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Mail Tribune 100, Feb. 18, 1922

News from 100 years ago
The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago

Feb. 18, 1922


Men who attended the Roberts luncheon yesterday were given an intellectual treat as well. Mr. Roberts, who is an international Y. M. C. A. secretary, with headquarters in New York city, brought one of the most thoughtful addresses which has been heard here recently.

With a clear-eyed vision beyond the cynicism and distorted thinking characteristic of multitudes today, Mr. Roberts accepts the present elaborate condition of the affairs of men and nations as what history should have taught us is the inevitable backwash of war, but with the philosopher’s steady faith he sees the dawning of the new day. He warns against the futility of constantly harking back to the days “before the war.” He says it’s fine to have “laurels on one’s brow,” but it is suicidal to “browse on one’s laurels,” and so the definite and confident forward look is necessary.

Mr. Roberts says that when General Sherman made his classic characterization of war, he was not thinking merely of the killing of men, but rather of the conditions through which we are now passing. He apologized for the trite saying that “nations are looking to America.”

“With two million Frenchmen under the ground, a million and a half hopelessly maimed and a million and a half more staggering back from prison camps, the wrecks of the former selves, and with other world powers in a similar state, where would they look other than to America?” said the speaker. He further said that world leadership of the future must come from the schools of America. The saviors of the civilized world, the boys in khaki served nobly in “their day,” but the experiences of the great conflict have, in a very certain sense unfitted them for leadership in the days of reconstruction. The challenge is to the youth of America, the youth of the countryside; not the prematurely old and blase offspring of the city bred; our boys and girls, a generation far enough from the actual conflict to feel its glorious idealism, but not its sordid abuses.

The speaker then laid the responsibility for their preparation for this leadership on the men and women, to guide them patiently and conscientiously through the strange vagaries of adolescence to the threshold of man and womanhood.

Mr. Roberts also spoke both in the Medford and Ashland high schools, seeking to impress indelibly upon the young folks the responsibility which is theirs. He says our young, to be worthy of their trust, must be clean in mind and body. He says that the president of the National Cash Register company has told him that if he himself smoked cigarettes it would cost the company $25,000 a year in the lowered efficiency of the employees, whom he must of course accord the same privilege as himself.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com