf Hitler! Reichschancellor! Reichsleader!
Reichsdestroyer! You will know my voice. It is the voice of the
peoples you have crushed and starved and shot--the voice of the
peoples of Europe, held down but unsubdued. The voice of
suffering peoples, tricked into war on your side by their bad and
stupid rulers. The voice of suffering peoples, beaten down by
your armies--but waiting, waiting, waiting in terrible patience
for the dawn and the liberation and the end of you and your kind.
It is underground, that voice, in Europe. It burrows like a mole
underground--it whispers like the night wind through the air. It
does not speak loudly--yet. But when it speaks, your hang-man
dies. But my voice comes from America, not from Europe. I speak
to you--I speak to my fellow Americans. I speak for the
alien-born. I speak for many stocks and many mother tongues. I
speak for old famous cities and peasant villages--for the lands
where custom is old, where the fields have been tilled for many
generations--the lands of our mothers' milk and our fathers'
endeavor. And I speak for the men and women who left these behind
to come here. We came here to this country as children--we came
here a few short years ago. We came with no English at all--with
a few words picked up somehow--with the painful, scholarly
phrases you learn in books and the scraps of old-fashioned slang
we were so proud of knowing. We came in the different clothes,
with the different haircuts, homesick and excited and weary and
looking forward and wondering. Wondering if it was true--if it
could be true. If America was what they said--if we would be
welcomed or hated, given a place or despised. For roots are hard
to tear up, even for bread or freedom. The heart looks back for a
while, even when the body has crossed an ocean. Was it true what
they said--that this was a land where your stock or your
birthplace or your name did not matter beside what you were and
what you could do? Was it true we'd have rights like the rest and
a chance like the rest? Was it true we could be Americans? Hear
my friend from the Lebanon.

ARMENIAN VOICE: In my village in the Lebanon, when I was a boy,
when the governor's carriage passed down the street, everyone
jumped up and saluted. If you didn't salute--well, then you were
due for trouble. Ours was a subject country and when our village
elders found themselves oppressed, they would raise helpless
hands and say "It is your governor and your God." And there was
no appeal from; God or the governor. So, when I came here, at
twenty, with others of my compatriots, we knew little of many
things. We had heard the United States was a land of plenty and
liberty. Well, that sounded all right--but, to our minds, the
plenty came first. For the rest of it--well, there would
doubtless be governors here just like our governors. So a man
examined my papers, at the port of Boston, and I stood before
him, shaking in my boots. He was an official--a governor. But
when he had finished with my papers he got up and shook me by the
hand. He wished me good luck in my new country. I have never
forgotten that. I will never forget it. What did we find here?
Other helping hands were stretched out to us. We found that
neither race nor birth nor faith stood in the way of our
advancement--our becoming men among men. We found a land willing
and ready to adopt us and give us the rights and privileges of
its natural sons--a land that taught us the meaning of liberty
and made of us freemen. Now, we have no other home and no other
cause. Those who have always been rich do not always know the
value of a treasure as well as those who once were poor. Those
who have never thirsted do not know how sweet water can be. But
we, who were poor in liberty and thirsty for free air, know what
we have found here. The least we can do, now this land and its
way of life is threatened as never before, is to pledge our
lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to its cause.

NARRATOR: Hear my friend who was born in Hungary.

HUNGARIAN: America is my country and America is the home of my
children and will be the home of their children. My eldest
daughter is in love with an Irish fellow and she told me she
dreams about him in English. This surely is my country when my
daughter loves an Irish fellow and dreams about him in English
and she speaks to me about him in Hungarian. I know how to read
but my wife never learned how, but we both know we don't have to
lick the boots of our bosses and when my daughter's fellow--he's
in the Army--when he writes her a letter it makes us all happy.
What can Hitler do to make us happy? He's the devil's own friend
and we almost feel sorry for the devil because he has Hitler's
friendship. What else can I tell you?  I'm a citizen--I can
vote--I never could do that in the old country. And I go to
church and there are no spies looking at me and I can speak to
God and I don't have to mind Hitler. The wife and I pray for
America. We ask God to help us in this war and we pray for the
old country's happiness, too--to rid it from the Nazis--and we
pray for the village where we were born and hope that someday it
will be free. And we buy war bonds every month--America must win.
She will win!

NARRATOR: Hear my friend from the Germany you slew.

GERMAN: I fight you because you taught me the full meaning of a
verse by the poet Schiller "es kann der Froemmste nicht in
Frieden leben, wenn es dem boesen Nachbar nicht gefaellt"--A
saint cannot live in peace if his wicked neighbor does not like
it. I was a pacifist once--an intellectual--a thinker. You drove
me out of Germany--I took refuge in France. For the first time,
there, I began to know what freedom is. Then you invaded France.
I took part in that terrible retreat--I know what you did there.
I do not want to talk about that, but I know what you did. In
the end, by great luck, I was rescued and came to the U.S.A. And
there I saw what amazed me--an organized democracy, defending its
freedoms. Hitler, you will never understand what America means to
us. It does not only mean the last refuge of freedom. It is a
society in which a man may have his way and stand for his own
interests and ideas, but which does not give its enemies a chance
to overthrow it. It is a society rich enough not to fear need and
strong enough not to fear anything. It gives freedom to all
nationalities but lets them organize their contributions to the
whole. A society where I don't risk my head if I say "Why don't
we get this done?"--but am asked to suggest how I think it could
be done. You may boast of your ability to keep the appearance
that everything is well in Germany. This society here would
break down the moment when everybody should say everything is
well. It gets things done by criticisms and discussion--by
130,000,000 people criticizing, discussing--and co-operating. And
that is why you will never win this war. The American people are
fighting for their way of life. They cannot be scared into
panic--they will not be brought to their knees by your war of
nerves. They become more decided every day your war goes on. They
know they have no way but to win it.

NARRATOR: Hear the voices.

VOICE: The only way I could figure America was the sun shining
all the time and a bakery shop in the middle of the street.

VOICE: Like you, I once was a corporal, but unlike you, I was
fortunate enough to come to the United States in a crowded ship,
in steerage. I arrived penniless and friendless but America gave
me priceless freedom and opportunity.

VOICE: I had almost forgotten there were places where people
still went to the polls and voted for the man they thought would
be the best man for the job.

VOICE: I know of my driven people. I know that here I am free.

NARRATOR: These are only a few, Herr Reichschancellor. There are
so many, many others. There are the Rumanians of Salem, Ohio, who
gathered together last Flag Day, June 14th, and said:

VOICE: It is a great pain to us that the flag of our native
country cannot appear alongside the flag of this great country.
But we can endure this pain because we know that not the Rumanian
flag is in disgrace but the knaves who bowed to Hitler. Friends,
bear up! Uncle Sam will fix it, all right.

NARRATOR: And that day they raised fifteen hundred dollars--for
an ambulance for Uncle Sam. And there is the Reverend Frank Imery
Vass, a pastor, alien-born--whose son went down with the
Lexington in the battle of the Coral Sea. And he said:

VOICE: We are glad our son fought for America.

NARRATOR: No, I cannot count them all. I cannot summon them all.
But I know the feeling in their hearts. You have been deceived
about us, Herr Reichschancellor. You have been badly deceived.
You have bought a few traitors, here and there. You have planted
a few spies. You have caused a few deluded men and women to doubt
democracy. You have tried your oldest trick on us, to get us
fighting among ourselves--labor against management, Protestant
against Catholic, Christian against Jew, native-born against
foreign-born. But we--we are the litmus paper and the test of
democracy--we the many, the uncounted, the ordinary, who quietly
take our pledge to the flag you hate and the freedom you hate and
the rights of man that you hate--and who quietly pledge to that
flag, of our own free will, not only our bodies but our hearts.
No, all is not perfect here, Herr Chancellor. I am a free man, I
can tell you the truth and I will. They talk about Hunkies and
Dagoes, Micks and Pollacks. They say, "We got too many
foreigners." They say, "Well, what can you expect with all these
foreigners?" And, every time someone says that, you rub your
hands and smile. Well--smile--that is all quite true. I've heard
an Italian truck farmer in New England say to his Czech neighbor,
"This was a good town before all these dumb foreigners came in."
Yes, I've heard that. Make the most of it. But, you see--that's
it, Herr Chancellor. Paul Pappas isn't a foreigner because
everybody knows Paul Pappas--he runs the candy store. Dr. Tashian
isn't a foreigner because everybody knows Dr. Tashian.
Foreigners, here, aren't the people you see around. They're the
next boatload. In no matter what bad accent I speak, I can say "I
am an American" and no one will laugh. These are good American
names--Stone, Marshall, Saltonstall, Magruder, Frost. These are
good American names--LaGuardia, Eisenhower, Adamic, Knudsen,
Nimitz. They are all good American names and, as we say in
America, that is all. Period. I cannot explain this to you
because there is no way of explaining and your crazy mind cannot
understand. I can say that the son of an Italian stonecutter can
be lieutenant governor of the State of New York. I can say that a
man born in England can be Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court. I
can say that a man born in Germany can be a United States
senator. And nobody thinks that is queer and nobody says much
about it, till the obituaries are written. I can say that those
who fight for freedom in the United States Army today have every
name in the world. But, still, that is not enough. We are quiet,
we alien-born, because, after all, we are still learning. We are
even a little shy. When our children come back from school, so
assured and yet with questions, we are proud of those children.
We see them grow big and free, taking rights for granted. That is
fine, that is what we want. But even they do not know the price
of freedom as we know it. Not even they. We hear those long in
the land who talk of their country--our country. We know who
speaks true and who speaks false. And we listen well to those who
speak true, for their fathers made this land. But even many of
them do not know the price of freedom as we know it. Not even
they. We, the Pilgrims of a thousand unnamed and forgotten
Mayflowers--our freedom and our citizenship was bought with all
we have. It was bought with a dream in the mind--the dream of a
free, lucky country where life would be good and human beings
equal. It was bought with travel and poverty and the wrenching up
of old memories and fear and hope and faith. With a great price
we bought this freedom. And that price seems little, today. We
would pay it again, Herr Reichschancellor. Skin for skin, we
would pay it. Ten times over we would pay it. There was a town
called Lidice, Adolf Hitler. We know what happened to that town.
There was a city named Rotterdam and a city named Cracow. There
was the house where the family lived and the things they did--the
cousins and friends and parents who are dead--the brothers and
sisters who starve and survive and fight. And there is the
walking around here--just in free air--just the walking around
where you buy a paper at the corner and nobody asks who you are.
That is why we are against you, Adolf Hitler--we, the alien-born,
the new Americans whose children shall be Americans. Against you
and against you forever. Against you living or dying, against you
waking or sleeping, against you every minute, every hour, every
day. You would bring to this country the things we escaped and
hated. You would poison the air and the water and the minds of
our growing children. You would drag them back--not even to the
life we knew--but to the life of the serf, the life of the slave.
But we have tasted liberty and soon liberty walks in the
streets--No, we were not at Lexington or Gettysburg. But the
names that we make today shall be names as shining as those. All
over the country they answer--the Americans--the alien-born. All
over the country they answer--for the free world--the good
thing--the old tradition and the new--

VOICES [_strong but accented_]: I pledge my allegiance to the
American flag--

NARRATOR: Those are Greeks, Italians, Croats, Slovenes--Americans!

VOICES [_building_]: --And to the Republic for which it stands--

NARRATOR: Those are Rumanians, Bohemians, Russians, Latvians,

VOICES: One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for

NARRATOR: Danes, Swedes, Irish, French, Spaniards--Americans!

[_Voices continue flag-pledge_]

NARRATOR: Fumbling voices--voices with accents--with every
accent--but meaning it, meaning every word!  We, who are the test
of democracy--the litmus paper of democracy--


[_Music way up and down_]

NARRATOR: And that is all, Herr Reichschancellor. That is all.



Broadcast over the NBC Red Network, November 19, 1941.

The script was read by Brian Donlevy, the program was produced
and directed by Ned Tollinger, with music directed by Gordon


There are many days in the year that we celebrate, but this one
is wholly of our earth. Three hundred and eighteen years ago,
long before we were ever a nation, a handful of men and women who
wished to live for an idea and were willing to die for it, first
set this day apart as a day of thanks. They were neither rich nor
powerful, those men and women of Plymouth; they had bought the
very ground they stood on by the deaths of their nearest and
dearest. After three years of toil and suffering, they had made a
small settlement and planted a few cleared fields. Behind them
lay the ocean; before them, the untamed forest. They had come a
long way to stand between sea and forest; they had left all ease
and security behind them. Even so, they could not know whether
their experiment in freedom would succeed or fail; they could not
even be sure that Plymouth Colony would live through the next
winter. It is hard for us to realize that; it was what they
faced, under all their courage. Nevertheless, cut off from all
they had known, alone beyond our knowledge, they gave thanks in
humble sincerity for God's mercies and the gift of corn.

Today, one hundred and thirty million Americans keep the day they
first set apart. We all know what Thanksgiving is--it's turkey
day and pumpkin pie day--the day of the meeting of friends and
the gathering of families. It does not belong to any one creed or
stock among us, it does not honor any one great man. It is the
whole family's day--the whole people's day--the day at the turn
of the year when we can all get together, think over the past
months a little, feel a sense of harvest, a kinship with our
land. It is one of the most secure and friendly of all our
feasts. And yet it was first founded in insecurity, by men who
stood up to danger. And that spirit is still alive.

This year it is and must be a sober feast. And yet, if we know
our hearts, as a people, we can be grateful--not in vainglory or
self-satisfaction, but for essential things. Let us speak out
some of the things that are in our hearts.

We are grateful to those before us who made this country and
fought for it, who hewed it out of the wilderness and sowed it
with the wheat of freedom. We are grateful to all Americans, of
all kinds and sorts and beliefs, who stood up on their hind legs
and protested against injustice, from the first plantings till
now. We are grateful to the great men, present and past, who have
risen from our earth to lead us, and to the innumerable many
whose names are not in the histories but without whose laughter
and courage, endurance and resolution, all our history would have
been in vain.

We are grateful for our land itself--not for its material
resources or the plenty of its fields--but for its vast diversity
under the great bond of union. We are grateful for Connecticut
elm and Georgia pine, for the big stars over Texas and the bread
of the Middle West. We are grateful to little towns with common
place names where people get along with each other, not because
they are told to, but just because they believe in getting along.
That's the way we like to have it, and mean to have it. We are
grateful because we believe that all those who would confuse and
divide us with counsels of class hatred, race hatred, despair and
defeat know little of the temper of our people. We are grateful
to all the others, to every good neighbor, to each man and woman
of good will.

We are grateful to those who guard the far-flung outposts of our
nation--to the men on the lonely sea patrols, on the high patrols
of the air. To the men in the camps, to the men on the ships, to
the men of the air, to all those who keep watch and guard, we pay
our tribute today. Nor can that tribute be paid in fine words
alone. These are our own men we have summoned--it is the business
of all of us to back them with the firm resolution of a united
nation. And that shall be done.

Most of all we are grateful, under God, for the spirit that walks
abroad in this land of ours--the spirit that has made us and kept
us free. It is many years indeed since men first came here for
freedom. The democracy we cherish is the work of many years and
many men. But as those first men and women first gave thanks, in
a dark hour, for the corn that meant life to them, so let us give
thanks today--not for the little things of the easy years but for
the land we cherish, the way of life we honor, and the freedom we
shall maintain.


Broadcast over WABC and the CBS Network, Thursday, November 26,
1942, as a special Thanksgiving night program for the Office of
War Information.

The narrator was Henry Hull, the program was produced and
directed by Robert Lewis Shayon and the music composed and
conducted by Ben Ludlow.

The Honorable Claude R. Wickard, Secretary of Agriculture, took
part in the program by reading his own speech.


NARRATOR [_simply_]: To every thing there is a season--and a time
to every purpose under the heavens--a time to be born and a time
to die--a time to plant--and a time to reap--

[_Music: Sweep into hymn_]

CHORUS: [_sings_]: Come, ye thankful people, come,
                   Raise the song of harvest home.

[_Hums, and under with orchestra_]


CHORUS [_up_]: Come to God's own temple, come,
               Raise the song of harvest home.

[_Music: Segue and paint under_]

NARRATOR [_quietly and soberly_]: Thanksgiving night. It's quiet
tonight in America. But the great harvest is in.

Follow the westward sun as it sinks in the Pacific--the great harvest
is in. Follow the rising stars as they shine on Provincetown and
Plymouth and the coast where the Pilgrims first landed--the great
harvest is in. From the grain-lands of the Middle West to the black
earth of the Delta, from the cold, first springs of the Connecticut
to the valley of the San Joaquin, it is there, abundant, fruitful,
the great harvest of our land. It does not belong to one man and no
one man made it. It is the American people's--part of their flesh and
their bone and their war--the greatest harvest in all our years as a
nation. As we sit at table, today, let us remember that.


NARRATOR: Every man and woman and boy and girl who has worked and
labored for this harvest has served our country. Stand up to be

[Sound: _Stand up from chairs_]

NARRATOR: How many?

MAN: Call us six million, round about. Six million farmers. And
wives, and children.

NARRATOR: That's a pretty big family. Where are you?

MAN: I'm from Lincoln County, Nebraska.

MAN: I'm from Washington County, Maine.

WOMAN: Deaf Smith County, Texas.

BOY: R. F. D. Number Two. The nearest town's Pretty Prairie.

MAN: Borough of Stonington.

WOMAN: Roanoke.

MAN: Just ask where the tall corn grows. That's where I come

MAN: You may raise good crops where you come from. I'm not
disputing it. But you can't beat the Cumberland Valley.

WOMAN: Well, how about the Dakotas? How about them?

MAN: If you're talking about dairy-farming--Wisconsin.

MAN: Now, if you've all said your say, I'd just like to say one
or two words about California. Our climate--

NARRATOR: Just a minute--just a minute. You're all of you
right--of course. There's one sort of industry here and another
one there. But there isn't a State in the Union without farms and

[_Music: Sneak in and stay in--changing with mood_]

NARRATOR: And through war and peace they go on. From the wooden
plow to the four-row cultivator--they go on. Men must have food.
And it isn't a come-day, go-day, God-send-Sunday job to raise it.
It takes all there is of a man.

NEW ENGLAND VOICE: Don't have to tell me about that. First grant
of my land was made to Ezra Perkins. Anno Domini 1664--all down
in the township records. Well, he'd hardly cleared his land when
the Indians came and scalped him. Must have been quite a surprise
to him--would be to me. But, we're still using the spring he
first picked out--and the land's been farmed ever since. Still
stony, but we make out. Takes more than stones and scalpings to
root up New England. How about you, neighbor?

MIDWEST VOICE: My folks went out to Kansas for free soil. They
went out there in a wagon and they weren't more than well started
when the grasshoppers came. They ate every blade in the
ground--they ate everything but the clothes off your back, and
some say they tried those. But Kansas, well, she's Kansas, and my
folks stayed. Got a good farm now--you won't see a better one.
No, you can't be licked by a grasshopper. Not in Kansas.

SWEDISH VOICE: I know. It was not easy at first, in Minnesota.
It was a beautiful land, but I had to learn the new language and
the new ways. But, with years, there comes a harvest not all of
the land. My children, they are Americans, and so am I. That is
worth a great deal to me.

SOUTHERN VOICE: Well--we've seen good times and hard times down
South. We used to grow all cotton, but we're using our land a lot
better nowadays. We're raising food and livestock with our cotton
and tobacco, and we're doing right well. There's some of that
harvest that's mine.

VOICE: And mine . . .

VOICE: And mine . . .

VOICES: And mine.

[_Music: Up and out fast_]

NARRATOR: An old story? Yes, very old. A story of toil and
struggle and patient skill--the struggle of human beings with
earth and weather, with prairie and stony ground and uncleared
forest so that men should have food. A story not always
known--not always realized. Though when we first came here, we
knew. We knew that men must have food or die in their tracks. The
Pilgrims knew it, searching for food in the wilderness in bitter

PILGRIM VOICE [_music_]: This done, we marched to the place where
we had the corn formerly and digged and found the rest, of which
we were very glad--so we had in all about ten bushels which would
serve us for seed. And sure it was God's good providence that we
found this corn, for else we know not what we should have done--

NARRATOR: Just ten bushels of seed corn! But it saved the whole
Plymouth Colony. And yet--what happened, even so, in 1623? Let
William Bradford speak. . . .

[_Music: Sneak in and back_]

BRADFORD: Yet, notwithstanding all their pains and industry and
hopes of a large crop, the Lord seemed to blast and take away the
same by a great drought and great heat from the third week of May
till the middle of July, without any rain. And some of the drier
grounds were parched like withered hay. So they set apart a
solemn day of humiliation, to seek the Lord by prayer in this
great distress. And he was pleased to give them an answer. For
all morning it was clear weather and very hot, but toward evening
it began to rain, without wind or thunder or violence, which did
so revive the corn as was wonderful to see. And afterwards the
Lord sent them such seasonable showers interchanged with fair
warm weather as caused them a fruitful harvest. For which mercy,
in time convenient, they set apart a day of Thanksgiving.

[_Music: Up and continue under_]

NARRATOR: The first Thanksgiving, after the drought and the rain.
Nor was it a feast of plenty--not as we think it. The crumbs of
our plenty would have been great wealth to the Pilgrims. But, it
was a feast of purpose--a feast of the resolute, who had come
through drought and starvation and thanked God. And that purpose
went on through the years. The good land--the fertile land drew
men and women from every country in Europe to live here in peace,
like neighbors.

[_Music: Change to Yankee Doodle_]

NARRATOR: And yet, when there was a war and a revolution--

VOICE SINGING [_accompanied by fife and drum_]: Yankee Doodle
came to town,

Riding on a pony,

He stuck a feather in his hat

And called him macaroni.

MALE CHORUS: Yankee Doodle, keep it up,

Yankee Doodle Dandy--

Mind the music and the step--[_fade_]

And with the girls be handy.

NARRATOR: Of course, we all know it. But, who was Yankee Doodle?
Why, he was a farmer's boy--you can tell that from the song. He
rode into town on a farm pony. And the Yankee farmers took that
jumpy little song--and their muskets--and shot their way to
independence and freedom. But--it didn't always go so well for
Yankee Doodle. Not always, through the Revolution. Time after
time, a farmer named George Washington had to say . . .

WASHINGTON: I must represent once more to the Congress the hard
condition of my men. Once more they are without rations, except
such as may be furnished by a few friendly farmers and these
supplies are almost at an end.

A MASSACHUSETTS VOICE: A handful of weevily wheat!  A man can't
fight on that! I'm as strong for the cause of Liberty as any man.
But I'm giving up this musket and going home.

A VIRGINIA VOICE: You said that three weeks running,
Massachusetts. But you ain't made tracks for home yet.

MASSACHUSETTS VOICE: Well, this time I mean it, Virginia. A man
can't fight on with an empty belly forever!

VIRGINIA VOICE: You and I kin. We've done it before. But I wish
the home folks could know what it's like to fight starvation as
well as the soldiers. I just wish they could know--what it's

[_Music: Short set and under_]

NARRATOR: Not so pretty, is it? But it happened. Men need
food--and Washington's men starved and sickened at Valley Forge
without it. Fighting men need food--and in Lee's heroic Army of
Northern Virginia, there were men who would fight for a while and
then go home for a while to raise a crop. They had to. But--it
wasn't a good system and it can't be done today. You can't have
part-time soldiers and part-time farmers. You can't let your
fighting men go hungry. A nation at war today must produce not
only the guns and the planes but the food that will win that war.
Food is powder and shot. [_Music out_] We've been hearing about
our great harvest. Let's see where it goes. Let's go to an
embarkation point for a minute. They're loading a convoy.

[_Sound: Dock noises, rattle of cranes, etc._]

NARRATOR: We'll go on board and ask a few questions. Excuse me,
mister,--could you tell me what's in this case?

VOICE: Orange-juice concentrate. For the American Air Force. Hard
to get oranges now in a lot of the places they fly. But we ship
'em the concentrate and they say it's O. K.

NARRATOR: What about this one?

VOICE: Dried eggs. For Britain. They need 'em. You know how
they're rationed in Britain--you know what their army's doing in

NARRATOR: And this?

VOICE: Dried milk. Destination--well, I'll let you guess on that
one. Might end up in Greece, feeding hungry little children.
Might end up in North Africa with the AEF. Might end up almost
anywhere. But wherever it ends up, it'll help our side.

NARRATOR: North Africa--Britain--the Solomons--
Australia--Russia--Alaska--China--India--say, this sounds like a
pretty big job.

VOICE: You bet it's a big job. You a farmer?

NARRATOR: Well--I know some farmers.

VOICE: Well, you go back and tell them that this is about the
biggest job any farmer's ever tackled. They aren't farming their
own farms any more--they're farming the seas and the skies and
the deserts and the foreign lands. And if they could stand where
I stand and see what happens to all the things they raise--and
where it goes--they'd know the job they're doing and so would the
rest of the nation.

[_Music: Punctuate and under_]

NARRATOR: Yes, we know the job our farmers are doing. Food isn't
just food in this war. It's a weapon, one of our biggest, and if
anybody thinks the farmer isn't a fighter--well, let's see--

[_Music: Segue Army mess call_]

NARRATOR: That's the Army mess call. Mess call for our six and a
quarter million men in United States uniform all over the world.
And each American soldier eats a ton of food a year. They must
have food. All men on duty, afloat or ashore--over six million
and a quarter men. They must have food.

[_Sound: Factory whistle_]

NARRATOR: That's a factory shift going on at a munitions plant.
The men who make the shells and the guns and the planes. Twenty
million workers. And they must have food.

[Sound: _Shuffle of feet--faint, unrecognizable voices_]

NARRATOR: And those--those are hungry children. The children of the
occupied countries we mean to free and are freeing. The children
and the women and the strong men, worn down by years of hunger,
dragging listless feet toward death. And then--someday--sometime--

CHILDREN'S VOICES: The bread! The food! The good food! If you
please--if you please--

CHILD'S VOICE: My sister first--she is so very hungry--

VOICE: Milk. I have heard about milk. Is it real? Is it true?

FARM VOICE: Well, all right, kids--pitch in. Plenty more where it
came from. We're Americans. We don't like people to starve.

[_Music: Sneak in_]

VOICES: Americans! The Americans! Bread! Food!  Freedom!

[_Music: Up and tag_]

NARRATOR: Bread. Food. Freedom. They're pretty good words for
Thanksgiving Day. They're pretty good weapons too.

AMERICAN WOMAN'S VOICE [_angry_]: Well, it all sounds very
pretty, I'm sure. But what about me? Why, I had to go to four
stores--actually four stores--before I could get my favorite
brand of coffee. And my butcher was all out of French lamp chops.
It's disgraceful!

NARRATOR [_chuckling_]: Lady, coffee is one of the few things we
don't raise ourselves . . . and it takes ships to get coffee
here. We have other uses for most of our ships. And as for your
French lamb chops--well, you'll get them. But maybe not every day
and maybe not as many as you want till the war's over. But you
won't have to live on turnips and horsemeat--you won't have to
stand in line for hours for a piece of spoiled fish--

WOMAN: Why, I should say not! Why, that would kill me!

NARRATOR [_quietly_]: It has killed--quite a good many people in
Europe. But it won't kill you. There'll be rationing and more
rationing. There'll be shortages, here and there, at various
times. The fighting men have to come first. But you'll be with
us till the end of the war--a little thinner, maybe, and just as
angry. You're lucky.

WOMAN: Lucky?

NARRATOR: I said--lucky. The Nazis' weapon is hunger. They've
used it again and again. They proclaimed it only last October
third at the Sportspalast in Berlin when Hermann Goering--fat
Hermann who eats a dozen lobsters at a sitting got up and said--

GOERING: Aber wenn durch Feindeassnahmen Schwierigkeiten
entstehen sollten, dann sollen alle wissen: Wenn es Hunger geben
wird, dann nicht in Deutschland. Die Deutschen werden die letzten
sein, die zu leiden haben.

[_Sound: Nazi crowd shouting "Sieg Heil"_]

NARRATOR: Hear him? He's saying--the rest of Europe may starve,
but Germany shall eat. He's saying it to his slaves--the cheering
slaves of the Nazi party. And now he's getting kittenish--listen
. . .

GOERING [_chuckles_]: Nun, in den besetzten Gebieten kaufen die
meisten Leute ihre Nahrungsmittle sowieso im Schleichhandel.

[_Sound: Hearty laughter of German crowd_]

NARRATOR: What was that? Oh--he was saying--after all, in the
occupied countries, most of the people buy their food at the
black market anyway. The black market--where an egg, if you can
get it, costs more than a pair of shoes and where people risk
their lives for a handful of dried beans. And his cheering
slaves all laughed--that was the big joke. Wonder what the
Italians thought about that--the Italians who liked their
spaghetti and don't get it any more. Wonder what the Quislings
thought--and the Lavals--and the grim-faced men who wait in
hiding for the tocsin of revolt to sound. But--that was Hermann
Goering--number two Nazi--October 4, 1942. Write it down.
Remember it.

[_Music: Set American theme and paint under_]

NARRATOR: Just a day before, in Tylertown, Mississippi, there was
another kind of meeting. Didn't get so very much attention except
from the people who were there. But out of the piny woods and the
red-clay acres, the farmers came--Negroes and whites, men and
women, 4-H Clubs, New Farmers, everybody. They brought their
fried chicken and their doughnuts and they heard our Secretary of
Agriculture, Claude Wickard, speak.

[_Music out_]

No--nobody made them come--they weren't driven there by gun
butts. But they came to give thanks for the harvest of Walthall
County, Mississippi--619 per cent more truck crops than last
year--110 per cent more eggs and the rest of their record. And
Wickard said:

WICKARD: American farm families are fighting for freedom, using
food as a weapon. They can look back with satisfaction on what
they have accomplished. Warehouses and granaries would not now be
filled unless farmers had worked this season from sunup to
sundown. The women and girls of farm families have done men's
work in the fields and with livestock after their work in the
home was done. And we are thankful to feed both the men of the
United States who are fighting our battles and the men and women
behind the lines who are backing up our fighting men . . .

What we did this year was only a beginning. Each month our Army
and Navy need more food, our allies turn to us for more. And
every month more men leave the farm to go to war or to jobs in
city factories. Every month the supplies we need in farming grow
harder to get. Next year farmers will have more to do and less to
do it with. We have much need for future courage and endurance.
All of the nation's farmers join with you in gratitude for the
blessing of the past year, for the abundance of the harvest.
They join with you in the resolve never to let up in the battle
of production. The road ahead for farmers is long and difficult
but it is the only road that leads to victory.

NARRATOR: No--you needn't even applaud. Nobody has to applaud in
this country. Nobody has to say "Sieg Heil!" But--there's the

GOERING [_echo_]: Wenn es hunger geben wird, dann nicht in

NARRATOR: In Berlin--it's Goering saying the rest of Europe may
starve--but Germany shall eat. In American--it's the farmer
saying. . . .

FARM VOICE: Food for our men . . . for our allies . . . for the
starving and the oppressed . . . food for freedom!

NARRATOR: Their weapon--hunger. Our weapon--food. And not just
food in a glut-unplanned production--tearing up the buffalo grass
to sow wheat and start another dust bowl--planting Victory
gardens hit or miss without thought to the future. Our food
production was planned as our military effort was planned. We did
it this way.

ADMINIS. VOICE: Three months before Pearl Harbor, the Food for
Freedom goals were announced. They called for the greatest farm
output in history. After Pearl Harbor they were raised higher.
And because we were ready, we are getting all-out production of
the war crops we need. Today, we have selective service in
crops. We produce according to the needs of our fighting men,
allies, and civilians on the home front. We are cashing in on a
decade of better care of our soil. And this year, farmers are
harvesting far more than we have produced in any other year. That
is the record.

NARRATOR: It had to be planned out ahead. Had to be because you
can't hurry nature. You can cut down your shipbuilding time to
less than five days, but it still takes months to farrow a pig
and raise him to market and two years to raise a dairy cow. You
can work inside a factory no matter how bad the weather is, but
hail and drought and storm can ruin any crop. No, the government
planned ahead and set goals for the farmers. It said:

ADMINIS. VOICE: We're going to need more than 4 billion dozen
eggs. Can you produce them?


ADMINIS. VOICE: And 10 1/2 million more hogs? How about that?


ADMINIS. VOICE: Peanuts--we need the oil and the cake--3 million
acres more of peanuts than last year.

FARM VOICE: We'll plant 'em.

ADMINIS. VOICE: Soybeans--need 'em for oil. Need 'em for a dozen
uses. Need 9 million acres--half again as many as last year.

FARM VOICE: Never had much to do with soybeans, but I hear they
can be raised.

ADMINIS. VOICE [_a little incredulously_]: And suppose we
said--enough milk to float all the navies of the United Nations?
Enough cheese to pave the Lincoln Highway?

FARM VOICE: We're Americans, aren't we? Let's go.

[_Sound: Slap of reins on back of a mule_]

VOICE: Giddyap, mule, we're breaking ground.

[_Sound: Grind of tractor_]

VOICE: Just gimme a hand with that tractor, Bill. Got to make
that quota. Got to hustle.

[_Sound: Squeal of pig. Barnyard_]

VOICE: Come on, you little pig. You got to eat and grow fat. The
soldiers like ham and bacon.

[_Sound: Moo of cow_]

VOICE: Soo, boss. Give down. You can't go dry on Uncle Sam.

VOICE: Five brood sows and thirty-two pigs.

VOICE: Two hundred heavy-breed chicks.

VOICE: Sixty acres of barley.

FARM VOICE: Strike it up on your fiddle, Billy. Strike it up for
Woodville, California.

[_Music: Key chords and into song_]

VOICE [_singing_]: Troopers need truck man, scratch that ground
Get your hands in a stalk and your back bowed down.

CHORUS: Ain't got a rifle, only got a hoe
But will we let the troops starve? No, chile, no!

VOICE: Get your back bowed down so the folks can say
He bowed his back for the U. S. A.

CHORUS: Scrouge your hands raw now--hide and all--
Won't need 'em no way till next fall.

VOICE: Ain't got a rifle, ain't got a gun,
But I'll break my back till this war gets won.

CHORUS: Hack at that Axis! Use your hoe!
Gonna let the troops starve? No, chile, no!

[_Music: Pick up orchestra and reprise in bg and paint_]

NARRATOR: And that was the way they went about it--from the
migrant workers in Woodville Camp to all the other farmers
through the length and breadth of the nation. And the total farm
goal was met--and many of the crop goals were exceeded. We can't
show you all of it. We can't show, you the spring rains and the
summer heat and the day that starts with sunup and never gets
done till the evening chores are done. We can't show you the
woman's side of it--the canning and the preserving and the ache
in the back at the end of the day. We can't show you the quiet
war of six million sunburnt Americans, fighting for the land and
with the land--the war that never gets in the communiqués but the
very backbone of our war. We can't make you hear corn grow--we
can't make you hear the young wheat sucking in the rain. We can't
even give you a sound effect for a soybean.

[_Music: out_]


NARRATOR: What's that?

SOUND EFFECTS MAN: We can too give a sound effect for a soybean.

NARRATOR: All right--all right--let's hear it.

SOUND EFFECTS MAN: Hold on to your hats. Here she goes.

[_Sound: Rattle of antitank fire_]

NARRATOR: You mean to tell me that's what a soybean sounds like?

SOUND EFFECTS MAN: Sure. Two pounds of soybean oil make enough
glycerin to fire five antitank shells. Want to hear what a bale
of wool sounds like?

[_Sound: Boom of gun_]

NARRATOR: But that's an eighty-millimeter gun!

SOUND EFFECTS MAN: Right. And as much wool goes into an
eighty-millimeter gun mount as goes into a woman's skirt. And

[_Sound: Bomb explosion_]

SOUND EFFECTS MAN: Castor-oil bean. Use the oil as a binder for
bombs. Sorry I can't show you more but I'm working on a new sound
effect. Got to get back to it.

NARRATOR: What's that?

SOUND EFFECTS MAN: Hitler's last squeal when he hears the Yanks
have landed. Got to hurry on that one. So long.

NARRATOR [_dazed_]: So long.

[_Music: Punctuate and resolve and continue under_]

NARRATOR: Well, that was quite a little interruption. But he's
right. A farm today is a munitions factory too. The boy who
enlists on a farm enlists in an army. The farmer who does his
work well is part of an army. No matter how far away he is from
the front line, he's backing up that front line. No matter what
is said about him by those who do not know him--no matter how
much he is misrepresented by petty and selfish politicians and
blocs--no matter how he is scarified by men who have never
hardened their hands by a day's work in the field and would break
their backs if they had to pitch hay for an hour. He is still a
soldier of the earth. The man of whom Jefferson said, "Surely
those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God"--of
whom Webster said: "When tillage begins, other arts follow. The
farmers are the founders of human civilization." They will not
fail and are not failing this nation.

[_Music out_]

They have met their huge quotas for this year with faith and good
will. Next year they will be called upon for even more. And that

A VOICE: It means work and sweat. We know that. It means doing
without and making other things do. Parity prices? All
right--that's up to the government. But, parity prices or
not--we're farmers. We'll do our share.

A VOICE: Farm labor's scarce now--and getting scarcer. Sure, our
boys want to enlist. And lots of them have. But, we've got to
keep some on the farm or you won't have your crops.

A VOICE: Farm machinery--well, we can patch and make do. We're
willing. Sure, we'd like repairs . . . But repairs or not, we'll
go on. Because, if Hitler wins that's the end of my farm and me.

A VOICE: Sure. We know skunks when we see them--and we know
weasels. We know what to do with a dog when he slobbers in the
dog days and we know just where to nail up the hides of vermin.

A VOICE: Those Russian farmers--had to burn their standing wheat.
Must have been hard to do that. But I know how they felt.

A VOICE: I hear from my cousin in the old country. I hear how
they steal his stock and laugh in his face. We're against you,
Mr. Hitler--and we're staying against you.

VOICE: We're against you, Mr. Tojo--and all your smart little
Zeros that had to swipe other folks' land and bomb them out of
their homes. I heard about you from my nephew ... I know what he

[_Music: Sneak in and faint under_]

FARM VOICE: We're against you all, you Axis--against you for life
or death. We're free men here in this country and we mean to stay
free. We've got good neighbors here and we mean to keep them.
We're not waving banners and parading--you don't get much time to
parade when you work a farm. But we're buying war bonds and
collecting scrap, from the kids' old rubber dolly to the iron out
in the barn. And outside that and on top of it, we're raising the
food to sink you and swamp you and finish you--the corn and the
hogs, the fruit and the cotton and the wheat and everything that
grows. We're going to take a gang plow and plow your New Order
under--we're going to take your planned hunger and drown it in
Jersey milk. And when we've done it, maybe, the earth will be
decent again. . . . But, we're in for the duration and don't you
forget it--and we're six million Americans and the country
started with us. We give thanks today, for the men who are
fighting for us--a lot of them came from our farms. We give
thanks for the land we work and the crops that grow from that
land. We give thanks for the stock and the animals--they aren't
human though sometimes you might think so--but they're part of
the farm and the life, so I guess we won't leave them out. But,
most of all we give thanks for the biggest crop we raise
here--and that crop's name is freedom.

[_Music: Up and out_]

Well, that's my speech for Thanksgiving Day. You got something to
say, mother?

[_Music: Sneak in and paint under_]

FARM WOMAN: I've got just this to say. When I married a farmer I
married good times and bad times. I married hailstorms and
drought and the worry about the loan and the work that has to be
done no matter how tired you feel. It hasn't always been easy and
it isn't too easy now. Times enough--I've wanted to sit down and
rest, like a picture in a magazine. But I don't care. I'm part of
this country--me and millions of women like me--and we don't get
medals for it, though one time I did get a blue ribbon for my
watermelon preserve. As the text says, we know what our hands
have done. And we mean to keep on doing it. At first I didn't
hardly see how I could be grateful this Thanksgiving--with the
war and everything and our eldest boy in the Navy. He wanted to
go and he did, but I keep remembering. But I thought it all over
to myself, and I am grateful to Almighty God that this country
lives and grows. I'm grateful to foreign friends--friends I'll
never see in my life--who are fighting with us and for us. I
wouldn't even be able to talk some of their languages but I'm
grateful just the same. I'm grateful for us getting united and
keeping united--that's the way we ought to be. I'm grateful we
could raise what we've raised-- And I know what went into it--and
we'll keep on. For my house and what we've got, for my children
and what they are, for the neighbors and friends that lend a hand
in trouble, and for what I see every day--the land and its
growing . . . I'm grateful.

[_Music: Up and out_]

Will you ask the blessing, father?

FARM VOICE: Good Lord, bless this food and us to thy service.

FARM WOMAN: Good Lord, bless and defend this country and us to
its service.

MAN: Amen.

WOMAN: Amen.

ALL: Amen.

NARRATOR: And so say we all. Amen!

[_Music: Sweep up and into song with chorus_]

CHORUS [_singing_]: Come, ye thankful people, come,

Raise the song of harvest home;

All is safely gathered in,

Ere the winter storms begin;

God, our Maker doth provide

For our wants to be supplied;

Come to God's own temple, come,

Raise the song of harvest home.

[_Music and chorus to curtain and out_]



Broadcast under the auspices of the Council on Books in Wartime
and the Writers' War Board, on Monday evening, May 11, 1942, over
the NEC Network.

The production was under the direction of Lester O'Keefe; special
music composed by Tom Bennett, and the orchestra under the
direction of Josef Stopak.


[_Program opens with a rush of Fire-Music, swelling and then
subsiding; as music subsides, a heavy, ominous bell tolls_ ONE]

VOICES [_Tense and whispering_] One!

BELL [_Tolls_]


BELL [_Tolls_]


[_Fire-Music Up and Down_]

BELL [_Louder and quicker_]

VOICES [_Quicker_] Seven!

BELL [_Tolls_]


BELL [_Tolls_]



NARRATOR: Nine! Nine iron years of terror and evil!
Nine years since a fire was lighted in a public square, in Berlin.
Nine years since the burning of the books! Do you remember?
Write it down in your calendars, May 10, 1933,
And write it down in red by the light of fire.
  [_Crackle of flames, not too big_]
These are people who work by fire.
The Reichstag went up in flames that February
And in March they got their majority and moved in,
The storm-troopers, the heroes of the beer-hall Putsch,
The boys with a taste for beatings and executions,
The limping doctor, the swollen ex-Army pilot,
Gangster and bravo, hoodlum and trigger-man,
Led by the screaming voice that is war and hate,
Moved in on Germany like a cloud of locusts,
Having planned and plotted for long.
They strangled the German Republic and moved in.
  [_Crackle of flames_]
--And people said, "Well, that's interesting, isn't it?"
"Intéressant, n'est-ce pas?"
"My dear fellow, this fellow Hitler, quite extrord'nary.
Wonder what the beggar's up to?"

                                     Or people said,
"I see by the papers they had an election in Germany.
Seem to have lots of elections over there.
Say, what do you know about this bank-holiday, Joe?
If you need some cash, I've got a couple of bucks,
But the banks are bound to reopen."

That was March fifth. They burned the books May tenth.

Why bother about the books?
Why bother to go back to that fateful year,
Year that prepared the blood-purge and the wars,
The death of Austria, the trick of Munich,
The bombers over the defenseless towns,
And all we know and all that must be fought
Here, now and always till the score is paid
And from its grim recital pick one instance
Of calculated wrong?
A book's a book. It's paper, ink and print.
If you stab it, it won't bleed.
If you beat if, it won't bruise.
If you burn it, it won't scream.
  [_Crackle of flames_]
Burn a few books--burn hundreds--burn a million--
What difference does that make?

VOICE OF SCHILLER [_firm, masculine and thoughtful_]:
It does to me.
Excuse me, sir--my name is Friedrich Schiller,
A name once not unknown in Germany,
One of the glories, so they said, of Germany,
A Germany these robbers never knew.
Over a century and a half ago
I spoke and wrote of freedom.
I spoke against oppressors and dictators.
I spoke for every man who lifts his head
And will not bow to tyrants.
And, though I died, my poems and plays spoke on
In every tongue, in every land for freedom,
For that's what books can do.
And now, today, in the land where I was born--

NAZI VOICE: The play, _William Tell_, by Friedrich Schiller shall
no longer be performed on the stage. It glorifies a dangerous and
unseemly spirit of revolt against conquerors. It shall no longer
be performed on the German stage. This is an order!

NARRATOR: That's what they do. That's what they do to the mind.
That's what they do to the books of their own great dead.
That's how they foul the present and the past,
Shut the dead mouth so that it cannot speak
Because it spoke far too well.
Now, here's another ghost,
Pale, frail, satirical, a mocking spirit,
But with the light of freedom in his eyes.
Your name, brave ghost?

HEINE'S VOICE [_sharp and humorous_]: My name? It's Heinrich Heine.
Born to much sorrow, born to be a man.
Out of my laughter and my heart's despair,
I made my little songs--such simple songs
A child could understand them--and grown men
Remember them and love them all their lives.
Some were so funny! Some were pitiful.
And some were trumpet calls for liberty,
For, though I couldn't fight, I was a fighter,
And when my time had come to die, I said
After long torment in my mattress-grave,
"Bury me with a sword upon my coffin
For I have been a soldier of humanity!"

NARRATOR: A soldier of humanity
And you deserved that name,
But now--today--what happens to your songs?

HEINE: Well--there was one about a lorelei,
Just a small song. It went--let's see--like this--
  [_He hums the first bars of "The Lorelei" to
   faint background music_]
You've heard it, maybe? Many people sing it.
They sang it many years along the Rhine.
They sing it still.


HEINE: Oh, yes. That one of mine they--haven't burned.
That would be just a little difficult.
Too many Germans know the words by heart.
So, with totalitarian courtesy,
They've kept the song--and blotted out my name.
You see--I was a Jew.

NAZI VOICE: New editions of the works of the Jew, Heinrich Heine,
are not desirable. In all textbooks and anthologies where the
words of the song "The Lorelei" appear, the name of the Jew,
Heine, shall be omitted and the author given as "Author Unknown."

HEINE [_mocking_]: Author well-known--since 1828. Author
unknown--since 1933.

NARRATOR: That's what they do to soldiers of humanity!
That's how they rob the soldier of his sword,
The dead man of the one thing he may keep,
His name--his very name!
Don't think that's all.
Don't think it's just the singers and the poets!
Light the flames--light the flames--and hear them roar!
See what the flames consume!
  [_Fire-Music in. Tramp of feet. Crackle of flames_]
They're coming now--the men with the tramping feet,
The hard-faced boys with the truncheons--the new order!
The flames they've lighted howl and leap in the square.
You can't set fire to a Reichstag every day,
But the pyre that they light today shall fling its shadows
In flame and shadow over the whole round world.
Hear them tramp! They're coming! They bring the books to the fire!

NAZI VOICE: The books of the Jew, Albert Einstein--to the flames!


[_Noise of flames_]

NARRATOR: Einstein, the scientist,
Who thought in universes.
Einstein, the man we honor in our land.

NAZI VOICE: To the flames with him--to the flames!

VOICES: Sieg Heil!

NAZI VOICE: The books of Sigmund Freud--to the flames!

[_Noise of flames_]

NARRATOR: Freud, prober of the riddles of man's mind,
World-known, world famous.

[_Noise of flames_]

NAZI VOICE: To the flames--the flames!
Burn them--we don't want thought--we don't want mind.
We want one will, one leader and one folk!

HEINE'S VOICE [_cutting in_]: One vast, inexorable stupidity!

NAZI VOICE: Who said that? Gag him--burn him--to the flames!
To the flames with Heinrich Mann and Thomas Mann,
Gorki the Russian, Schnitzler the Austrian,
Hemingway, Dreiser, the Americans,
And now, to the flames with this!

VOICES: Sieg Heil!

[_Noise of flames_]

NARRATOR: That is the Bible. Would you burn God's word?

NAZI VOICE: We need no Bible but the words of the Leader.
We have no god except the German gods.
We have the tanks, the guns, the bombs, the planes
And that shall be enough!

VOICES: Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!

HEINE'S VOICE: And yet there shall be weeping for this burning,
Weeping throughout your land.
The weeping of poor women and old men
Who loved and trusted in the word of God
And now are worse than homeless in your world
For you have taken their last failing hope,
The promise of their Father and their Lord.

NAZI VOICE: How dare you speak?
Exile and Jew, how dare you speak to us?

HEINE: I speak for all humanity in chains,
Exile, Jew, Christian--for the prison-camps,
And those who dwell in them and bide their time--
For the dishonored, for the dispossessed,
For those you have ground like wheat.
I speak for every honest man of God,
Driven from his own pulpit, by your might,
And for those who saw that happen--and remember it.
I speak for the dark earth and the mute voices
And yet I speak humanity unbound.

NAZI VOICE: You? You are just a singer, A worthless singer!

HEINE: True.
And that is why I speak, because I know,
Being a singer, what moves every heart.
I speak with little barbs and little songs
So simple any child can understand
Just what they say--and yet so memorable
Once you have heard them you will not forget them
But they will stay within your memory,
Sweet as first love, salt as the tears of man,
Free as the winds of heaven in the sky.
And you do well to try to shut my mouth
For, while one little song of mine remains,
All that you hate and would destroy remains,
Humor and grace and human tenderness,
Laughter and mockery and the bare sword,
The sword I wanted on my lonely coffin,
The sword of liberty.

NAZI VOICE: We'll shut your mouth!
We'll find you in the graveyard where you lie,
Dig up your rotten bones and scatter them
Till there is nobody in all the world
Who's heard of Heinrich Heine!

HEINE [_mocking_]: Dig deep! Dig well!
Scatter my dust, break up my burial stone,
Erase my name with all your thoroughness,
Your lumbering, fat-headed, thoroughness,
Smelling of beer and bombs!
And yet, while there's a book, there will be Heine!
There will be Heine, laughing at you still,
Laughing with all the free--with all the free!

[_His voice fades. Music_]

There will be Heine. There will be all those
Whose words lift up man's heart.
But only if we choose.
This battle is not just a battle of lands,
A war of conquest, a balance-of-power war.
It is a battle for the mind of man
Not only for his body. It will decide
What you and you and you can think and say,
Plan, dream, and hope for in your inmost minds
For the next thousand years.
Decide whether man goes forward towards the light,
Stumbling and striving, clumsy--but a man--
Or back to the dark ages, the dark gods,
The old barbaric forest that is fear.
Books are not men, and yet they are alive.
They are man's memory and his aspiration,
The link between his present and his past,
The tools he builds with, all the hoarded thoughts,
Winnowed and sifted from a million minds,
Living and dead to guide him on his way.
Suppose it happened here.
Suppose the books were burned here.
This is a school, somewhere in America.
This is the kind of school we've always had,
Argued about, paid taxes for, kept on with,
Because we want our kids to know some things.
Suppose it happened here.

[_Typical school bell buzzing. Shuffle of feet, buzz of voices_]
[_Bell stops_]


[_Noise of class settling down_]

MISS WINSLOW: This morning we are going to discuss some of the
basic American ideas on which our nation was founded--freedom,
tolerance, liberty under law. To start the discussion, I am going
to ask Joe Barnes to recite the Gettysburg Address to us. Do you
think you can do that without looking at your book too much, Joe?

JOE BARNES [_an adolescent voice_]: I--I guess so, Miss Winslow.
Studied it last night.

MISS WINSLOW: Very well, Joe. You may begin.

JOE BARNES: The Gettysburg Address. By Abraham Lincoln.
"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal."


JOE BARNES [_continuing uncertainly_]: Now we are engaged--we are

NAZI VOICE: Stop! The words of the Gettysburg Address can no
longer be studied in any school of our glorious new order!

[_Rustle and protesting murmur from class_]

MISS WINSLOW: But those are the words of Lincoln!

JOE BARNES: But Miss Winslow told me--

NAZI VOICE: Miss Winslow is no longer your teacher. I am your
teacher. Attention!

[_Rustle of class_]

When I give the command, you will rise and bring your textbooks
to my desk. All this nonsense of freedom and tolerance--that is
finished. All this nonsense of men being equal--that is finished.
We shall give you new textbooks. The old ones will be burned in
the schoolyard. Are there any questions?


NAZI VOICE: Good. The new order does not like questions.

MISS WINSLOW: I protest! This is infamous! You can't know what
you're doing! I have taught here for twenty years!

NAZI VOICE: So I understand. That is a long time, Miss
Winslow--too long. You deserve a long rest. We'll see you get it.
No, you needn't bother to say goodbye to your students. Guards!
Take the woman away!

[_Music up and down_]

NARRATOR: Impossible? Fantastic? Sounds that way.
Ask the teachers and books of occupied France,
France, that loved letters--France, once the light of Europe--
Read the list of books the French--can't read any more.
What sort of books?
Well, there are all kinds, of course, from detective stories
To the life of a great French queen. But here, for instance,
Is a history of Poland--

NAZI VOICE: Suppressed.

NARRATOR: Why? Well, according to the New Order,
Poland has no history.

NAZI VOICE: Poland has no history.

NARRATOR: And here,
_French History for Secondary Schools,
History of France, History of France and Europe,
Contemporary Europe, Legends and Fables of
France for Children--_

NAZI VOICE: Suppressed. Withdrawn. On the blacklist.

NARRATOR: But these are not guns or daggers
Stored up against revolt. They're the commonplace
Textbooks, thumbed by a thousand schoolboy fingers,
Inkspotted, dogeared, drowsed above in classrooms,
Familiar and dull and mild.
They must be harmless enough.

NAZI VOICE: They are not harmless. We know what we are doing.

NARRATOR: Yes. They know what they are doing.
They know, if you take the children of a country
And teach them nothing but lies about the world,
Give them no chance for argument or questions,
Give them no books that show another side,
No word of all the words that speak for freedom,
The man who grows from the child will believe the lies
And never hear of the truth.

It's a simple plan,
As simple and efficient as arsenic.
Just rewrite all of the books to suit yourself
And the rest will follow in time--the beatings and burnings,
The massed, mechanical might and the metal men.
Would you like a sample of American history
Nazi style? Can you stand it? You'd better know
What it would be like for your children and their children.
You heard Joe Barnes give the Gettysburg Address.
This is what he'd be like if he'd never heard it
Or anything like it, ever--if all his books
Were the textbooks of the New Order
If our schoolbooks wore swastikas.

Come in Joe, will you?
Looks different in his brown shirt, doesn't he?
Can you tell us about American history, Joe?
Some--names--and dates--and people--

JOE BARNES [_in a mechanical, sullen voice_]: American history
dates from the foundation of the New Order.

NARRATOR: Nothing before that?

JOE BARNES: Nothing important.

NARRATOR: Well, come, Joe, there must have been one or two things
before that.

JOE BARNES: Nothing important.

NARRATOR: After all, for instance, the discovery of America. That
was fairly important. Do you know anything about that?

JOE BARNES: Yes. That is in my book. [_Reciting mechanically_]
America was discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, an
honorary Aryan.

NARRATOR: An honorary Aryan? I always thought he was an Italian.

JOE BARNES: That was before the New Order. He is now an honorary
Aryan of the second class--like Mussolini and Hirohito.

NARRATOR: I wonder how he likes that. However--after Columbus--

JOE BARNES: There came the New Order.

NARRATOR: But weren't there just a few things in between?  Wasn't
there something called the Declaration of Independence?

JOE BARNES [_scornfully_]: Oh--that! Yes, there was that. But
it was all wrong. It said everyone was entitled to life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. That was all wrong.

NARRATOR: Who wrote it?

JOE BARNES: It is unimportant who wrote it. It is not in my book.

NARRATOR: Didn't you ever hear of a man named Thomas Jefferson?

JOE BARNES: Thomas Jefferson? No. There is no such man in my

NARRATOR: Or George Washington?

JOE BARNES: Yes, he was a general. But not a very good one. He
was defeated by German might at the battle of Trenton. Afterwards
he foolishly became President of the United States instead of
ruling his country with a strong, mailed fist.

NARRATOR: But maybe he didn't believe in ruling people with a
strong, mailed fist.

JOE BARNES [_impatiently_]: He may have had some such
old-fashioned, sentimental ideas. That is why he is unimportant.
The man to study in his period is Benedict Arnold--a man much
ahead of his time.

NARRATOR: I always thought Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his

JOE BARNES: Traitor? What nonsense! He sensibly tried to
collaborate with a stronger power in order to save his countrymen
from the horrors of democracy and revolution. He is a very
honorary Aryan of the first class, with star. We have many
honorary Aryans just like Benedict Arnold.

NARRATOR: I wouldn't be a bit surprised. And--just one last
question, Joe.

JOE BARNES: Yes. But hurry, please. I must attend a Strength
Through Joy meeting--and it is necessary for me to clean my
pistol, first.

NARRATOR: Did you ever hear of a man who said "Government of the
people, by the people, for the people?"

JOE BARNES [_violently and fearfully_]: Certainly not! Of course
not! It's a lie! You've been spying on me! My father did have the
book but I never saw it! It's a long while ago and the teacher
has been sent away! I know nothing about Abraham Linc----

[_Music up and down_]

NARRATOR: That's it. That's how they work. That's what they do
to kids. That's the way they'd like to work here.

NAZI VOICE: That's it, my friend. You see, we can destroy
Houses with bombs and people with starvation,
Outflank defensive lines and tramp ahead.
We can destroy the spirit of a nation
With poisoned doubts and fears,
Erase its history, blot out its past,
Sully its famous names and substitute
Our words for all the words of liberty.
But, while there is a single man alive,
Hidden or starving, who somehow remembers
The vows of freedom, the undying words
That spoke for man's free mind,
Though they were said a thousand years ago,
Our conquest is not perfect.

They are terrible,
These immaterial and airy words,
Sharp as edged swords, infectious as the plague.
They travel silently from mind to mind,
Leaving no trace. They live in quiet books
You hardly would suspect unless our leader
Had wisely warned us of them. They hide and creep
In jokes and catchwords under our own noses,
In dots and dashes, in a bar of music.
  [_V motif in music_]
And, worse than all,
Within the silent eyes of hungry men,
Waiting their time, waiting their hungry time.
That's why they must be killed.
That's why we burn the books. That's why we burn
All knowledge, all the recollected thought
Gathered in patience through three thousand years
Of civilization. That knowledge is man's brain
And till we've taken an electric wire
And burned the brain cells from his very brain
So he will be a dumb and gaping slave,
We cannot win. And still we mean to win!
Get the fire ready! Bring the books to the fire!

[_Fire-Music, fading into the tolling of a great bell_]

NARRATOR: Nine years ago.

[BELL _tolls_]

NARRATOR: Nine years ago in Berlin.

[BELL _tolls_]

NARRATOR: Nine years ago in a public square in Berlin.

[BELL _tolls_]

NARRATOR: They burned the books and that was the beginning.
We didn't know it then. We know it now.
Hear the books burn.

[Sound _of flames_]

VOICES: Einstein--to the fire!
Mann--Toller--Helen Keller--to the fire!
Old Testament and New--to the fire--to the fire!

[_Fire-Music. Flames. Bell_]

NARRATOR: This is in memory. This is in remembrance.
This is for all the lies that have been told.
The innocent blood, the blood that cries from the ground,
Rise up and speak, you voices!
Voices of dead and living, past and present,
Voices of gagged men, whispering through sore lips,
Voices of children, robbed of their small songs,
Strong voices, chanting of the rights of man,
Rebel and fighter, men of the free heart,
We, too, shall build a fire, though not in fear,
Revenge or barren hate, but such a great
And cleansing fire it shall leap through the world
Like leaping flame!

Freedom to speak and pray,
Freedom from want, and fear, freedom for all;
Freedom of thought, freedom of man's bold mind!
Who marches with us?

SCHILLER: I am Friedrich Schiller
And I march with you in the cause of man.

HEINE: I am the soldier of humanity,
The mocking smile upon the face of Time
That men called Heine. And I march with you.

AN ENGLISH VOICE: My name is Milton. I am old and blind.
I knew oppression and defeat and scorn
And the high justice of eternal God,
Paradise lost and paradise regained,
And I march with you.

AN IRISH VOICE: My name is Jonathan Swift,
Dean of St. Patrick's, scourge of knaves and fools,
Though bitter indignation
Tore at my heart and cracked it till it broke,
I never had a patient mind for tyrants,
And I march with you.

AN AMERICAN VOICE: I hailed my sunburnt children in their youth,
Pioneers, pioneers!
I told them Walt would back them to the end.
I said they should be free. I sang democracy,
The new word, the new meaning, the bright day,
And I march with you!

FRENCH VOICE: The miserable shall be lifted up.
The tyrants all cast down.

SECOND ENGLISH VOICE: The Parliament of Man, the Federation of
the world.

SECOND AMERICAN VOICE: Well, maybe that'll take a while to grow
(My name's Sam Clemens.)
But Pudd'nhead Wilson says
"Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education."
And so we might start in.
About this business, now.
I may have made a living, cracking jokes,
But one thing I did hate was cruelty.
One thing I did dislike was pompous fools
Treading on decent people. Count me in.

NARRATOR: Milton and Whitman, Tennyson and Swift,
Mark Twain and Hugo--every one who wrote
With a free pen in words of living fire,
From Plato, dreaming of his bright Republic,
To every exile walking in our streets,
Exiled for truth and faith.
And all of ours, all of our own today,
All those who speak for freedom.
These are our voices. These shall light our fire.
Light the bright candle that shall not be quenched,
That never has been quenched in all man's years
Although all darkness and all tyranny
Have tried to quench it.

Call the roll of those
Who tried to quench it!

A COLD, ECHOING VOICE: Darius, the Persian. Darius, the Great

NARRATOR: Where is Darius?

COLD VOICE: Dead. Forgotten and dead.

COLD VOICE: Attila the Hun. Attila, devourer of peoples.

NARRATOR: Where is Attila?

COLD VOICE: Bones. Forgotten bones.

COLD VOICE: Alaric the Goth. Alaric, destroyer of Rome.

NARRATOR: Where is Alaric?

COLD VOICE: Dust. Forgotten dust.

NARRATOR: Adolf Hitler, born April 20, 1889.


NARRATOR: Adolf Hitler, burner of books.


NARRATOR: Adolf Hitler, destroyer of thought.


[BELL _tolls_]

VOICES: Adolf Hitler, born 1889.

VOICES: Died. Died. Died. Died. Died.

NARRATOR: We are waiting, Adolf Hitler.

The books are waiting, Adolf Hitler.

The fire is waiting, Adolf Hitler.

The Lord God of Hosts is waiting, Adolf Hitler.

[_Music up to climax_]



Broadcast on the Cavalcade of America, NEC Red Network, December
18, 1940.

Raymond Massey played The Border Voice.

The program was directed by Homer Fickett, and the original
musical score was composed by Don Voorhees.


THE BORDER VOICE: All over the world, there are borders between
countries. They may be rivers or mountains--they may be nothing
more than lines on a map. But, in time of war, they are ravaged
land--No Man's Land. And, in time of peace, the guns still look
at each other. Between the wars, the grass grows back again, but
sometimes it doesn't grow for long. And there are always

But from New Brunswick to Puget Sound there runs a border between
two great nations of proud people, individual people, people with
their own customs and beliefs and ways, and that border has not
one fort, not one ship of battle, not one hidden or usable gun.
There is a lone cannon. And they point it out to tourists as a
memory of the past. The cannon is rusted now and covered with

The little boys on both sides of the border climb over it and are
not afraid. And there are the voices of people talking across the
border--voices like Bill Carter. He was born in Chicago.

BILL CARTER: Yeah, I lived in the States until 1916. Then I
enlisted over the border. Told the recruiting sergeant I was from
Montreal, but I guess he knew where I came from. They used to
call me the Yank. I was wounded and gassed but my girl married me
just the same. Now we're living in Vancouver and I've got a nice
little business there.

THE BORDER VOICE: People--people. All through the years, millions
of people both sides of the border. Take Sally Forbes. Sally came
from North Dakota. They married young out there in the 70's, and
Sally was like the others. She was only sixteen when she married
Randall Forbes.

SALLY FORBES: Randall! Always said I snatched him
bald-headed--but you know how a man talks. Well, we homesteaded
near Calgary and the years went by so fast. Randall Jr.'s a
doctor in Baltimore and Harry teaches at McGill. Yes, the
children are scattered now. If you're asking about the border,
well, I know it's there. But you can't build a fence between a
woman and her children.

THE BORDER VOICE: Just the voices of people talking across the
border. The voices of people who have known how to share a
continent together in Peace and Good Will through the Sun and the
Rain and the Years. Voices of men and women with the same sort of
beliefs, the same sort of courage even seventy years ago, voices
like our own.

MACEACHERN [_Scotch Irish_]: My name's Hugh MacEachern--there
were four MacEacherns of my name before me in Canada. Yet I
fought four years in the Army of the Potomac--and there were
fifty thousand like me, first and last, in the Union Armies. They
gave me bounty money--but that was not why I went--I felt it was
a fight for freedom. When it was done, I came home. I worked my
lands. I gave my life and strength to Canada. But all my life I
remembered the men I had fought beside. When they came to my
house, they were welcome; when I went to their house, I was
welcome. May it ever be so between the two houses.

THE BORDER VOICE: And yet it wasn't always so. There had been a
war in 1812. A war between two peoples who spoke the same tongue,
and, like all wars, it left scars. Let's stand on the Canadian
side of a great water. It is summer in the year 1817. There's a
small boy launching a toy boat. His name is Jock McKinstry.

BOY: Do you like my new boat, father?

JOCK: Aye, you've done a good job on her, son. She's a fine
little sloop of war.

BOY: Billy Ross and I are going to have a big battle and sink all
the Yankees.

JOCK: Son--look across the water there.

BOY [_puzzled_]: Yes, father.

JOCK: Do you mind the boy Jimmy Hunter you played with in the old
days? He lives over there. And now maybe he's building a boat,
too--a fine little sloop of war--on his side of the lake.

BOY: Father--I don't understand--

JOCK: Jimmy's father was _my_ friend too, son. And here, on both
sides of the border, we've a free great land to dwell in. So what
would you do, now war's over?

BOY: I'd send him a peace belt--the way the Indians do.

JOCK: Now that's a suggestion. But would he take it, do you

BOY: Oh, of course he would--you _have_ to take a peace belt.

JOCK [_taps side of boat_]: But here's your fine big sloop of
war, son. [_Music sneak_] And it's not boys that build them--it's
grown men--both sides of the border.

[_Music up and down. Noise of hammering_]

THE BORDER VOICE: Yes--it isn't boys--but grown men--both sides
of the border. Hear the hammers! Shipwrights' hammers, carpenters'
hammers, calking hammers, hammers on fresh-smelling wood and bright
iron. Hammers by the ports and shores of Ontario and Erie and
Champlain. The pleasant harbors, the pine-smelling beaches, Hammers,
building the ships of war!

Lakes? These are not lakes but oceans. They must be defended.

CHANT [_Canadian_]: Lead pills for the Yankees.
They'll soon have enough
With grape and with round shot,
We'll give them hot stuff.

1ST VOICE [_Canadian_]: British Admiralty. Lake Ontario. Ship of
the line, St. Lawrence, 110 guns.

2ND VOICE [_Canadian_]: The Psyche, 50 guns. The Princess
Charlotte, 40.

3RD VOICE [_Canadian_]: Sailmakers--

4TH VOICE [_Canadian_]: Powder monkeys--

1ST VOICE [_Canadian_]: Carpenters--

2ND VOICE [_Canadian_]: 74-gun frigates. 74-gun frigates..
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

[_Music up and down_]

THE BORDER VOICE: And as it was on one shore, so it was on the

CHANT [_U. S._]: And have you heard of Perry?
Of Oliver Hazard Perry?
Oh, have you heard of Perry?
And his famous victory?

1ST VOICE [_U. S._]: United States Navy Department. Lake Ontario.
The Superior, 44 guns. The Mohawk, 32 guns. The General Pike, 24

2ND VOICE [_U. S._]: Get ready. Prepare.

3RD VOICE [_U. S._]: Militia--

4TH VOICE [_U. S._]: The Niagara. The Jefferson. 18 guns.

1ST VOICE [_U. S._]: Forts--

2ND VOICE [_U. S._]: Men. Arms. Frigates. Cannon.

[_Music up and down_]

CANADIAN-AMERICAN CHORUS [_rising_]: Cannon. Cannon. Cannon.
Cannon. Cannon. Cannon. Cannon. Cannon.

[_Musical climax_]

THE BORDER VOICE: And that's the way it starts. [_Music_] That's
the way we know it starts. The border must be kept with forts,
ships and cannon. Come and see how Americans felt about it on
their side of the lake in 1817.

[_Swish of water, the Yankee side beaching a canoe_]

JEAN-BAPTISTE [_shouting off_]: Jim Hunter! Howdy, Jim Hunter!

HUNTER: Jean-Baptiste! Come on shore, you old pirate--ain't seen
you in a coon's age.

JEAN-BAPTISTE [_coming in_]: Well, well, I'm glad to see you, Jim

HUNTER: Well, I'm glad to see you. New canoe?

JEAN-BAPTISTE: Finest dam' canoe on the lakes.

HUNTER: Don't doubt that none. Well, Jean-Baptiste, what's the

JEAN-BAPTISTE: Oh, she's about the same. New baby--good year for

HUNTER: Uh-hunh. You fight in the war?

JEAN-BAPTISTE: Sure, I fight. I fight like six men at Chateaugay.

HUNTER: Fought at Lundy's Lane, myself.

JEAN-BAPTISTE [_he laughs_]: Say, you know what I do at
Chateaugay? I capture my own cousin!


JEAN-BAPTISTE: Sure--he's lying on the ground with bullet in his
leg. He's Baptiste-Jean, Henri-Louis-David-Ligonier. Like me.
Same name. Afterwards he go home to Maine--he write me a letter--
[_Snap of fingers_] Oh, there I am, one big fool! I've got letter
for you, Jim Hunter--I forget--

HUNTER: A letter. Hm. Feels sizable. Who gave it to you?

JEAN-BAPTISTE: Jock McKinstry. You open up now. I take answer

[_Noise of opening package_]

HUNTER: Why--it's a wampum belt. A white belt. That's old, that
is. That's Huron work.

JEAN-BAPTISTE: The white belt--she mean peace--

HUNTER: Peace--and already they're building ships of war again on
the lakes. I wish the people in London and Washington could know
how we people on the border feel. Someone ought to tell 'em.

JEAN-BAPTISTE: You are right there, my friend.

HUNTER: Well, there's only one way to do that. Tell 'em. Fellows
like us can't go across the ocean to London. But a man could get
to Washington if he'd aim to. [_Music sneak_] I wonder where
Washington is. They say it's a long way away . . .

[_Music up and down_]

THE BORDER VOICE: It was a long way to Washington. But there was
the pole star to go by and the old Indian trails. That was the
forest when Jim Hunter left the banks of the great lake. Beyond,
south and east, lay rolling green valleys not yet claimed from
the wilderness. And Jim Hunter slept under the stars, head
pillowed on his pack, in the wilderness. Through the Onondaga
section he strode; and the hunting good on the finger lakes; and
the twigs crackling underfoot when Jim Hunter sighted a clump of
cabins through the trees.

[_Footsteps along the road. Dog barking_]

HUNTER [_calling out_]: Halloo, the house!

SETTLER [_over dog_]: Halloo yourself!

HUNTER: What's the name of this place, stranger?

SETTLER: It ain't got a name. It's mine.

HUNTER: What's the nearest town?


HUNTER: How far?

SETTLER: Quite a piece.

HUNTER: Got any meal?

SETTLER: I might have.

HUNTER: I'll swap you three prime squirrel for some. I've come
quite a ways and I'm tired of eating squirrel.

SETTLER: It's a trade. Come in a' light.


THE BORDER VOICE: A long way to Washington. The moccasins wearing
thin. But there were friends in the wilderness. Countrymen. And
all the rich sweet valley of the Susquehanna lay ahead. Through
Sunbury, not stopping the night. The next night rain, dripping
through the boughs. Jim Hunter went on. Gray morning into late
dusky evening. Days had become weeks. Then--Harrisburg, a
settlement still sleeping in the curve of the blue river, the
mountains, misty beyond. And at York, a signpost pointing to
Baltimore, a city. It was the first city Jim Hunter had ever
seen. Just forty miles from Washington. Washington!

And now, in the muddy and straggling Washington of 1817, two
other men meet to talk of a distant border. They aren't
remarkable men. You don't read much about Richard Rush in the
history books. Richard Rush--Acting Secretary of State--not
Secretary, you know, just Acting. And Sir Charles Bagot--British
Envoy Extraordinary to the United States--for a while--with no
great name in history. English--American--two honest men of good

[_Clink of glasses_]

RUSH: A toast, Sir Charles--to His Highness, the Prince Regent!

BAGOT: To the President of the United States!

[_They drink_]

RUSH: And now, Sir Charles. Shall we proceed to our business?

BAGOT: With pleasure.

RUSH: Correct me, sir, if I am in error--but the question between
our countries seems to resolve itself to this--what armed forces,
if any, our respective governments intend to keep on the border
between the United States and Canada.

BAGOT: Between Canada and the United States.

RUSH: I accept the correction. Now, Mr. Adams feels that these
armaments should be greatly reduced.

BAGOT: Lord Castlereagh, unofficially, has long been of the same

RUSH [_fade in echo_]: At the same time, Sir Charles, we have
laid down the keels of certain ships.

BAGOT: His Majesty's Navy has not been wholly idle.

[_We hear again the faint sound of hammers, swelling_]

WHISPERED VOICE [_on dynamic mike_]: British Admiralty. The St.
Lawrence, no guns.

2ND WHISPERED VOICE [_on dynamic mike_]: Prepare. Sailmakers.
Powder monkeys.

RUSH: Sir Charles, I do not control the military policy of my
government--but as a citizen I can say we are profoundly
disturbed by the recent developments in American waters.

WHISPERED VOICE [_on dynamic mike_]: The Niagara. Badly damaged.
Refit. Prepare.

BAGOT: _Our_ citizens along the Maine border are greatly
disturbed by what seems to them _American aggression!_

2ND WHISPERED VOICE [_on dynamic mike_]: Get ready. The Psyche,
50 guns. Frigates.

RUSH: Maine is defending her just claims, Sir Charles!

WHISPERED VOICE [_on dynamic mike_]: The Superior, 44 guns. The
Mohawk, 32 guns--

BAGOT: Her just claims to Canada's fisheries, Mr. Rush?

2ND WHISPERED VOICE [_on dynamic mike_]: Prepare. Cannon.

RUSH: The fisheries question has nothing to do with it, Sir
Charles! The recent--and most unwarranted attack on an American

1ST WHISPERED VOICE [_on dynamic mike_]: Cannon--

2ND WHISPERED VOICE [_on dynamic mike_]: Cannon--

3RD WHISPERED VOICE [_on dynamic mike_]: Cannon--

1ST AND 2ND WHISPERED VOICES [_on dynamic mike_]: Cannon--

1ST, 2ND, AND 3RD WHISPERED VOICES [_on dynamic mike_]: Cannon.
Cannon. Cannon. [_Other voices join in and build_] Cannon.
Cannon. Cannon. Cannon. Cannon.

[_Voices rise to a cutoff_]

BAGOT: I--I confess I was growing heated. Your pardon, sir.
Another glass of your excellent Madeira.

RUSH: With pleasure.

[_A pause_]

RUSH [_in a different voice_]: Come, Sir Charles. Let us drop
diplomatic formalities for the moment. That border line between
us is not just a set of marks upon a map. Let me show you
something I received from that border today. [_Scrape of desk
drawer opening_] Here. Do you know it's significance?

BAGOT: A belt of Indian wampum.

RUSH: It was brought me this morning by an American trapper. May
I ask you to hear his story?

BAGOT: Why, of course--

RUSH [_rings bell, to servant who answers_]: Show Mr. Hunter in.

NEGRO: Yes, Mistah Rush.

[_Door, etc._]

RUSH: Sir Charles, this is James Hunter, one of our frontiersmen.
Mr. Hunter--Sir Charles Bagot, His Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary.

BAGOT: Your obedient servant, Mr. Hunter. Mr. Rush has just shown
me this very interesting belt.

HUNTER: Yes, sir. Indian work. Means peace.

BAGOT: And how, if I may ask you, is the feeling between the
citizens on the border?

HUNTER: Depends. We ain't tame on the border. Neither side. But
we'd like to be shut of fighting. That's why I brought the belt.

BAGOT: You'd like to be shut of fighting. May I ask you why?

HUNTER: Why, mister, it's like this. You see, here's me, one side
of the lake--and here's Jock McKinstry, the other side. He's got
his ideas and I've got mine. He's loyal to King and Crown and I'm
loyal to the United States--but, we get along fine. Well, Jock
McKinstry sent me the belt. He's Scotch and he don't talk much
but he meant what he said. He meant peace. Well, I know he
couldn't get to London--that's across water--so I figured I'd
better come here.

BAGOT: If I may ask, Mr. Hunter, how long did the journey take

HUNTER: One pair of moccasins--call it a moon and a half--

BAGOT: One pair of--

RUSH: Perhaps forty days, Sir Charles. On foot.

BAGOT: Forty days!

RUSH: Tell me, Mr. Hunter--and you may speak quite freely--what
force do you think would be sufficient to maintain peace and
order on the lakes?

HUNTER: That's for you folks to say.

BAGOT: But we want to know what you think--you and Jock

HUNTER: Well, if it was me and Jock McKinstry--I'd say just one
boat each side.

RUSH: And what of forts--and soldiers--

HUNTER: Well, forts and soldiers--you see, they're for enemies.
We've fought, but we ain't enemies. We'll differ and we'll always
differ. But we want to be friends.

BAGOT: I believe you, Mr. Hunter. May I keep the white belt? I
should like to send it to London--and thank you.


THE BORDER VOICE: And finally the Rush-Bagot agreement was
signed, in April, 1817. James Monroe was president then. James
Monroe of the Monroe Doctrine. And because of the sense and good
will of two peoples the hammers stopped on the Great Lakes. And a
bored clerk read in the Senate of the United States . . .

VOICE OF CLERK: "Naval forces to be maintained upon the American
Lakes by His Majesty's Government and the Government of the
United States shall be confined, on Lake Ontario, to one vessel
not exceeding one hundred tons burden and armed with one eighteen
pound cannon ..."

THE BORDER VOICE: The lone cannon. And back and forth, back and
forth, across the border, the tide of human beings has ebbed and
flowed. Trapper, trader, farmer, merchant, woman and man. It's
they who have kept the peace and the freedom. The border's men
and women.

[_Music up and down_]

THE BORDER VOICE: I am the voice of the border. I was born under
the Maple Leaf. I was born under the Stars and Stripes. I'm
people who are used to space and wide skies--to an old and dear
tradition and the wind that blows over a new world. The Douglas
fir and the redwood, the trillium and the number one hard
wheat--all these are in the veins of my people. The gray stones
of Quebec are part of them and the old French speech--the rolling
Dakota plains and the warm, wheat-growing summers--the springs of
the Mississippi and the shining bay of Vancouver and the rocky
shield of the Laurentians, the necklace around the North Pole.
Where there is space and freedom, love of law and love of
justice, you will find my people. We live next each other and
we're used to each other's ways. We swing the same kind of ax and
we drive in the same kind of cars. We marry back and forth and
the children don't quarrel. We've had a lot of history together
and our wide earth remembers it. We've had William Lyon Mackenzie
and John Brown. We've had Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Teddy Roosevelt
and John A. MacDonald and Abe Lincoln. We've had folks who tried
to sow dissension too, but they never raised a crop and they
never will. For when we say "freedom" we mean it, and we have
faith in the people. Dominion--Republic--we have faith in the
people. And together we'll keep that faith, for the years and the
children still to be.

[_Music and chorus of voices_]

AMERICAN VOICES: We built a house for freedom here
And free it shall remain.

CANADIAN VOICES: We built it out of Northern pine
And Manitoba grain.

MIXED VOICES: We built it with our hearts and lives
From Puget Sound to Maine.

CHORUS: The House was built in freedom's name
And so it shall abide
For your tall sons and my tall sons,
Whatever may betide,
We'll keep the peace our fathers kept
And keep it side by side.

THE BORDER VOICE: We built it with the broad ax
And the shining rails of steel,
The birchbark of the voyageurs,
The creaking wagon wheel,
We built it with the best we had
For the loyal and the leal.

CHORUS: While rock endures and pine endures
And Western corn grows tall,
With your strong sons and my strong sons
We shall maintain it all.
The house we built in freedom's name,
The house that shall not fall.

[_Orchestra and chorus fade under_]

THE BORDER VOICE: The great house of freedom,
The house that shall not fall.

[_Orchestra and chorus up and finish_]



Broadcast in co-operation with the Council For Democracy over the
NBC Blue Network, July 4, 1941.

The original cast included Henry Hull, Howard Lindsay, Otto
Preminger, Katharine Emery and Robert Gray.

The program was directed by Lester O'Keefe, and the musical score
was composed and conducted by Vaclav Moravan.


[_Orchestra: Music up and out_]

NARRATOR: This is Independence Day,
Fourth of July, the day we mean to keep,
Whatever happens and whatever falls
Out of a sky grown strange;
This is firecracker day for sunburnt kids,
The day of the parade,
Slambanging down the street.
Listen to the parade!
There's J. K. Burney's float,
Red-white-and-blue crepe-paper on the wheels,
The Fire Department and the local Grange,
There are the pretty girls with their hair curled
Who represent the Thirteen Colonies,
The Spirit of East Greenwich, Betsy Ross,
Democracy, or just some pretty girls.
There are the veterans and the Legion Post
(Their feet are going to hurt when they get home),
The band, the flag, the band, the usual crowd,
Good-humored, watching, hot,
Silent a second as the flag goes by,
Kidding the local cop and eating popsicles,
Jack Brown and Rosie Shapiro and Dan Shay,
Paul Bunchick and the Greek who runs the Greek's,
The black-eyed children out of Sicily,
The girls who giggle and the boys who push,
All of them there and all of them a nation.
And, afterwards,
There'll be ice cream and fireworks and a speech
By Somebody the Honorable Who,
The lovers will pair off in the kind dark
And Tessie Jones, our honor graduate,
Will read the declaration.
That's how it is. It's always been that way.
That's our Fourth of July, through war and peace,
That's our Fourth of July.

And a lean farmer on a stony farm
Came home from mowing, buttoned up his shirt
And walked ten miles to town,
Musket in hand.
He didn't know the sky was falling down
And, it may be, he didn't know so much.
But people oughtn't to be pushed around
By kings or any such.
A workman in the city dropped his tools.
An ordinary, small-town kind of man
Found himself standing in the April sun,
One of a ragged line
Against the skilled professionals of war,
The matchless infantry who could not fail,
Not for the profit, not to conquer worlds,
Not for the pomp or the heroic tale
But first, and principally, since he was sore.
They could do things in quite a lot of places,
They shouldn't do them here, in Lexington.

He looked around and saw his neighbors' faces . . .

AN ANGRY VOICE: _Disperse, ye villains! Why don't you disperse?_

A CALM VOICE: _Stand your ground, men. Don't fire unless fired
upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!_

NARRATOR [_resuming_]: Well, that was that. And later, when he died
Of fever or a bullet in the guts,
Bad generalship, starvation, dirty wounds
Or any one of all the thousand things
That kill a man in wars,
He didn't die handsome but he did die free
And maybe that meant something. It could be.
Oh, it's not pretty! Say it all you like!
It isn't a bit pretty. Not one bit.
But that is how the liberty was won.
That paid for the firecrackers and the band.

A YOUNG VOICE [_radical_]: Well, what do you mean, you dope?
Don't you know this is an imperialist, capitalist country, don't you?
Don't you know it's all done with mirrors and the bosses get the
  gravy, don't you?
Suppose some old guy with chin whiskers did get his pants shot
  off at a place called Lexington?
What does it mean to me?

AN OLDER VOICE [_conservative_]: My dear fellow, I myself am a
son of a son of a son of the American Revolution,
But I can only view the present situation with the gravest alarm.
Because we are rapidly drifting into a dictatorship
And it isn't my kind of dictatorship, what's more.
The Constitution is dead and labor doesn't know its place,
And then there's all that gold buried at Fort Knox
And the taxes--oh, oh, oh!
Why, what's the use of a defense-contract if you can't make money
out of your country?
Things are bad--things are very bad.
Already my Aunt Emmeline has had to shoot her third footman.
(He broke his leg passing cocktails and it was really a kindness.)
And, if you let the working classes buy coal, they'll only fill
bathtubs with it.
Don't you realize the gravity of the situation, don't you?
Won't you hide your head in a bucket and telegraph your
congressman, opposing everything possible, including peace and

A TOTALITARIAN VOICE [_persuasive_]: My worthy American listeners.
I am giving you one more chance.
Don't you know that we are completely invincible, don't you?
Won't you just admit that we are the wave of the future, won't you?
You are a very nice, mongrel, disgusting people--
But, naturally, you need new leadership.
We can supply it. We've sent the same brand to fourteen nations.
It comes in the shape of a bomb and it beats as it sweeps as it cleans.
For those of you who like order, we can supply order. We give
  the order. You take it.
For those of you who like efficiency, we can supply efficiency.
Look what we did to Coventry and Rotterdam!
For those of you who like Benito Mussolini, we can supply.
He's down three doors at the desk marked Second Vice-President.
Now be sensible--give up this corrupt and stupid nonsense of
And you can have the crumbs from our table and a trusty's job in
  our world-jail.

RADICAL VOICE: Forget everything but the class struggle. Forget

CONSERVATIVE VOICE: Hate and distrust your own government.
Whisper, hate and never look forward.
Look back wistfully to the good old, grand old days--the days when the
Boys said "The public be damned!" and got away with it.
Democracy's a nasty word, invented by the Reds.

TOTALITARIAN VOICE: Just a little collaboration and you too can
be part of the New Order.

You too can have fine new concentration camps and shoes made out
of wood pulp. You too can be as peaceful as Poland, as happy and
gay as France. Just a little collaboration. We have so many
things to give you.

We can give you your own Hess, your own Himmler, your own
Goering--all home-grown and wrapped in cellophane. We've done it
elsewhere. If you'll help, we can do it here.

RADICAL VOICE: Democracy's a fake--

CONSERVATIVE: Democracy's a mistake--

TOTALITARIAN: Democracy is finished. We are the future.

[_Music up and ominous_]

NARRATOR [_resuming_]: The sky is dark, now, over the parade.
The sky's an altered sky, a sky that might be.

There's J. K. Burney's float
With funny-colored paper on the wheels
Or no--excuse me--used to be J.K.'s
But the store's under different management
Like quite a lot of stores.
You see, J.K. got up in church one day,
After it all had happened and walked out,
The day they instituted the new order.
They had a meeting. Held it in the church.
He just walked out. That's all.
That's all there is to say about J.K.
Though I remember just the way he looked,
White-faced and chin stuck out.
I think they could have let the church alone.
It's kind of dreary, shutting up the church.
But don't you say I said so. Don't you say!
Listen to the parade!
There are the pretty girls with their hair curled,
Back from the labor camp.
They represent the League of Strength Through Joy.
At least, I guess it's that.
No, they don't go to high school any more.
They get told where they go. We all get told.
And, now and then, it happens like Jack Brown,
Nice fellow, Jack. Ran the gas station here.
But he was married to a You-Know-Who.
Fond of her, too.
I don't know why we never used to mind.
Why, she walked round like anybody else,
Kept her kids clean and joined the Ladies' Social.
Just shows you, doesn't it? But that's all done.
And you won't see her in the crowd today,
Her or the kids or Jack,
Unless you look six feet under the ground,
The lime-washed ground, the bitter prison ground
That hides the martyrs and the innocent,
And you won't see Dan Shay.
Dan was a Union man
And now we don't have Unions any more.
They wouldn't even let him take his specs,
The day the troopers came around for him.
  [_Half hysterically_]
Listen to the parade!
The marching, marching, marching feet,
All with the same hard stamp!
The bands, the bands, the bands, the flags, the flags,
The sharp, mechanical, inhuman cheer
Dragged from the straining throats of the stiff crowd!
It's Independence--sorry, my mistake!--
It's National Day--the Day of the New Order!
We let it happen--we forgot the old
Bleak words of common sense, "Unite or Die,"
And the clock struck--and the bad dream was here.

A VOICE: But you can't do this to me! I subscribed to the Party

A VOICE: You can't do this to me. We got laws. We got courts. We
got unions.

A VOICE: You can't do this to me. Why, I believe in Karl Marx!

A VOICE: You can't do this to me. The Constitution forbids it.

A VOICE: I was always glad to co-operate.

A VOICE: It looked to me like good business.

A VOICE: It looked to me like the class struggle.

A VOICE: It looked to me like peace in our time.

TOTALITARIAN VOICE: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Democracy
is finished. You are finished. We are the present!

[_Music up and down_]

NARRATOR: That is one voice. You've heard it. Don't forget it.
And don't forget it can be slick or harsh,
Violent or crooning, but it's still the same,
And it means death.

Are there no other voices? None at all?
No voice at all out of the long parade
That marched so many years,
Out of the passion of the Puritans,
The creaking of the wagons going west,
The guns of Sharpsburg, the unnumbered dead,
Out of the baffled and bewildered hosts
Who came here for a freedom hardly known.
Out of the bowels of the immigrant ship,
The strange, sick voyage, the cheating and the scorn
And yet, at the end, Liberty.
Liberty with a torch in her right hand,
Slowly worked out, deceived a thousand times,
But never quite forgotten, always growing,
Growing like wheat and corn.
"I remember a man named Abe Lincoln.
I remember the words he used to say."
Oh, we can call on Lincoln and Tom Paine,
Adams and Jefferson.
Call on the great words spoken that remain
Like the great stars of evening, the fixed stars,
But that is not enough.
The dead are mighty and are part of us
And yet the dead are dead.

This is our world,
Our time, our choice, our anguish, our decision.
This is our world. We have to make it now,
A hundred and thirty millions of us have to
And make it well, or suffer the bad dream.
What have we got to say?

A WOMAN'S VOICE: I don't know, I'm a woman with a house,
I do my work. I take care of my man.
I've got a right to say how things should be.
I've got a right to have my kids grow up
The way they ought to grow. Don't stop me there.
Don't tread on me, don't hinder me, don't cross me.
I made my kids myself. I haven't got
Big words to tell about them.
But, if you ask about democracy,
Democracy's the growing and the bearing,
Mouth at the breast and child still to be born.
Democracy is kids and the green grass.

NARRATOR: What have we got to say,
People, you people?

MAN'S VOICE: I guess I haven't thought about it much. I been too
busy. Way I figure it
It's this way. We've got something. If it's crummy
The bunch of us can change what we don't like
In our own way and mean it.
I got a cousin back in the old country.
He says it's swell there but he couldn't change
A button on his pants without an order
From somebody's pet horse. Maybe he likes it.
I'm sticking here. That's all. Well, sign me off.

NARRATOR: People, you people, living everywhere,
Sioux Falls and Saugatuck and Texarkana,
Memphis and Goshen, Harrodsburg and Troy,
People who live at postmarks with queer names,
Blue Eye and Rawhide, Santa Claus and Troublesome,
People by rivers, people of the plains,
People whose contour plows bring back the grass
To a dust-bitten and dishonored earth,
And those who farm the hillside acres still
And raise up fortitude between the stones,
Millions in cities, millions in the towns,
People who spit a mile from their front doors
And gangling kids, ballplaying in the street,
All races and all stocks, all creeds and cries,
And yet one people, one, and always striving. . . .

A MAN: I'm on relief
I know what they say about us on relief,
Those who never were there.
All the same, we made the park.
We made the road and the check-dam and the culvert.
Our names are not on the tablets. Forget our names.
But, when you drive on the road, reemmber us, also.
Remember Johnny Lombardo and his pick,
Remember us, when you build democracy,
For we, too, were part and are part.

NARRATOR: One nation, one.
And the voices of young and old, of all who have faith,
Jostling and mingling, speaking from the ground,
Speaking from the old houses and the pride,
Speaking from the deep hollows of the heart.

MAN'S VOICE: I was born in '63.
There were many then who despaired of the Republic,
Many fine and solid citizens.
They had good and plausible reasons and were eloquent.
I grew up in the Age of Brass, the Age of Steel.
I have known and heard of three wars.
All through my life, whenever the skies were dark,
There came to me many fine and solid citizens,
Wringing their hands, despairing of the Republic,
Because we couldn't do this and shouldn't do that.
And yet, each time, I saw the Republic grow
Like a great elm tree, through each fault and failure,
And spread its branches over all the people.
Look at the morning sun. There is the Republic.
Not yesterday, but there, the breaking day.

TOTALITARIAN VOICE: But, my worthy American listeners.
All this is degenerate talk.
The future rolls like a wave and you cannot fight it.

A VOICE: Who says we can't?

A VOICE: Who says so?

A VOICE: How does he get that way?

A VOICE: You mean to tell me
A little shrimp like that could run the world,
A guy with a trick mustache and a bum salute,
Run us, run you and me?

Others have often made the same mistake
Often and often and in many countries.
I never play upon a people's strength.
I play upon their weaknesses and fears.
I make their doubts my allies and my spies.
I have a most convincing mask of peace
Painted by experts, for one kind of sucker,
And for another--I'm a businessman,
Straight from the shoulder, talking trade and markets
And much misunderstood.
I touch this man upon his pocketbook,
That man upon his hatred for his boss,
That man upon his fear.
I offer everything, for offering's cheap.
I make no claims until I make the claims.
I'm always satisfied until I'm not
Which happens rather rapidly to those
Who think I could be satisfied with less
Than a dismembered and digested world.
My secret weapon is no secret weapon.
It is to turn all men against all men
For my own purposes. It is to use
Good men to do my work without their knowledge,
Not only the secret traitor and the spy.
It is to raise a question and a doubt
Where there was faith. It is to subjugate
Men's minds before their bodies feel the steel.
It is to use
All envy, all despair, all prejudice
For my own work.
If you've an envy or a prejudice
I'll play on it and use it to your ruin.
My generals are General Distrust,
General Fear, General Half-A-Heart,
General It's-Too-Late,
General Greed and Major General Hate,
And they go walking in civilian clothes
In your own streets and whisper in your ears.
I won't be beaten just by sitting tight.
They tried that out in France. I won't be beaten
By hiding in the dark and making faces,
And certainly I never will be beaten
By those who rather like my kind of world,
Or, if not like it, think that it must come,
Those who have wings and burrow in the ground.
For I'm not betting only on the tanks,
The guns, the planes, the bombers,
But on your own division and disunion.
On your own minds and hearts to let me in,
For, if that happens, all I wish for happens.
So what have you to say?
What have you got to bet against my bet?
Where's your one voice?

AMERICAN VOICE: Our voice is not one voice but many voices.
Not one man's, not the greatest, but the people's.
The blue sky and the forty-eight States of the people.
Many in easy times but one in the pinch
And that's what some folks forget.
Our voice is all the objectors and dissenters
And they sink and are lost in the groundswell of the people
Once the people rouse, once the people wake and listen.
People, you people, growing everywhere,
What have you got to say?
There's a smart boy here with a question and he wants answers.
What have you got to say?

A VOICE: We are the people, listen to us now.

A VOICE: Says you we're puny? We built Boulder Dam,
We built Grand Coulee and the TVA.
We built them out of freedom and our sweat.

VOICE: Says you we're faint of heart and little of mind?
We poured like wheat through the gaps of the Appalachians.
We made the seas of wheat, the seas of corn.
We made five States a sea of wheat and corn.

VOICE [_laughing_]: We built the cities and the skyscrapers.
All the proud steel. We built them up so high
The eagles lost their way.

VOICE: That's us. When did you do a job like that?

VOICE: Wasn't enough.

VOICE: No, and you bet it wasn't.
Not with the apple-sellers in the streets,
Not with the empty shops, the hungry men.
But we learned some things in that darkness and kept free.
We didn't fold up and yell for a dictator.
We built, even in the darkness. We learned our trade
By the licks we took and we're building different now.

VOICE: We lost our way for a while but we've found our way.
We know it and we'll hold it and we'll keep it.
We'll tell it to the world. We're saying it.

VOICE: Freedom to speak and pray.

VOICE: Freedom from want and fear.

VOICE: That's what we're building. Now and here and now.

NARRATOR: People, you people, risen and awake. . . .

VOICE: That's what we're building and we'll build it here.
That's what we're building and we'll build it now,
Build it and make it shine across the world,
A refuge and a fortress and a hope,
Breaking old chains and laughing in the sun.
This is the people's cause, the people's might.
We have set up a standard for the free
And it shall not go down.
That's why we drill the plate and turn the wheel,
Build the big planes.
That's why a million and a half of us
Learn here and now how free men stand in arms.
Don't tread on us, don't hinder us, don't cross us.
We won't have tyranny here.

VOICE: We don't give one long low hoot for your master race.
We think your slick new order's a bowl of raspberries.
We'll pick the small and the free and the enduring,
Wherever we find them and wherever they are.
We won't have tyranny here.

VOICE: We'll stick by Rosie Shapiro and Dan Shay
Paul Bunchick and the Greek who runs the Greek's,
And all of 'em like that, wherever they are.
We'll stick by the worn old stones in Salem churchyard,
The Jamestown church and the bones of the Alamo.
We won't have tyranny here.

VOICE: It's a long way out of the past and long way forward.
It's a tough way too, and there's plenty of trouble in it.
It's a black storm crowding the sky and a cold wind blowing.
Blowing upon us all.
See it and face it. That's the way it is.
That's the way it'll be for a time and a time.
Even the easy may have little ease.
Even the meek may suffer in their meekness.
But we've ridden out storms before and we'll ride out this one,
Ride it out and get through.
It won't be done by the greedy and the go-easies.
It'll be done by the river of the people,
The mountain of the people, the great plain
Grown to the wheat of the people,
It'll be done by the proud walker, Democracy,
The walker in proud shoes.
Get on your feet, Americans, and say it!
Forget your grievances, wherever you are,
The little yesterday's hates and the last year's discord,
This is your land, this is your independence,
This is the people's cause, the people's might.
Say it and speak it loud, United, free . . .

MANY VOICES: United, free.

VOICE: Whatever happens and whatever falls,
We pledge ourselves to liberty and faith.

MANY VOICES: To liberty and faith.

VOICE: We pledge ourselves to justice, law and hope
And a free government by our own men
For us, our children and our children's children.

MANY VOICES: For us, our children and our children's children.

VOICE: Not for an old dead world but a new world rising.

VOICE: For the toil, the struggle, the hope and the great goal.

[_Music up and down_]

NARRATOR: You've heard the long parade
And all the voices that cry out against it.


What do the people say?
Well, you've just heard some questions and some answers,
Not all, of course. No man can say that's all.
But look in your own minds and memories
And find out what you find and what you'd keep.
It's time we did that and it won't be earlier.
I don't know what each one of you will find,
It may be only half a dozen words
Carved on a stone, carved deeper in the heart,
It might be all a life, but look and find it--
Sun on Key West, snow on New Hampshire hills,
Warm rain on Georgia and the Texas wind
Blowing across an empire and all part,
All one, all indivisible and one--
Find it and keep it and hold on to it,
For there's a buried thing in all of us,
Deeper than all the noise of the parade,
The thing the haters never understand
And never will, the habit of the free.
Out of the flesh, out of the minds and hearts
Of thousand upon thousand common men,
Cranks, martyrs, starry-eyed enthusiasts,
Slow-spoken neighbors, hard to push around,
Women whose hands were gentle with their kids
And men with a cold passion for mere justice.
We made this thing, this dream,
This land unsatisfied by little ways,
This peaceless vision, groping for the stars,
Not as a huge devouring machine
Rolling and clanking with remorseless force
Over submitted bodies and the dead
But as live earth where anything could grow,
Your crankiness, my notions and his dream,
Grow and be looked at, grow and live or die.
But get their chance of growing and the sun.
We made it and we make it and it's ours.
We shall maintain it. It shall be sustained.


[_Music up to climax_]


Originally broadcast on the Cavalcade of America program over the
NEC Network the night of December 21, 1942. The program was
produced and directed by Homer Fickett, and music was conducted
by Don Voorhees.

In the original cast Alfred Lunt played the part of the Innkeeper
and Lynn Fontanne played the Innkeeper's Wife.

The script was repeated by popular request on the same program
the evening of December 20, 1943, with Helen Hayes and Philip
Merivale in the leading roles.


[_Music, as broadcast opens. It fades. Narrator speaks._]

NARRATOR: I'm your narrator. It's my task to say
Just where and how things happen in our play,
Set the bare stage with words instead of props
And keep on talking till the curtain drops.
So you shall know, as well as our poor skill
Can show you, whether it is warm or chill,
Indoors or out, a battle or a fair,
In this, our viewless theater of the air.
It's an old task--old as the human heart,
Old as those bygone players and their art
Who, in old days when faith was nearer earth,
Played out the mystery of Jesus' birth
In hall or village green or market square
For all who chose to come and see them there,
And, if they knew that King Herod, in his crown,
Was really Wat, the cobbler of the town,
And Tom, the fool, played Abraham the Wise,
They did not care. They saw with other eyes.
The story was their own--not far away,
As real as if it happened yesterday,
Full of all awe and wonder yet so near,
A marvelous thing that could have happened here
In their own town--a star that could have blazed
On their own shepherds, leaving them amazed,
Frightened and questioning and following still
To the bare stable--and the miracle.

So we, tonight, who are your players too,
Ask but to tell that selfsame tale to you
In our own words, the plain and simple speech
Of human beings, talking each to each,
Troubled with their own cares, not always wise,
And yet, at moments, looking toward the skies.

The time is--time. The place is anywhere.
The voices speak to you across the air
To say that once again a child is born.
A child is born.
"I pray you all, give us your audience
And hear this matter with reverence."


There is a town where men and women live
Their lives as people do in troubled times,
Times when the world is shaken. There is an inn.
A woman sings there in the early morning.

[_Music, fading into the voice of a woman--the innkeeper's
wife--singing as she goes about her household tasks_]

INNKEEPER'S WIFE: In Bethlehem of Judea
There shall be born a child,
A child born of woman
And yet undefiled.

He shall not come to riches,
To riches and might,
But in the bare stable
He shall be Man's light.

He shall not come to conquest,
The conquest of kings,
But in the bare stable
He shall judge all things.

King Herod, King Herod,
Now what will you say
Of the child in the stable
This cold winter day?

I hear the wind blowing
Across the bare thorn,
I fear not King Herod
If this child may be born.

[_Sound of steps coming down a flight of stone stairs. A man's
voice, rough and suspicious--the voice of the innkeeper. The
innkeeper is middle-aged--his wife somewhat younger_]

INNKEEPER: Singing again! I told you not to sing!

WIFE: I'm sorry. I forgot.

INNKEEPER: Forgot? That's fine!
That's wonderful! That answers everything!
The times are hard enough and bad enough
For anyone who tries to keep an inn,
Get enough bread to stick in his own mouth
And keep things going, somehow, in his town.
The country's occupied. We have no country.
You've heard of that, perhaps?
You've seen their soldiers, haven't you? You know
Just what can happen to our sort of people
Once there's a little trouble? Answer me!

WIFE [_wearily_]: I've seen. I know.

INNKEEPER: You've seen. You know. And you keep singing songs!
Not ordinary songs--the kind of songs
That might bring in a little bit of trade,
Songs with a kind of pleasant wink in them
That make full men forget the price of the wine,
The kind of songs a handsome girl can sing
After their dinner to good customers
--And, thanks to me, the inn still has a few!--
Oh, no! You have to sing rebellious songs
About King Herod!

WIFE: I'm sorry. I forgot.

INNKEEPER: Sorry? Forgot? You're always saying that!
Is it your business what King Herod does?
Is it your place to sing against King Herod?

WIFE: I think that he must be a wicked man.
A very wicked man.

INNKEEPER: Oh, la, la, la!
Sometimes _I_ think your ways will drive me mad.
Are you a statesman or a general?
Do you pretend to know the ins and outs
Of politics and why the great folk do
The things they do--and why we have to bear them?
Because it's we--we--we
Who have to bear them, first and last and always,
In every country and in every time.
They grind us like dry wheat between the stones.
Don't you know that?

WIFE: I know that, somehow, kings
Should not be wicked and grind down the people.
I know that kings like Herod should not be.

INNKEEPER: All right--all right. I'm not denying that.
I'm reasonable enough. I know the world.
I'm willing to admit to anyone
At least behind closed doors
  [_He drops his voice_]
That Herod isn't quite my sort of king
And that I don't approve of all he does.
Still, there he is. He's king. How will it help
If I go out and write on someone's wall
  [_In a whisper_]
"Down with King Herod!"
  [_His voice comes up again_]
What's it worth?
The cross for me, the whipping post for you,
The inn burned down, the village fined for treason,
Just because one man didn't like King Herod.
For that's the way things are.

WIFE: Yet there are men--

INNKEEPER: Oh yes, I know--fanatics, rabble, fools,
Outcasts of war, misfits, rebellious souls,
Seekers of some vague kingdom in the stars--
They hide out in the hills and stir up trouble,
Call themselves prophets, too, and prophesy
That something new is coming to the world,
The Lord knows what!

Well, it's a long time coming,
And, meanwhile, we're the wheat between the stones.

WIFE: Something must come.

INNKEEPER: Believe it if you choose,
But, meantime, if we're clever, we can live
And even thrive a little--clever wheat
That slips between the grinding stones and grows
In little green blade-sprinkles on the ground.
At least, if you'll not sing subversive songs
To other people but your poor old husband.
  [_Changing tone_]
Come, wife, I've got some news.
I didn't mean to be so angry with you.
You've some queer fancies in that head of yours
--Lord, don't I know!--but you're still the tall girl
With the grave eyes and the brook-running voice
I took without a dower or a price
Out of your father's house because--oh, well--
Because you came. And they've not been so bad,
The years since then. Now have they?


INNKEEPER: That's right. Give us a kiss.


I couldn't help the child.
I know you think of that, this time of year.
He was my son, too, and I think of him.
I couldn't help his dying.

WIFE: No, my husband.

INNKEEPER: He stretched his little arms to me and died.
And yet I had the priest--the high priest, too.
I didn't spare the money.

WIFE: No, my husband.
I am a barren bough. I think and sing
And am a barren bough.

INNKEEPER: Oh, come, come, come!

WIFE: The fault is mine. I had my joyous season,
My season of full ripening and fruit
And then the silence and the aching breast.
I thought I would have children. I was wrong,
But my flesh aches to think I do not have them.
I did not mean to speak of this at all.
I do not speak of it. I will be good.
There is much left--so much.
The kindness and the bond that lasts the years
And all the small and treasurable things
That make up life and living. Do not care
So much. I have forgotten. I'll sing softly,
Not sing at all. It was long past and gone.
Tell me your news. Is it good news?

INNKEEPER [_eagerly_]: The best!
The prefect comes to dinner here tonight
With all his officers--oh yes, I know,
The enemy--of course, the enemy--
But someone has to feed them.

WIFE: And they'll pay?


WIFE: On the nail?


WIFE: Good.

INNKEEPER: I thought you'd say so.
Oh, we'll make no great profit--not tonight--
I've seen the bill of fare they asked of me,
Quails, in midwinter! Well, we'll give them--quails!
And charge them for them, too! You know the trick?

WIFE: Yes.

INNKEEPER: They must be well served. I'll care for that,
The honest innkeeper, the thoughtful man,
Asking, "Your worship, pray another glass
Of our poor wine! Your worship, is the roast
Done to your worship's taste? Oh, nay, nay, nay,
Your worship, all was settled in the bill,
So do not spoil my servants with largesse,
Your worship!"--And he won't. He pinches pennies.
But, once he's come here, he will come again,
And we shall live, not die, and put some coin,
Some solid, enemy and lovely coin
Under the hearthstone, eh?
Spoil the Egyptians, eh?
  [_He laughs_]
That's my war and my battle and my faith.
The war of every sane and solid man
And, even if we have no child to follow us,
It shall be won, I tell you!
  [_There is a knock at the outer door_]
Hark! What's that?
I'll go--the maids aren't up yet--lazybones!
  [_The knock is repeated, imperatively_]

INNKEEPER [_grumbling_]: A minute--just a minute!
It's early yet--you needn't beat the door down.
This is an honest inn.
  [_He shoots the bolts and opens the door, while speaking_]
Good morning.

SOLDIER'S VOICE: Hail Caesar! Are you the keeper of this inn?

INNKEEPER: Yes, sir.

SOLDIER: Orders from the prefect. No other guests shall be
entertained at your inn tonight after sundown. The prefect wishes
all the rooms to be at the disposal of his guests.

INNKEEPER: All the rooms?

SOLDIER: You understand plain Latin, don't you?

INNKEEPER: Yes, sir, but--


INNKEEPER: Sir, when the prefect first commanded me,
There was a party of my countrymen
Engaged for a small room--he'd hear no noise--
No noise at all--

SOLDIER: This is the prefect's feast--the Saturnalia--
You've heard your orders.

INNKEEPER: Yes, sir. Yes, indeed, sir.

SOLDIER: See they are carried outl No other guests! Hail Caesar!

INNKEEPER [_feebly_]: Hail Caesar!

[_He slams the door_]

Well, that's pleasant.
All rooms at the disposal of the prefect!
No other guests! I'll have to warn Ben-Ezra.
But he's a sound man--he will understand.
We'll cook his mutton here and send it to him.
And the wine, too--a bottle of good wine--
The second best and let the prefect pay for it!
That will make up. No other guests. Remember
No other guests!

WIFE: I will remember.

It is an order. Now, about the quail.
You'll make the sauce. That's the important thing.
A crow can taste like quail, with a good sauce.
You have your herbs?

WIFE: Yes.

INNKEEPER: Well then, begin, begin!
It's morning and we haven't too much time
And the day's bitter cold. Well, all the better.
They'll drink the more but--all this work to do
And the fire barely started! Sarah! Leah!
Where are those lazy servants? Where's the fish?
Where's the new bread? Why haven't we begun?
Leah and Sarah, come and help your mistress!
I'll rouse the fools! There's work to do today!

[_He stamps up the stairs. She moves about her business_]

WIFE [_singing_]: In Bethlehem of Judea
There was an inn also.
There was no room within it
For any but the foe.

No child might be born there.
No bud come to bloom.
For there was no chamber
And there was no room.

[_Her voice fades off into music which swells up and down_]

NARRATOR: And the day passed and night fell on the town,
Silent and still and cold. The houses lay
Huddled and dark beneath the watching stars
And only the inn windows streamed with light--

[_Fade into offstage noise of a big party going on upstairs_]

1ST VOICE [_offstage_]: Ha, ha, ha! And then the Cilician said to
the Ethiopian. He said--

2ND VOICE [_offstage_]: Well, I remember when we first took over
Macedonia. There was a girl there--

3D VOICE [_offstage_]: Quiet, gentlemen, quiet--the prefect
wishes to say a few words--

PREFECT'S VOICE [_off_]: Gentlemen--men of Rome--mindful of
Rome's historic destiny--and of our good friend King Herod--who
has chosen alliance with Rome rather than a useless struggle--keep
them under with a firm hand--

SARAH: What is he saying up there?

LEAH: I don't know. I don't know the big words. The soldier

SARAH: You and your soldier!

LEAH: Oh, he's not so bad. He brought me a trinket--see!

SARAH: You and your Roman trinkets! I hate serving them.
I'd like to spit in their cups each time I serve them.

LEAH: You wouldn't dare!

SARAH: Wouldn't I, though?

[_There are steps on the stairs as the innkeeper comes down_]

INNKEEPER: Here, here,
What's this, what's this, why are you standing idle?
They're calling for more wine!

SARAH: Let Leah serve them.
She likes their looks!

WIFE: Sarah!

SARAH [_sighs_]: Yes, mistress.

WIFE: Please, Sarah--we've talked like this so many times.

SARAH: Very well, mistress. But let her go first.

[_To Leah_]

Get up the stairs, you little soldier's comfort!
I hope he pinches you!

LEAH: Mistress, it's not my fault. Does Sarah have to--

WIFE: Oh, go, go--both of you!

[_They mutter and go upstairs_]

INNKEEPER: Well, that's a pretty little tempest for you.
You ought to beat the girl. She's insolent.
And shows it.

WIFE: We can't be too hard on her.
Her father's dead, her brother's in the hills,
And yet she used to be a merry child.
I can remember her when she was merry,
A long time since.

INNKEEPER: You always take their side
And yet, you'd think a self-respecting inn
Could have some decent and well-mannered maids!
But no such luck--sullens and sluts, the lot of them!
Give me a stool--I'm tired.
  [_He sits, muttering_]
Say thirty dinners
And double for the prefect--and the wine--
Best, second best and common--h'm, not bad
But then--
Why do you sit there, staring at the fire,
So silent and so waiting and so still?

[_Unearthly music, very faint at first, begins with the next
speech and builds through the scene_]

WIFE: I do not know. I'm waiting.

INNKEEPER: Waiting for what?

WIFE: I do not know. For something new and strange,
Something I've dreamt about in some deep sleep,
Truer than any waking,
Heard about, long ago, so long ago,
In sunshine and the summer grass of childhood,
When the sky seems so near.
I do not know its shape, its will, its purpose
And yet all day its will has been upon me,
More real than any voice I ever heard,
More real than yours or mine or our dead child's,
More real than all the voices there upstairs,
Brawling above their cups, more real than light.
And there is light in it and fire and peace,
Newness of heart and strangeness like a sword,
And all my body trembles under it,
And yet I do not know.

INNKEEPER: You're tired, my dear.
Well, we shall sleep soon.

WIFE: No, I am not tired.
I am expectant as a runner is
Before a race, a child before a feast day,
A woman at the gates of life and death,
Expectant for us all, for all of us
Who live and suffer on this little earth
With such small brotherhood. Something begins.
Something is full of change and sparkling stars.
Something is loosed that changes all the world.

[_Music up and down_]

And yet--I cannot read it yet. I wait
And strive--and cannot find it.

[_A knock at the door_]

Hark? What's that?

INNKEEPER: They can't come in. I don't care who they are.
We have no room.

[_Knock is repeated_]

WIFE: Go to the door!

[_He goes and opens the door_]


[_Strain of music_]

JOSEPH [_from outside_]: Is this the inn? Sir, we are travelers
And it is late and cold. May we enter?

WIFE [_eagerly_]: Who is it?

INNKEEPER [_to her_]: Just a pair of country people,
A woman and a man. I'm sorry for them

JOSEPH: My wife and I are weary,
May we come in?

INNKEEPER: I'm sorry, my good man.
We have no room tonight. The prefect's orders.

JOSEPH: No room at all?

INNKEEPER: Now, now, it's not my fault.
You look like honest and well-meaning folk
And nobody likes turning trade away
But I'm not my own master. Not tonight.
It may be, in the morning--

[_He starts to close the door_]

WIFE: Wait!

INNKEEPER [_in a fierce whisper_]: Must you mix in this?

WIFE: Wait!

[_She goes to the door_]

Good sir, the enemy are in our house
And we--

[_She sees the Virgin, who does not speak throughout this scene
but is represented by music_]



WIFE [_haltingly_]: I--did not see your wife. I did not know.

JOSEPH [_simply_]: Her name is Mary. She is near her time.

WIFE: Yes. Yes.

[_To the innkeeper_]

Go--get a lantern.


WIFE: _Quickly!_

[_To Joseph and Mary_]

I--I once had a child.
We have no room. That's true.
And it would not be right. Not here. Not now.
Not with those men whose voices you can hear,
Voices of death and iron.--King Herod's voices.
Better the friendly beasts. What am I saying?
There is--we have a stable at the inn,
Safe from the cold, at least--and, if you choose,
You shall be very welcome. It is poor
But the poor share the poor their crumbs of bread
Out of God's hand, so gladly,
And that may count for something. Will you share it?

JOSEPH: Gladly and with great joy.

WIFE: The lantern, husband!

JOSEPH: Nay, I will take it. I can see the path. Come!

[_Music up. Joseph and Mary go. Innkeeper and wife watch them_]

INNKEEPER [_to wife_]: Well, I suppose that you must have your way
And, any other night--They're decent people
Or seem to be--

WIFE: He has his arm about her, smoothing out
The roughness of the path for her.

INNKEEPER: --Although
They are not even people of our town,
As I suppose you know--

WIFE: So rough a path to tread with weary feet!


[_He shivers_]

Brr, there's a frost upon the air tonight.
I'm cold or--yes, I must be cold. That's it.
That's it, now, to be sure. Come, shut the door.

WIFE: Something begins, begins;
Starlit and sunlit, something walks abroad
In flesh and spirit and fire.
Something is loosed to change the shaken world.

[_Music up and down. A bell strikes the hour_]

NARRATOR: The night deepens. The stars march in the sky.
The prefect's men are gone. The inn is quiet
Save for the sleepy servants and their mistress,
Who clean the last soiled pots.
The innkeeper drowses before the fire.
But, in the street, outside--

[_Music, changing into a shepherd's carol_]

1ST SHEPHERD: As we poor shepherds watched by night

CHORUS: With a hey, with a ho.

1ST SHEPHERD: A star shone over us so bright
We left our flocks to seek its light

CHORUS: In excelsis deo,
Gloria, gloria,
In excelsis deo.

1ST SHEPHERD: We left our silly sheep to stray,

CHORUS: With a hey, with a ho.

1ST SHEPHERD: They'll think us no good shepherds, they.
And yet we came a blessed way

CHORUS: In excelsis deo,
Gloria, gloria,
In excelsis deo.

1ST SHEPHERD: Now how may such a matter be?

CHORUS: With a hey, with a ho.

1ST SHEPHERD: That we of earth, poor shepherds we,
May look on Jesu's majesty?
And yet the star says--"It is He!"



CHORUS: Sing excelsis deo!
Gloria, gloria
In excelsis deo!

SARAH: Who sings so late? How can they sing so late?

LEAH: I'll go and see.
Wait--I'll rub the windowpane.
It's rimed with frost.

[_She looks out_]

They're shepherds from the hills.

WIFE: Shepherds?

LEAH: Yes, mistress. They have crooks and staves.
Their tattered cloaks are ragged on their backs.
Their hands are blue and stinging with the cold
And yet they all seem drunken, not with wine
But with good news. Their faces shine with it.

WIFE: Cold--and so late. Poor creatures--call them in.
The prefect's men are gone.

LEAH: Aye but--the master--

WIFE: He's dozing. Do as I tell you.

LEAH [_calling out_]: Come in--come in--tarry awhile and rest!

SHEPHERDS [_joyously_]: We cannot stay. We follow the bright star.
Gloria, gloria
In excelsis deo!

WIFE: Where did they go? Would they not stay with us?
Not one?

LEAH: Mistress, they did not even look on me.
They looked ahead. They have gone toward the stable,
The stable of our inn.

LEAH [_excitedly_]: Aye--gone but--Mistress! Mistress!

Do you hear?

WIFE: Hear what?

LEAH: The tread of steeds on the hard ground,
Iron-hoofed, ringing clear--a company
That comes from out the East. I've never seen
Such things. I am afraid. These are great lords,
Great kings, with strange and memorable beasts,
And crowns upon their heads!

INNKEEPER [_waking_]: What's that? What's that?
Lords, nobles, kings, here in Bethlehem,
In our poor town? What fortune! O, what fortune!
Stand from the window there, you silly girl,
I'll speak to them!

[_He calls out_]

My gracious noble masters,
Worthy and mighty kings! Our humble inn
Is honored by your high nobility!
Come in--come in--we've fire and beds and wine!
Come in--come in--tarry awhile and rest!

KINGS' VOICES [_joyfully_]: We cannot stay! We follow the bright star!
Gloria, gloria
In excelsis deo!

INNKEEPER: I do not understand it. They are gone.
They did not even look at me or pause
Though there's no other inn.
They follow the poor shepherds to the stable.

WIFE: They would not tarry with us--no, not one.

INNKEEPER: And yet--

WIFE: Peace, husband. You know well enough
Why none would tarry with us.
And so do I. I lay awhile in sleep
And a voice said to me, "Gloria, gloria,
Gloria in excelsis deo.
The child is born, the child, the child is born!"
And yet I did not rise and go to him,
Though I had waited and expected long,
For I was jealous that my child should die
And her child live.
And so--I have my judgment. And it is just.


WIFE: Were they dreams, the shepherds and the kings?
Is it a dream, this glory that we feel
Streaming upon us--and yet not for us.

LEAH: Now, mistress, mistress, 'tis my fault not yours.
You told me seek the strangers in the stable
And see they had all care but I--forgot.

SARAH: Kissing your soldier!

LEAH: Sarah!

SARAH: I am sorry, Leah.
My tongue's too sharp. Mistress, the fault was mine.
You told me also and I well remembered
Yet did not go.

WIFE: Sarah.

SARAH: I did not go.
Brooding on mine own wrongs, I did not go.
It was my fault.

INNKEEPER: If there was any fault, wife, it was mine.
I did not wish to turn them from my door
And yet--I know I love the chink of money,
Love it too well, the good, sound, thumping coin,
Love it--oh, God, since I am speaking truth,
Better than wife or fire or chick or child,
Better than country, better than good fame,
Would sell my people for it in the street,
Oh, for a price--but sell them.
And there are many like me. And God pity us.

WIFE: God pity us indeed, for we are human,
And do not always see
The vision when it comes, the shining change,
Or, if we see it, do not follow it,
Because it is too hard, too strange, too new,
Too unbelievable, too difficult,
Warring too much with common, easy ways,
And now I know this, standing in this light,
Who have been half alive these many years,
Brooding on my own sorrow, my own pain,
Saying "I am a barren bough. Expect
Nor fruit nor blossom from a barren bough."
Life is not lost by dying! Life is lost
Minute by minute, day by dragging day,
In all the thousand, small, uncaring ways,
The smooth appeasing compromises of time,
Which are King Herod and King Herod's men,
Always and always. Life can be
Lost without vision but not lost by death,
Lost by not caring, willing, going on
Beyond the ragged edge of fortitude
To something more--something no man has seen.
You who love money, you who love yourself,
You who love bitterness, and I, who loved
And lost and thought I could not love again,
And all the people of this little town,
Rise up! The loves we had were not enough.
Something is loosed to change the shaken world,
And with it we must change!

[_The voice of Dismas, the thief, breaking in--a rather
quizzical, independent voice_]

DISMAS: Now that's well said!

INNKEEPER: Who speaks there? Who are you?

DISMAS: Who? Oh, my name is Dismas. I'm a thief.
You know the starved, flea-bitten sort of boy
Who haunts dark alleyways in any town,
Sleeps on a fruit sack, runs from the police,
Begs what he can and--borrows what he must.
That's me!

INNKEEPER: How did you get here?

DISMAS: By the door, innkeeper,
The cellar door. The lock upon it's old.
I could pick locks like that when I was five.

INNKEEPER: What have you taken?

DISMAS: Nothing.
I tried the stable first--and then your cellar,
Slipped in, crept up, rolled underneath a bench,
While all your honest backs were turned--and then---

WIFE: And then?

DISMAS: Well--something happened. I don't know what.
I didn't see your shepherds or your kings,
But, in the stable, I did see the child,
Just through a crack in the boards--one moment's space.
That's all that I can tell you.
Is he for me as well? Is he for me?

WIFE: For you as well.

DISMAS: Is he for all of us?
There are so many of us, worthy mistress,
Beggars who show their sores and ask for alms,
Women who cough their lungs out in the cold,
Slaves--oh, I've been one!--thieves and runagates
Who knife each other for a bite of bread,
Having no other way to get the bread,
--The vast sea of the wretched and the poor,
Whose murmur comes so faintly to your ears
In this fine country.
Has he come to all of us
Or just to you?

WIFE: To every man alive.

DISMAS: I wish I could believe.

SARAH [_scornfully_]: And, if you did,
No doubt you'd give up thieving!

DISMAS: Gently, lady, gently.
Thieving's my trade--the only trade I know.
But, if it were true,
If he had really come to all of us--
I say, to all of us--
Then, honest man or thief,
I'd hang upon a cross for him!

[_A shocked pause. The others mutter_]

DISMAS: Would _you?_

[_Another pause_]

I see that I've said something you don't like,
Something uncouth and bold and terrifying,
And yet, I'll tell you this:
It won't be till each one of us is willing,
Not you, not me, but every one of us,
To hang upon a cross for every man
Who suffers, starves and dies,
Fight his sore battles as they were our own,
And help him from the darkness and the mire,
That there will be no crosses and no tyrants,
No Herods and no slaves.

[_Another pause_]

Well, it was pleasant, thinking things might be so.
And so I'll say farewell. I've taken nothing.
And he was a fair child to look on.

WIFE: Wait!

DISMAS: Why? What is it you see there, by the window?

WIFE: The dawn, the common day,
The ordinary, poor and mortal day.
The shepherds and the kings have gone away.
The great angelic visitors are gone.
He is alone. He must not be alone.

INNKEEPER: I do not understand you, wife.


. . . .WIFE: Do you not see, because I see at last?
Dismas, the thief, is right.
He comes to all of us or comes to none.
Not to my heart in joyous recompense
For what I lost--not to your heart or yours,
But to the ignorant heart of all the world,
So slow to alter, so confused with pain.
Do you not see he must not be alone?

INNKEEPER: I think that I begin to see. And yet--

WIFE: We are the earth his word must sow like wheat
And, if it finds no earth, it cannot grow.
We are his earth, the mortal and the dying,
Led by no star--the sullen and the slut,
The thief, the selfish man, the barren woman,
Who have betrayed him once and will betray him,
Forget his words, be great a moment's space
Under the strokes of chance,
And then sink back into our small affairs.
And yet, unless we go, his message fails.

LEAH: Will he bring peace, will he bring brotherhood?

WIFE: He would bring peace, he would bring brotherhood
And yet he will be mocked at in the street.

SARAH: Will he slay King Herod
And rule us all?

WIFE: He will not slay King Herod. He will die.
There will be other Herods, other tyrants,
Great wars and ceaseless struggles to be free,
Not always won.

INNKEEPER: These are sad tidings of him.

WIFE: No, no--they are glad tidings of great joy,
Because he brings man's freedom in his hands,
Not as a coin that may be spent or lost
But as a living fire within the heart,
Never quite quenched--because he brings to all,
The thought, the wish, the dream of brotherhood,
Never and never to be wholly lost,
The water and the bread of the oppressed,
The stay and succor of the resolute,
The harness of the valiant and the brave,
The new word that has changed the shaken world.
And, though he die, his word shall grow like wheat
And every time a child is born,
In pain and love and freedom hardly won,
Born and gone forth to help and aid mankind,
There will be women with a right to say
"Gloria, gloria in excelsis deo!
A child is born!"

SARAH: Gloria!

LEAH: Gloria!

WIFE: Come, let us go. What can we bring to him?
What mortal gifts?

LEAH [_shyly_]: I have a ribbon. It's my prettiest.
It is not much but--he might play with it.

SARAH: I have a little bell my father gave me.
It used to make me merry. I have kept it.
I--he may have it.

DISMAS: My pocket's empty and my rags are bare.
But I can sing to him. That's what I'll do
And--if he needs a thief to die for him--

INNKEEPER: I would give all my gold.
I will give my heart.

WIFE: And I my faith through all the years and years,
Though I forget, though I am led astray,
Though, after this I never see his face,
I will give all my faith.
Come, let us go,
We, the poor earth but we, the faithful earth,
Not yet the joyful, not yet the triumphant,
But faithful, faithful, through the mortal years!

[_Music begins_]

DISMAS [_sings_]: Come, all ye faithful.

INNKEEPER: Joyful and triumphant.

WOMEN: Come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!

[_Their voices rise in chorus in "Come, all ye faithful." The
chorus and the music swell._]



This script was one of thirteen programs which were produced in
co-operation with the United States government and broadcast over
the four major networks on thirteen consecutive Saturday evenings
beginning February 14, 1944. The series was heard over more than
six hundred radio stations in this country and was short-waved

The principal voice in _Your Army_ was that of Tyrone Power. The
program was directed by Norman Corwin; the music was composed and
conducted by Morton Gould, and the program produced by H. L.


[_Music: Bugle call sounding assembly. Bugle call continues in
background or is picked up as musical theme through this

NARRATOR: This is the Army! Ground, Air and Supply. Infantry!

VOICES: Fall in! Fall in! Fall in!

[_Shuffle of men's feet_]

NARRATOR: Cavalry!

OFFICER: As skirmishers--Gallop--Follow me!


NARRATOR: Artillery!

OFFICER: March order!

[_Roll of wheels_]

CHORUS [_singing_]: Oh, it's hi, hi, hee in the field artilleree.
Shout out your numbers loud and strong--one! two!

VOICES: One, two, three, four! One, two, three, four!

VOICES: Fall in, fall in, fall in!


TANK COMMANDER: Let her roll!

[_Clank of tanks_]

NARRATOR: Pursuit command, interceptor command, bomber command!

[_Roar of plane motors_]

SPOTTER [_filter_]: Enemy planes sighted at twelve thousand feet,
area seven! Twelve thousand feet, area sevenl Proceed to engage

1ST VOICE: Contact!

2ND VOICE: Follow me!

3RD VOICE: Deflection one-twenty--On Number One--Open fire,
Battery, Four thousand. Open fire!

NARRATOR: This is the Army! Engineers, machine-gunners, ordnance,
quartermaster, mechanized and armored units, ski troops
and parachute troops--everything that'll fly or roll or
shoot--Thirty-four divisions, Nine corps, Four field armies
training--this is the United States Army--one million, seven
hundred thousand men!

[_Music: Up to climax with plenty of brass, then out_]

NARRATOR [_resuming more quietly; under this, spot muted assembly
call_]: Sure, we know. We know this is the army. Our army. A
people's army, raised and equipped and run by a free people, made
up of Bill Jones and Bennie Cohen and Stan Woczinski, Burt
Anderson and Charlie Pappas, the kid who dropped out of college
when he heard about Pearl Harbor, and the blond kid who used to
pop sodas at the Combination Drugstore last year. That's our
army--and we know that. But how much do we know?

[_Bugle call--assembly_]

NARRATOR: What's an army about? What's it for--a free people's
army? [_More quietly_] Let's go back just a minute and see--go
back to the roots of the nation.

CLERK [_reading; music in_]: Article Two. A well-regulated
militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the
right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

[_Music out_]

NARRATOR: That's the second amendment to the Constitution. The
men who passed it had been through a long hard war to make their
free state. They knew how that state must be kept. And Washington

WASHINGTON: "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual
means of preserving peace. A free people ought not only to be
armed but disciplined."

NARRATOR: Washington spoke from experience. He'd seen his men
starve--he'd seen them chased like foxes-- *Here's one of his
generals, writing a letter home--

GENERAL: ". . . The whole army has now gone into winter
cantonments excepting General Nixon's and my brigade who are now
in the field (eight hundred of my men without shoes or stockings)
enjoying the sweets of a winter campaign while the worthy and
virtuous citizens of America are enduring the hardships, toils
and fatigues incident to parlors with good fires and sleeping on
beds of down . . ."

NARRATOR: Forget it? Why, of course. It happened over one hundred
and fifty years ago and we won that one, didn't we? Ye-es. But
let's just hear one more witness--the father of the idol of the
South--the cavalryman they called Light-Horse Harry Lee.

LEE: "A government is the murderer of its citizens which sends
them to the field uninformed and untaught, where they are to meet
men of the same age, mechanized by education and discipline for

NARRATOR: Pretty grim, isn't it? Pretty businesslike?
And--pretty contemporary? Are you listening, gentlemen of

[_Whistle and blast of bomb_]

NARRATOR: That was Batavia--falling. [_Pause_] Are you
listening--you good, decent, honest, peace-minded Americans--and
you're all of that--who didn't see and couldn't see why our
country needed a real army? [_Change of tone_] We forgot, of
course. We're apt to forget, between wars, forget the voices and
the warnings. We cut the standing army down to eighty men, right
after the Revolution. And in 1812 we fought another war--and we
were invaded and our capital was burned--but we won that one. And
in 'forty-six and sixty-one we fought other wars--

[_Music: Motif_]

SERGEANT: Captain Blake--hey, Captain Blake!

CAPTAIN: Yes, sergeant. What's the trouble?

SERGEANT: They's two hundred men with their rifles just come down
here from the hills of Kentucky! They all want to enlist at once
and I just can't do a thing with them!

CAPTAIN: Well, swear them in. Swear them in.

SERGEANT: Hell, they don't want to be swore in! They just want to
know where this place called Matamoros is and how soon can they
get [_fading_] there and start shootin'--

[_Music: Out_]

NARRATOR: Yes, that's the spirit--that's always been the spirit.
And, in 'sixty-one--

CHORUS [_singing_]: We are a band of brothers, devoted to the soil,
Fighting for the property we gained by honest toil,
And when our rights were threatened, we loudly cried hurrah,
Hurrah, hurrah for the bonny blue flag that boasts but a single star!

CHORUS [_cutting in_]: We're coming, Father Abraham, three
hundred thousand more . . . [_Fading_]

NARRATOR: A good spirit--a fine spirit--no better fighters on
earth than the men who fought with Scott and Taylor, Lee and
Grant. And the Regular Army, small, handicapped, kicked around in
peacetime like a football, did its job without brag or bluster
and did it well. But the boys who died at Matamoros and First
Bull Run died only too often as Light-Horse Harry Lee said they
shouldn't die--uninformed and untrained. They died at Chickamauga,
in 'ninety-eight--of fever--they died on San Juan Hill.

[_Strain of music_]

They went to France in 'seventeen and 'eighteen--two million of
them first and last. We know what they did there.

The German General Staff said we couldn't put an army in the
field--we put two million men. They broke the enemy's front and
went to the Rhine--

[_Triumphant music_]

And then we demobilized. Glad to. Wasn't the world at peace?

Well--you know what happened.

But, this time, we did make some plans. For the first time in
history, we raised a draft army before war fell on us. Raised it
fair and square, by lot and law, raised it out of just the same
sort of Americans who fought at Trenton and Cerro Gordo,
Chancellorsville and Cantigny. And we've got it now--and it's

Forget the past for a moment--forget even the heroic names of the
past! This is war! And this is now. Not yesterday--not Gettysburg
or the Marne--the Alamo or Château-Thierry--but _now!_

[_Music: Clash of music, fading into a slow, spinning sound_]

NARRATOR: That's a map--a map of the world--the whole round
globe of earth. It's in the office of the Chief of Staff at
Washington--General George C. Marshall. He is the tenth man in
all our history to wear the four silver stars of a full general.
He is the first American general who ever had to plan a grand
strategy that took in all the world.

It's a quiet room, this central brain-cell of the Army. The men
who go in and out of it wear uniforms--the man who sits at the
big desk wears a uniform. Otherwise, it's rather like any
executive office. There's no spur-jingling or table-pounding. The
papers flow in and out and the calls go in and out, night and
day--from the three great branches of the Army--Ground, Air and

Red tape? Brass hats?

I thought you'd ask about that. We're funny people, that way,
when it comes to our army. We wouldn't hire a lawyer who'd never
been to law school. We wouldn't employ a surgeon who'd never done
an appendectomy. But if a man has been schooled and trained all
his life in the theory and practice of war--why, he's a red-tape
brass hat and everybody's free to criticize. And yet, war is also
a profession. Ask the Axis. I wonder just who are the red-tape
brass hats--MacArthur, the West Point graduate, who sat in this
room once--or the country-club strategist who tells us all how to
win the war over cocktails? Marshall, the V.M.I, graduate--or the
congressman from South Overcoat who never fired a gun? Yes, I
wonder sometimes.

We pay General Marshall eight thousand dollars a year.


That's not big money, is it? And the same to MacArthur for
holding off 200,000 Japs on Luzon. But they aren't kicking about
the pay. They're satisfied.

And what do they do to earn their pay? Wheie do the plans get
executed? What sort of news comes into the quiet room? Let's
listen a minute--short-wave--

[_Crackle of short-wave_]

PRIVATE: "Hello, mom! Hello, dad! This is Jimmy--Jimmy. I'm
talking from Ulster. We just landed. Well, I guess I was the
first guy ashore so the old man said I could broadcast. Yeah,
we're fine and the folks are swell here. Yeah, I got my clean
socks on. Yeah, remember me to Millie and the boys--"

[_Crackle out_]

NARRATOR: That was a private in the United States Army, talking
from Northern Ireland. And here--

CORPORAL [_writing letter_]: "Dear Susy:--

"I hope this finds you O.K. just as it leaves me. It's cold
around here. But a guy who's used to Minnesota can't kick.
Pretty scenery, too, though they farm different. Well, we've got
a job to do and I guess we mean to do it. All the same, Susy, I'd
kind of like to hear from you. Your last letter was swell but I
ain't had one since. You might write a guy once in a while--"

NARRATOR: That was a Corporal attached to our task-force in
Iceland. Now--

[_Voice recites latest Philippine communiqué_]

NARRATOR: That was MacArthur's men--tonight--from the foxholes of
Bataan. Still holding.

And here--

VOICE [_filter_]: Reporting to Chief of Staff. Reporting to
Chief of Staff. American task force B safely landed at Rendezvous
K in South Pacific--

NARRATOR: Ireland--Iceland--Luzon--Batavia--Alaska the
Caribbean--halfway round the world,
American troops are marching--American planes are flying--
But why? Why? We're defending ourselves--aren't we?
We built an army for defense--didn't we?
So why do we have to fight all over the map?

Listen--here's your answer.

[_Roar of airplane motors_]

NARRATOR: Hear that? That's the B-19--the biggest bomber yet
built in the U. S. A. So big that when the pilot wants to rev up
a motor, he doesn't do it himself--he phones someone else to do
it. So big she can carry eighteen tons of bombs from New York to
Athens and back--seven thousand miles under her own power. So big
that she just got finished. And already outmoded.

COLD VOICE [_echo_]: Outmoded.

NARRATOR: Yes. But we learned a lot from making her and on the
drawing boards now are airplane motors that develop even more
thousands of horsepower. They'll be made and they'll fly the
planes and keep 'em flying. How far? Maybe halfway round the
world. The world has shrunk like a squeezed orange--old tools of
war are obsolete.

COLD VOICE [_echo_]: Obsolete.

NARRATOR: You can bomb Detroit from Brest. You can bomb Pearl
Harbor from the wastes of the Pacific. You can bomb Philadelphia
from Iceland. And what stops the bombers?  You have to have bases
to stop them--you have to have hangars and ground crews and
landing fields where your own planes can take off. You have to
have guns and men to protect those bases.

BRITISH PILOT: Last night--I was over Berlin. Tonight--I'm here
in Boston. Odd sensation--rather. But it happened. I caught the
ferry plane.

NARRATOR: That British pilot--you've read about him in the
papers. Last night--Berlin--tonight--Boston. And that's just the
air--just one huge phase of modern war. What about the ground?

GERMAN [_filter_]: Captain Hauptmann, Second Tank Group,
reporting to Headquarters. During the last eight hours the group
has advanced sixty-three miles.

NARRATOR: That was a single German tank unit in the Battle of
France. In the last war, an advance of sixty-three miles usually
meant weeks of fighting, the lives of thousands of men. But this
is mechanized war--modern war--war of rupture--war that flies
through the air at four hundred miles an hour--war that spills
and runs like quicksilver on lands and homes that only yesterday
were peaceful and miles away from the guns. War fought around the
curve of earth--quick-hitting, hard-striking, sudden, deadly.
Call the *rolll Have we got the tools to fight it? What tools have
we got? What machines?

[_Sound: Mechanical noise_]

VOICE: Well, here's one of them--mechanical range computer--what
the boys call a juke-box in antiaircraft. Kind of brainy old
buzzard. Hooks up with the range finder and the sound locater and
the searchlights--figures out the speed and altitude and range of
enemy planes and then sets your guns so your shells burst on the
target. Yep, all by its little self, once you turn those wheels.
And--it doesn't make mistakes. When you start coming over, Mr.
Hitler--just remember the juke-box boys!

NARRATOR: Modern war--war of machines and skills--or dials and
calibrations and micrometers--war we're able to fight because we
know about them--because when we want, we can make the best
machines in the world--You've heard about our bomb-sight--well--

[_Roar of airplane motor_]

VOICE: That it?

2ND VOICE: Yep. That's the baby. And she's everything they say.

VOICE: Looks good.

2ND VOICE: Looks good? Listen, soldier, with that little
hipper-dipper you can drop a bomb in a pickle barrel once you've
got the know-how. That's how Kelly and his bombardier sank the
_Haruna_--and they weren't shooting wild--they knew how. Now just
take a look at the--

[_Very big noise of guns_]

NARRATOR: Ouch. What's that?

VOICE: One fifty-five millimeter gun, sir. [_Gun explosion_]
Cost--fifty thousand dollars. Weight--thirty thousand pounds.
Fires a ninety-five pound shell nearly fifteen miles. But
mobile--you can haul it around by truck or tractor, camouflage
it, and use it right behind your front line. We call this one
Kate Smith. She's a honey. And we're going to need a lot of them.

NARRATOR: Hear that, you folks in the shops? How many Kate Smiths
are coming off the production line? How many can you make?

[_Rip of machine-gun fire_]

VOICE: Fifty-caliber machine gun--air-cooled--automatic--used by
motorized infantry--terrific hitting power--

NARRATOR: But how many? How many? A triangular division needs
plenty of machine guns. And every production day counts--in this
kind of war. We could show you the light tanks and the mediums,
the range finders and the fuse timers, and all the tools of
modern war. We could show you the jeep--come in, jeep!

[_Music: Jeep motif in_]

JEEP [_rather screwy and metallic_]: Jeep!

NARRATOR: How fast can you travel, jeep?

JEEP: Sixty miles an hour on good roads and whatever you can stand
on bad ones. My mother was a tin Lizzie and my father was a jack
rabbit. I'll cart four men and their stuff and I'll tow machine
guns and mortars. I'm a cross-country runner and a bulldog and an
armor-plated, hell-before-breakfast get-there--give me room! I've
got the jump of a flea and the guts of a terrier and I'm harder
to kill than an army mule. That's me--jeep!

NARRATOR: Thanks, jeep.

JEEP: Call me scout car. Can't a guy have a little dignity when
he's on the air?

NARRATOR: Okay, scout car. Dismissed.

JEEP: Jeep!

[_Music: Jeep motif concludes_]

NARRATOR: Sure, we could show you all those. We could show you
other things and take all night showing them--Because, for every
man we put in the front line, there are something like eight men
behind him--and, if those men aren't on the job, the man at the
front is out of luck. The people we're going to talk to don't
always get their names in the papers.

[_Cast and sound: ad libs sneak in_]

NARRATOR: But if they weren't on the job, we wouldn't have an
army. What's your job, soldier?

COOK: Me? I cook for the Fourth Battery. And, boy, can those
buzzards eat!

NARRATOR: H'm. Must be a pretty soft job--just cooking for a gang
of soldiers.

COOK: Sez you. You just listen to 'em howl when the chow don't
suit them. Not that I blame them. It takes food in your guts to
make a soldier--and that's my job.

NARRATOR: Well, anyhow, it sounds like a nice, easy detail.

COOK: Sez you. You ever up in the Argonne?


COOK: Well, I was. Nice quiet place to cook for a battery, the
Argonne. Just as nice and quiet and safe as a four-alarm fire. I
drew three months hospital, and it wasn't because I got wounded
opening tin cans.

NARRATOR: Thanks, soldier, and--oh, by the way, I've got a
message for you. The sergeant said to be sure to ask you how you
were fixed for lemon extract.

COOK [_roaring_]: Lemon extract! Why, the slabsided son of a--
Lemon extract! Say, you get out of my kitchen [_fading_] before I
take this cleaver and--

NARRATOR: I wonder what made him so sore? Didn't mean to do
it--you make a battery cook sore and you're in for trouble. Now
here's somebody with a hat cord I don't recognize--maroon and
white. Excuse me, soldier--could you tell me just why you've got
a different hat cord from these other men?

MEDICAL: Medical Corps, sir.

NARRATOR: Oh, that it? Medical Corps.

MEDICAL: Yes, sir. I'm a pill roller. Stretcher-bearer in action.
This is my field kit.

NARRATOR: H'm. You seem to be pretty well supplied.

MEDICAL: Have to be, sir. Casualties. Have to be prepared.

NARRATOR: And tell me--do you go out under fire?

MEDICAL: Wouldn't do much good if I didn't, sir. The faster you
can get the wounded out, the better chance they've got.

NARRATOR: Thank you. And you?

SIGNAL: First sergeant, Signal Corps. Used to be a telephone
lineman. That's my job.

NARRATOR: I thought nowadays it was all radio.

SIGNAL: Oh, we've got good radio. Got the walkie-talkie--that's
a two-way radio outfit one man can carry on his back. Used for
liaison and communication. But we still need telephones and
installations. We still need men to carry the lines to the
front--repair them--keep them working no matter if all hell's
breaking. This kind of army needs both wireless and wire--and men
who can work them both.

NARRATOR: I can see that. And you?

QUARTERMASTER: I'm a quartermaster sergeant. Sure, we count
blankets, we count shoes, we hand out the rations. Or that's
all they'll tell you we do. If the grub doesn't get to the
railhead--if it doesn't get from there to the cooks--the guy up
front is going to go pretty hungry. If his shoes don't fit and he
goes lame--he's a soldier out of action. That's our job--to see
he's clothed and fed. May not sound like much. But we're clothing
and feeding one million seven hundred thousand men.

NARRATOR: Thank you. Just a few of the skills and services that
go to the making of an army. And right where the shooting

Would you come up to the mike a minute, soldier with the blue hat
cord and the crossed rifles on your collar? Who are you and
what's your job?

INFANTRY: I'm infantry. I'm Private Dogface, private one million,
draft number 2985, dog-tag number 893-247. Otherwise, I'm just
the guy who occupies ground. They land me in planes from the air
and they shoot me up to the front in trucks and scout cars . . .
but a lot of the time, still, I walk--yes, even with all the
wheels and machines of modern war.

I walk and I creep and I dig and I burrow and I wiggle ahead. I
take cover and I creep from cover and I hold the line. I hide all
day in the foxholes under the bombings, and last out. I marched
with the Continentals and I marched with the Army of the Valley,
and in France I went ahead through the wheat, and I'm still
marching. I'm blind without planes and you've got to give me
planes--I can't fight tanks with my hands and you've got to give
me tanks--I'm not artillery and you've got to give me guns--but,
when all's said and done, I'm the guy who holds the ground. I'm
not just a foot-slogger with a rifle in this new army--I'm a
member of a combat team, trained like a football squad and with
plenty of razzle-dazzle stuff--the Notre Dame stuff and the Army
stuff and the Rose Bowl stuff of modern war. [_Sneak music_] But
my first job and my last is to take the ground and hold the
ground. I may do it forty miles an hour--I may do it two miles a
day. I'm going to be cold and wet and hungry and thirsty and
tired beyond tiredness. I'm going to see my friends die and hear
the wounded cry out like a whispering field. But I'm going ahead
and I'm going to win--the ground-gripper--the infantry--Private
Dogface of the U.S. Army.

[_Music: Up to a finish that means business_]

NARRATOR: And--what are we going to do, sitting here at our
radios? Squabble some more? Write letters to the papers? Hoard
sugar? Curse out the government? Spread the lies that divide a
people? Fold up in a chilly sweat every time there's bad news?
There's bad news now, and there's going to be bad news for quite
a while. The Army knows that. Our enemies aren't pushovers--they
are skillful, savage and relentless. They have trained for years
for this chance to enslave the world--and that's just what they
mean to do. They'll use every trick and tool. On the other
hand--they aren't supermen--they didn't come down from Mars.
They can be licked and they will be licked--by men. Not by men
without machines or by machines without men--but by men fighting
for freedom with the right sort of tools in their hands.
And--paste this one in your hat. It wasn't just the snow and the
cold and the mud that bogged down the German drive in Russia--it
was a fighting army and a fighting people. It wasn't just
tradition and Magna Carta that stopped the Luftwaffe cold in the
Battle of London--it was a fighting air force and a fighting
people. We've got the fighting army and it's going to fight--all
the way around the curve of earth. Men are going to die--very
good men are going to die.

They're going to die in the jungles for the shape of a Virginia
field and the crossroads store back home--they're going to die in
the cold, for the clear air of Montana and the smell of a New
York street and the church where they used to go, if they went to
church . . . for some things they learned at school and for some
things we've all of us learned--for three words cut in gray rock,
"Duty, Honor, Country"--and for an idea called freedom. I'm not
going to use the big words. I'm not going to talk about
"sacrifice" or "in vain." We are going to know such sacrifices as
we have not known since Valley Forge--and, unless we Avin this
war, even that will be in vain. It's you that I'm talking to--and
you and you--all over America. We've got a fighting army--let's
show them a fighting people! [_With change of tone_] You see,
armies differ. In some countries, an army means a steely
political machine, dominating the government, trampling on the
rights of the people. What's our army? Let's hear from one of its
historians. [_Smack of lips_]

A DELIBERATE VOICE: It has a soul of its own. It is nothing in
itself; it is everything as an organ of government. It has no
political aims, no political ambitions. Its commander in chief is
a civilian. It is the people's army and theirs alone.

NARRATOR: In some countries, an army is run by a [_fade in
steps_] heel-clicking military caste.

VOICE: Get into the gutter, you civilian swinel Don't you know
the sidewalk is for officers?

2ND VOICE: Yes, captain. Certainly, captain. Zu befehl, Herr

[_Fade out steps_]

NARRATOR: No--that isn't our army and it never has been. We have
our training school for regular officers--West Point. Money won't
get you into West Point and neither will the Social Register. No
graduate of West Point has ever tried to upset the political
system of this country--no graduate of West Point has ever tried
to build up a ruling military caste. They are men who do their
hard jobs for less than civilian wages--and when they retire, for
a few of them, there's a medal in a box, and a flag hung up on
the wall of a cramped suburban apartment. And, for others, there
are the graves--the graves in Arlington, at Soissons, in the
cemetery at Manila, in the unmarked ground--the graves marked--

VOICE: "Here lies an American soldier known only to God."

NARRATOR: But meanwhile they do their job and they live up to
their specifications--"Duty, Honor, Country." That's our ruling
military caste.

[_Music: "Army Blue"_]

NARRATOR: And the others--well, you know them. The lawyer, the
doctor, the florist, the man you take the five-ten with--the
hacker, the clerk, the farmer--everybody who's got somewhere a
piece of paper with the seal of the United States on it and the
words "Honorable Discharge." That's our army--the people's
army--and their sons are in it today.

[_Music: Start music, maybe "Stars and Stripes Forever"_]

NARRATOR: It's an old army and a new one. It goes back to the
cross-belted Continentals and the farmers who held their fire at
Bunker Hill. It's Dan Morgan's riflemen and Stonewall Jackson's
foot-cavalry and the Rainbow Division and the men who hold Luzon.
It's the dandy silk-stocking outfits from the cities and the
sergeant with half a dozen hash marks, the shavetail fresh from
the Point with his class ring shiny on his finger and Private
Perkey of the Kitchen Police. It's an army that calls its leaders
Marse Robert and Old Jack, Ulysses and Old Ironpants and the
Green Hornet--An army with its tongue in its cheek and its gun in
its hands. A disciplined army--you bet--but our own kind of
discipline--an army that takes to machines like a duck to
water--the fighting army of the American people, of the people,
by the people and for the people, first, last, and all the time!

[_Music: Up and out_]

NARRATOR: Are you back of it? Listen!

[_Music: In_]

CHORUS: This is the Army,

This is your Army,
The United States Army,
Let's go!
We've got the stuff and we've got the poise
And we've got the axe for the Axis boys,
It's a great big axe for the Great Big Noise,
Hear it come, brother! Told you so!

For we are the Army.
The leather-necked Army,
The United States Army,
That's why
With the jeeps and the peeps and the bombers too
The tanks and the ranks and the army stew,
We're going to see this damn thing through,
Sock it home, brother! That's the guy!
We're fighting for freedom,
And folks we remember,
The girls we remember,
The land of the free,
It's a long tough march and a long tough war
But we're going to get what we're fighting for
And it's Hitler's hide on the old barn door,
United States Army!
That's me!

[_Music: Up to climax_]




On United Nations Flag Day, June 14, 1942, there was broadcast
over the NBC Network _Toward the Century of the Common Man_, a
script especially written for the occasion by George Faulkner.
Stephen Vincent Benét was asked to write the closing speech for
this script, which is here reprinted.

Following immediately after the close of this declaration, there
was broadcast on the same program the transcribed Flag Day speech
of President Roosevelt, who during the course of his address read
the Prayer that was written by Stephen Vincent Benét at the
request of the Librarian of Congress, Archibald McLeish.

Included in the all-star cast were Charles Boyer, Joseph Calleia,
Ronald Coleman, Melville Cooper, Donald Dickson, Peter Lorre,
Thomas Mitchell, Alia Nazimova and Maria Ouspenskaya. The music
was composed by Robert Armstrong and Kurt Weil, with the
orchestra conducted by Mr. Weil. The co-producers for NEC were
Calvin Kuhl and David Elton.


PRINCIPAL VOICE: I've been known by many names, in many times and
places, I crawled out of the sea and the mud, long ages ago, and
the gods of the thunder and lightning looked at me and said,
"That's a queer, new fish. He'll never last on land." I hid in
the forests, small and frightened, and the dinosaurs clanked
around and said, "Who's this impractical dreamer? We'll eat him
alive--he's got nothing but hands and a brain." But they left
their bones in the rock and I lasted them out and went on. I
crept out of caves toward the sunlight--and I built the free
cities of Greece and the law that was Rome. I gathered the wisdom
of China and I sent a word crying through Palestine--a word that
cries through the centuries to all men and nations. "There is
neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, but we are
all brothers." And that word goes on.

I have dreamed many times. I found a new world, in small
ships--and none but the Believers believed in me when I first
dared that unknown West. When I wrote "All men are created free
and equal," few believed at first. But, slowly, many believed,
and many followed Jefferson. I shivered and prayed at Valley
Forge, and my prayer was answered. When I stood at Gettysburg
and spoke over the graves, few believed. But the Union lives and
shall live--and government of the people, by the people, for the
people, shall not perish from the earth.

Yes, I have been called many names--San Martin and Simon Bolivar,
Hampden and Juarez, Rousseau and Socrates. I have spilt my blood
in the streets of Paris and Athens and Moscow--I have grown as an
oak tree grows from the roots of English law. I have been a
preacher named Paul and a railsplitter named Abe Lincoln. I have
been called a weakling and a fool, but it is the brave and the
sane who follow me first and always.

Always, first, there has been the dream and the men who were
willing to die for it. I call forth the dream and the men--I call
them forth from all nations, when man stands up on his feet and
looks his fate in the eyes. Only yesterday, on Corregidor, my
name was Bill Smith from Ohio--and Jesu Maria Garcia was my
brother's name. We had a rock to defend, and we defended it. And
the name of that rock is Liberty, and in that name I speak.

For Liberty can be lost by the practical men whose hearts are too
shrunken to contain it. Liberty can be bartered away by the
greedy minds who cannot see beyond their own day. Liberty can be
stolen away by the robber and the brute. But Liberty grows like
grass in the hearts of the common people, from the blood of their
martyrs. And the tyrants rage and are gone, but the dream and the
deed endure--and I endure.

It is I who command men and win battles. I have called them forth
in the past, I am calling them forth today. I call the brave to
the battle-line, I call the sane to the council--I call the free
millions of earth to the century ahead--the century of the common
man, established by you, the people. _For this world cannot
endure, half slave and half free!_

My name is FREEDOM and my command today is ...

CHORUS [_unison_]: Unite!


God of the free, we pledge our hearts and lives today to the
cause of all free mankind.

Grant us victory over the tyrants who would enslave all free men
and nations. Grant us faith and understanding to cherish all
those who fight for freedom as if they were our brothers. Grant
us brotherhood in hope and union, not only for the space of this
bitter war, but for the days to come which shall and must unite
all the children of earth.

Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet of it we
can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by
hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race,
color or theory. Grant us that courage and foreseeing to begin
this task today that our children and our children's children may
be proud of the name of man.

The spirit of man has awakened and the soul of man has gone
forth. Grant us the wisdom and the vision to comprehend the
greatness of man's spirit, that suffers and endures so hugely for
a goal beyond his own brief span. Grant us honor for our dead who
died in the faith, honor for our living who work and strive for
the faith, redemption and security for all captive lands and
peoples. Grant us patience with the deluded and pity for the
betrayed. And grant us the skill and valor that shall cleanse the
world of oppression and the old base doctrine that the strong
must eat the weak because they are strong.

Yet most of all grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but
for all our years--a brotherhood not of words but of acts and
deeds. We are all of us children of earth--grant us that simple
knowledge. If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed.
If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away,
our freedom is not secure. Grant us a common faith that man
shall know bread and peace--that he shall know justice and
righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and
an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands, but
throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward
the clean world our hands can make. Amen.


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