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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 05, 1939, Image 4

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Congress Presents
Pageant to Observe
Its 150th Year
Speeches Set Record,
Opera Stars Sing,
House Packed
By BLAIR BOLLES.
Congress celebrated Its 150th an
niversary yesterday with a fiesta of
speeches and songs, all of them fit
ting together a pageant of what
Speaker Bankhead in his spech de
scribed as the "drama of representa
tive government.”
The House chamber and galleries
were packed for the historic occa
sion, which produced some history
of its own. Never before did the
Chief Justice, the President, the
Speaker and the president pro tem
pore of the Senate all address a
joint session of Congress.
In all, the speakers numbered five,
the singers numbered two, and the
Introducers of the speakers num
bered five. These active participants
In the celebration totaled four more
than the Senators who gathered in
New York's Federal Hall on March
4, 1789, for the first session of the
Congress, which transacted no busi
ness because of the absence of a
quorum.
Although a cordon of police kept
out of the House wing of the Capitol
persons not holding special tickets,
the proceedings were brought into
the Nation's homes by the National,
Mutual and Columbia broadcasting
chains. Twenty-one microphones
were set up in the chamber.
Floor Benches Packed.
The benches on the House floor
were so packed two Representatives
had to stand after giving their seats
to diplomats, who, headed by their
dean, Ambassador Lindsay of Great
Britain, attended 53 strong. The
Chinese Ambassador and the Jap
anese Ambasasdor sat side by side,
although they said nothing to each
other. Hans Thomsen, the German
Charge d’Affaires. watched the cere
mony calmly as Mr. Roosevelt, Chief
Justice Hughes and Speaker Bank
head praised the glories of demo
cratic government.
On special seats arranged on one
Bide of the ample well of the House
sat the eight Supreme Court justices
In their robes. On similar seats on
the other side of the well were all
the members of the cabinet except
Secretary of the Navy Swanson, who
Is ill. Postmaster General Farley
and Attorney General Murphy wore
new Florida sunburns. President
Roosevelt, too, was tanned after his
Caribbean trip. He sat at the white
marble rostrum, leaning his cheek
on his right fist. Behind him was
his military aide. Col. Edwin M.
IVatson, resplendent in gold braid.
Below the President at his right
was a piano, which was used to ac
company the songs by MMs Gladys
Swarthout and John Charles Thom
as of the Metropolitan Opera. Each
of them sang separately parts of
“America,” and together, at the
ceremony's close, they rendered “The
Btar Spangled Banner.”
Only Two Seats Empty.
Eager . spectators found vantage
points for watching even in the
statue niches in the walls at the
back of the gallery. They crowded
the aisles and filled the seats. The
only empty seats in the chamber
were two chairs in the diplomatic
gallery, which was occupied by eight
women and two men, one of them
George Summerlin, chief of protocol
of the State Department. Mr. Sum
merlin escorted the diplomats into
the House.
Behind the railings at the rear of
the House the crowd was thick. Two
habited nuns and a priest could be
seen intently following the pro
ceedings. Many members of Con
gress brought children who sat on
laps. In one row of benches were
District Commissioners Melvin C.
Hazen and David McCoach. and the
country's military leaders: Gen.
Malin Craig, chief of staff, U. S. A.;
Admiral William D. Leahy, chief of
naval operations; Maj. Gen.Thomas
Holcomb, commandant of the Ma
rine Corps, and Rear Admiral Rus
sell R. V/aesche, head of the Coast
Guard.
In front row seats in the gallery
were Mrs. Sara Delano Roosevelt,
the President’s mother, and Mrs.
James Roosevelt, the President’s
first daughter-in-law. Before the
ceremony they had accompanied
Mr. Roosevelt to St. John’s Episco
ptU Church, Sixteenth and H streets
N.W., for a special prayer service
marking the sixth anniversary of
the President’s entrance into the
White House. When Mr. Roosevelt
spoke to Congress, they both listen
ed intently, putting their hands to
their ears in order not to miss a
word.
Celebration Begins Calmly.
The birthday celebration began
calmly enough at noon in the guise
of a session of the House. The gal
leries were filled with women (mo6t
of them congressional wives, daugh
ters and secretaries) outnumbering
the men by almost 20 to 1; but only
members of the House were seated
on the benches, each of which was
placarded with a large “reserve”
sign. The only decoration in the
House were potted ferns before the
rostrum.
Speaker Bankhead called the
House session to order and the Rev.
James Shera Montgomery, House
chaplain, prayed that “tyrants and
their cohorts might never be loosed”
on the United States. Then there
was a cry at the door:
"The Vice President and the mem
bers of the Senate of the United
States.”
Mr. Garner, in a black cutaway,
led the Senators, who took seats in
the front of the House. The Vice
President mounted to the rostrum
after shaking hands with the Rev.
Mr. Montgomery and took the gavel
from Speaker Bankhead. The Vice
President, who declined an invita
tion to be among the speakers, pre
sided over the ceremonies.
In the well. Representative Sol
Bloom of New York, director of the
celebration, was acting as traffic
officer. He bowed expansively to all
Roosevelt
(Continued From First Page.)
through amendment in their hands,
they are always able to obtain what
ever a preponderant and abiding
Sentiment demands.”
Impressive Formality.
The session was one of impressive
formality. House members were in
their places at the rear of the hall
early. Promptly at noon, the Sen
ate, led by Vice President Garner,
entered the chamber. Then the
members of the Supreme Court in
their black silken gowns were es
corted to the front row. Next came
the cabinet, followed by the diplo
matic corps and the commanding
officers of the Army, Navy, Marine
Corps and Coast Guard.
The galleries were packed, and
among the spectators there were the
President’s wife and mother.
Speaker Bankhead spoke briefly,
asserting the present was a time
for “reappraising the soundness and
desirability of our democratic form
of government.” He mentioned
"certain sinister influences and
minorities,” and suggested that the
Nation had. perhaps, been too gen
erous in its hospitality to such ele
ments.
Senator Pittman. Democrat, of
Nevada, president pro-tempore of
the Senate, reviewed the first ses
sion of Congress 150 years ago.
Gladys Swarthout and John Charles
Thomas, opera stars, sang “Ameri
ca” and “The Star Spangled Ban
ner.”
Gets Round of Applause.
Fully half of Mr. Roosevelt's com
paratively brief speech was devoted
to a discussion of the difficulties
that attended the beginnings of the
Republic, to which the big audience
listened without so much as a hand
clap. But it warmed up to enthusi
astic applause with his statement
that the people of this country do
not consider the processes of the
democratic system to be outworn.
The safety of the system, he said,
depends on “two essentials.” peri
odic elections and freedom for the
voters to make ' their choice of
candidates in those elections. The
Nation's “house” was built with the
writing of the Constitution, he said,
but it had to be made "habitable”
by the addition of the Bill of Rights.
He enumerated the rights guar
anteed by it: Jury trial, freedom
from unlawful search and seizure,
freedom of assembly and freedom
to petition Congress.
Speech Is Unchecked.
“Freedom of speech,” he contin
ued, "yes that, too, is unchecked,
for never has there been so much
of It on every side of every sub
ject. • • •
“Freedom of the press—I take It
THE CHIEF JUSTICE SPEAKS—Closeup of Chief Justice Hughes
addressing the joint session of Congress yesterday as it cele
brated its 150th anniversary.
---A -
Count de Saint-Quentin (right), French Ambassador, as he
greeted Dr. Don Fernando de Los Rios, Spanish Ambassador, at
the Capitol yesterday.
_______ a
that no sensible man or woman be
lieves that it has been curtailed or
threatened or that it should be.
* * * Representative democracy
will never tolerate suppression of
true news at the behest of Govern
ment.
Then, discussing freedom of re
ligion, he went on to say that this
country would not be silent at its
denial elsewhere in the world for,
he said, “that essential of the rights
of mankind goes back also to the
origins of representative govern
ment.”
Justice’s Speeches Few.
Speeches and public appearances
by a Chief Justice of the United
States are few. Even rarer is an
occasion on which both he and thd
President speak on the same pro
gram. Mr. Hughes, introduced by
Majority Leader Barkley, received
an ovation of such intensity and
duration as to rival the shouting
and applause that greeted the Presi
dent. And he moved his hearers to
another thunderous ovation with the
very first sentence of his speech, the
assertion that the people of America
want their form of government pre
served.
“Forms of government.” he said,
“however well contrived, cannot
assure their own permanence. If
we owe to the wisdom and restraint
of the fathers a system of govern
ment which has thus far stood the
test, we all recognize that it is only
by wisdom and restraint in our own
way that we can make that system
last.
“If today we find ground for con
fidence that our institutions which
have made for liberty and strength
will be maintained, it will not be
due to the abundance of physical
resources or to productive capacity,
but because these are at the com
mand of a people who still cherish
the principles which underlie our
system and because of the general
appreciation of what is essentially
sound in our governmental struc
ture.”
All Partners In Democracy.
The Chief Justice called the Ju
dicial branch of the Government a
“separate, but not “independent”
arm of the Government, adding that
"in the great enterprise of making
democracy workable, we are all part
ners.” He continued:
“One member of our body politic
can not say to another, ‘I have no
need of thee.’ We work in successful
co-operation by being true, each
department to its own functions and
all to the spirit which pervades our
institutions—exalting the processes
of reason, seeking through the very
limitations of power the promotion
of the wise use of power, and find
ing the ultimate security of life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness,
and the promise of continued sta
bility and a rational progress, In the
good sense of the American people.”
Mrs. James Roosevelt, the President’s daughter-in-law, and
Mrs. James Roosevelt, his mother, listening to the ceremonies.
—A. P. and Underwood & Underwood Photos.
and gave a special smile to Senator
Hattie Caraway, who wore a brace
of purple orchids, florally outshining
even Miss Swarthout, dressed in a
dashing brown ensemble set off by
a large red carnation.
Anxious Moment.
Representative Bloom had an
anxious moment as the last Senator
walked down the aisle. To his as
tonishment, he saw the four military
men following the Senators. Their
entrance had been arranged for a
little later. Mr. Bloom sent them
back to await their cue. Before them
on the schedule were the Supreme
Court justices, whose entrance
brought applause, and the diplo
mats. The Justices were seated when
the latter entered, and as Ambassa
dor de los Rios of Spain passed
Justice Felix Frankfurter, he shook
the Jurist’s hand.
The militarists now were told that
they could come in and stay. The
District Commissioners followed in
their wake. Next were the cabinet
officers, who walked Indian file down
the aisle, with their only woman
member, Secretary of Labor Per
kins, bringing up the rear. Secre
tary of State Hull was first. He sat
down separated only by the aisle
from Chief Justice Hughes.
me cnamDer now was pacKea.
There was a hush for the most im
pressive entrance of all. The door
keeper called:
"The President of the United
States.”
Mr. Roosevelt entered smiling from
a door behind the rostrum on the
arm of Col. Watson. Everybody rose
to his feet. Handclaps, whistling
and calls of loud applause filled the
room, most of it coming from the
Democratic members of Congress.
When the speeches were given, how
ever, the Republicans showed that
they. too. could cheer. They gave
Chief Justice Hughes such an ova
tion that it overshadowed the ap
plause that the President won with
his address.
Song Opens Ceremony.
It was 12:17 pjn. when the Presi
dent was seated, just beneath Vice
President Garner. Beside him were
the members of the Committee on
Arrangements for the celebration—
Mr. Bloom. Senators Barkley, Pitt
man, Harrison, McNary and Borah '
and Representatives Rayburn, Sab
ath, Eaton and Sumner.
The ceremony began with a song
from Miss Swarthout, who had said
the day before that nothing in her
career pleased her so much as the
prospect of singing for the whole
Federal Government, which, in ef
fect, was what was gathered In the
House chamber. The leading lights
of the three branches of the Goverrl
ment—the executive, the legislative
and the judiciary—were all there.
Mr. Bloom read the resolution
authorizing the celebration and in
troduced Mr. BankheacL The
Speaker drew loud applausr ,'or'his
statement that “God has not created
one man strong enough or wise
enough to be intrusted with the
whole government of a people,”
and the applause was stronger when
he said that "the nations abroad
may go a step too far.”
MX. oarncr recognized rtepre-*
sentative Rayburn of Texas, the
House majority leader. His pink,
bald head shone brightly under the
kleig lights set up for the benefit
of the motion picture cameramen
as he read a short introduction to
Senator Pittman, the president pro
tempore of the Senate. Senator
Pittman’s resume of the activities
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of the First Congress preceded a
song by Mr. Thomas.
The Vice President then recog
nized Senator Barkley, who had
prepared a statistical treatise to
show the Senate did not deserve
the label of the "most exclusive
club In the world.” He said his
choice for that club was the Asso
ciation of Chief Justices,” of whom
there have been but 11 since the
Republic was established. With
that he introduced Chief Justice
Hughes.
The simplest Introduction of all
was reserved by Mr. Gamer for the
President. The Vice President mere
ly announced that the President
was going to speak. The whole as
semblage arose, and the applause
lasted for twn minutes.
After Miss Swarthout’s and Mr.
Thomas’ rendition of “America,’’ the
Rev. Ze Barney T. Phillips, Senate
chaplain, pronounced the benedic
tion. Up to this point, all had
gone smoothly except for the too
early entrance of the generals and
the admirals. But now came a
slight hitch.
At Mr. Phillips’ "Amen,’’ Vice
President Garner cracked down his
gavel and started to say that the
joint session of the House and the
Senate was adjourned. In the mid
dle of his words he stopped, looked
at President Roosevelt, and said:
“Don't you want to get out?”
The President grinned. The au
dience laughed. Mr. Garner and
Mr. Roosevelt shook hands, and the
Chief Executive left with a wave to
the crowd. Then Mr. Gamer ad
journed the session.
A delegation from Georgetown
University had arrived at the Capitol
at 10:30 am. to pay its respects to
Mr. Gamer and Mr. Bankhead, a
Georgetown law graduate, on the
occasion of the sesquicentennial.
This is Georgetown's 150th anni
versary year, too. The delegation
was headed by the Rev. Arthur J.
O’Leary, president of the univer
sity.
Father O’Leary, who was intro
duced to Mr. Bankhead by Senator
Walsh of Massachusetts, brought a
prayer that "the two institutions
born in the same year may continue
their mutual respect and unbroken
co-operation in the service of God
and country.’’
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Legislators Praise
Roosevelt, Hughes
And Bankhead Talks
Favorable Reaction,
Regardless of Party,
Is Expressed
Mr th« Associated Press.
President Roosevelt's emphasis on
reaffirmation of the principles of
liberty under democracy in his ad
dress to Congress yesterday brought
expressions of approval from most
legislators, regardless of party.
There was praise also for the
speeches by Chief Justice Hughes
and Speaker Bankhead.
Senator King, Democrat, of Utah
said he believed the President's
speech would “do much to allay the
fears of those who may have be
lieved that the executive depart
ment contemplated too much inva
sion of the rights of individuals.”
Senator Brown, Democrat, of Mich
igan expressed the opinion that the
strong emphasis placed on the Bill
of Rights was the significant thing*
Democracy Resurge Seen.
“It means,” he declared, “that the
Government is not going to run
roughshod over the people.”
Senator Thomas, Democrat, of
Utah said the ceremonies probably
were “as significant as the original
meeting of Congress was.”
“I believe the peak of autocratio
governments that have come in as
a result of the World War has been
reached,” Senator Thomas said, “and
this may well mark the beginning of
the resurge of democracy."
Other comment included:
Senator Taft, Republican, of Ohio:
"Everything was in the best taste.
I saw certainly nothing to criticize
in the President's speech, as far as
it touched on foreign affairs.”
Senator La Follette, Progressive,
Reaction
(Continued From First Page.)
through and through a hundred
times.”
Lokal Anselger declared the Presi
dent's “mind is haunted by the no
tion that in other countries usurpers
rule, whereas they are leaders who
execute the will of their peoples.”
Relay Is Cancelled. 1
The British Broadcasting Co. had
arranged to relay direct Mr. Roose
velt's speech but cancelled its plans
because it came later than ex
pected.
Between 7 and 8 p.m. <2 and 3
p.m. Eastern standard time), how-j
ever, it broadcast passages which
had any connection with foreign af
fairs. The President's remarks head
ed news bulletins to Germany and
Italy in the languages of those coun
tries.
French observers, although ex
pressing disappointment that Mr.
Roosevelt limited his address al
most exclusively to internal affairs,
praised his“'defense of democracy.”
French foreign office officials as
usual refused to comment officially
until copies of the text had been
received and digested thoroughly.
Echo Other Reactions.
In general, however, they echoed
unofficially the reaction o£ other
French observers that “every word
spoken in defense of democracy
helps the cause of democracy."
French sources pointed out par
ticularly the President's attack on
religious persecution which one ob
server called "another slap at the
dictators."
Late afternoon London newspa
pers front-paged the speech, empha
sizing that part which referred to
the return of “forms of government
which for 2,000 years have proved
their tyranny and their inability
alike.”
Morning newspapers which car
ried excerpts on inside pages cap
tioned the address as "attack on dic
tators and tyranny” or as the Presi
dent's definition of “what freedom
means.”
-
of Wisconsin: “It was a very fitting
and Impressive ceremony.”
Senator Shipstead, Farfner-Labor,
of Minnesota: “I liked all the
speeches.”
Capper Praises Program.
Senator Holt, Democrat, of West
Virginia: “As long as the President
confined his remarks to the Consti
tution and the history of the United
States, the speech was all right.”
8enator Capper, Republican, of
Kansas: "It was a fine program.
Chief Justice Hughes made a won
derful speech.”
Senator Hatch, Democrat, of New
Mexico: “It was a most timely, in
spiring and patriotic service and
should recall to every citizen the
inestimable blessings of a free gov
ernment.”
Senate Majority Leader Barkley:
“I think it was one of the most im
pressive ceremonies that I have
ever seen since I have been in
Washington.”
Senate Minority Leader McNary:
“In my 20 years of service it was the
most dignified and sublime occasion
I have attended.”
Senator Holman, Republican, of
Oregon: “A most wholesome thing
—we need that renewal of faith.”
Bankhead’s Address Lauded.
Senator Reed. Republican, of
Kansas: “I was especially impressed
by the depth and solemnity of
Speaker Bankhead’s address.”
Senator Barbour, Republican, of
New Jersey: ‘‘Very timely, very im
pressive and thrilling.”
Senator Maloney, Democrat, of
Connecticut: ‘‘The finest observance
since I’ve been here.”
Senator Bailey. Democrat, of
North Carolina: “A very fine pro
gram which ought to be helpful to
11 " 1
the whole country. The Chief Jus- ;
tice delivered a great and mem—‘
orable message.”
Senator O'Mahoney, Democrat, of
Wyoming: “It was a most impressive
rededication of the Government and
the people of the United States to
the tolerant, patient and courageous',
principles of democracy.”
Dr. Parran to Speak
At New York Dinner
Dr. Thomas Parran, surgeon gen
eral of the United States Public
Health Service, will be the principal ’
speaker Thursday night at the an
nual banquet of the drug, chemical
and allied trades section of the New
York Board of Trade, to be held in
New York City.
C. C. Concannon, chief of the
Chemical Division, Department of
Commerce, and Dr. F. J. Cullen, gen
eral representative of the Proprie
tary Association, which has head
quarters here, also are to be among
the guests of honor.
Fire Damages Home
In Arlington •
A fire of undetermined origin
caused damage estimated at #500
last night at the home of Mrs.
Olive Kline, at 2821 South Six
teenth street, Arlington, Va.
The house was unoccupied at the
time of the blaze. Firemen, who
brought the fire under control in 45
minutes, said it apparently had
started near the first floor of the
frame dwelling and spread to the
rafters. Almost all the fire depart
ments in the county were called to
the scene.
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