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and I just naturally can't let them go to anybody e

OR the Red Cross, the flood began last fall. On
nine days before the A. R. C. had



282



BEHIND THE LEVEES



ice, for six months. The relief operation was not closed
until March 28. And that very ice, melted by spring rains,
formed a part of the first spring floods in Missouri.

In March there were two breaks in Missouri, across the
river from Columbus, Kentucky. These were dealt with
by the Red Cross as local relief operations without the least
expectation of what was to follow. Then toward the end
of March the Weather Bureau called up the Red Cross
one Saturday afternoon, getting on the wire T. R.
Buchanan, who is in charge of disaster relief work for the
whole territory east of the Mississippi and who had only
recently returned from Miami. There was going to be a
flood and a big one, the Weather Bureau said. Buchanan
hurried for Angola and Macksville, Mississippi, where
water was already driving people from their homes. From
then on all the southern papers were supplied with the
Weather Bureau's daily information and its estimate that
there would be a crest of 53 feet, perhaps more, against
the normal spring height of 45 to 48 feet.

On April 19 came the first big break. The Arkansas
River flooded the whole St. Francis Basin of 4,200 square
miles. On April 21 came the first break in the Mississippi,
which would have flooded only a small area had it not been
joined by the water from the Arkansas ; the two spread
all the way down the west side into Louisiana where they
were finally checked by the strong levees of the Red River.

The sensational break on the east side, near Greenville,
Mississippi, flooded the 2,000 square miles of the Yazoo
Basin to a depth of from four to ten feet in two or three
days. Greenville, the only sizable city to be hit during
the entire course of the flood, went under water to the
second stories of its houses; half of its 15,000 inhabitants
were moved away in boats. At the present writing, while
it can be reached only by boats and planes, it has a popula-
tion of i6,OOO residents and refugees, of whom more than
half are in camps on the levees. Those who have stuck
to their homes are fed from boats. The first ten thousand
units of typhoid serum for Greenville were dropped from
a plane and fished out of the water without the loss of a
bottle. Because Greenville was a city with sizable towns
nearby, and because the water came there in a quick rush,



it formed a distinct relief problem. It is the only city o
the lower Mississippi which is built on low ground. Al
of the others are on bluffs, the site of preceding Indiai
villages. New Orleans, originally slightly above wate
level because of its canals, has been relatively depressed a
the levees have been built and the river raised, until now iti
and in fact all lower Louisiana, is below river level. Thi
tops of the levees are the highest land for many miles. I
you want to get a view you climb the levee. In the wholi
state there is no spot more than 300 feet above sea level.

THE RED Cross is quick as scat and it has had
experience of disasters. It saw at once that here
something on the grand scale requiring a national appeal t<
be issued by President Coolidge. And out of its promp
call to him grew the unusual and far-flung organizatior
which Mr. Hoover says could not possibly have beer
effected before the war and its lessons in organization. A:
president ex officio of the Red Cross, President Coolidgi
appointed a Mississippi Flood Committee to take entin
charge and to employ the Red Cross as its active agent ir
handling the situation. The Committee consists of the
Central Committee of the Red Cross actively representec
by James L. Fieser, vice-chairman in charge of domestii
operations, and Secretaries Hoover, Davis, Wilbur, Jardint
and Mellon. Thus were brought into immediate and activf
duty the best organizing brain in the country, which lurk;
behind the smiling exterior of Mr. Hoover; the Arm>
surgeons with their tents and other equipment; the Nav\
fliers and Signal Corps men ; the Public Health Service
surgeons; the Coast Guard boats and crews; the count)
agents employed jointly by the federal and state Depart-
ments of Agriculture, who have helped in relief operations
through intimate knowledge of their territory and people
and will be invaluable when planting time comes; and, oi
course, the entire personnel of the Red Cross, including Mr
Fieser and his experienced aides and, if they should b(
needed, over 100,000 nurses and great numbers of socia
workers from the family welfare societies which are it:
institutional members.

Thus far the problem has been (Continued on page 290)




American Red Cross



Vicksburg ambulances awaiting the sick and injured from Qreenville




EDITORIALS



'N mid-May, the Hudson River was strung
with battleships, cruisers, destroyers and
other war craft one of the largest mobiliza-
tions in the history of the fleet. Thousands
of men, millions in money, in line. Mean-
while, the Mississippi River, rising by incre-
its measured in tenths of feet, was inundating areas as
as whole states, so that war correspondents like Will
in, writing from the flooded district, compared the plight
refugees with that in the devastated regions of France.
These parallel phenomena ought to do more than scratch
surface of men's imaginations. They ought to engrave
:p in public opinion some realization as to where we
apply our energy, our engineering, our resources, our
instructive statesmanship, if we would conserve American
The game of war on the Atlantic Coast against a
lythical invader shows up feebly against the serious business
i the Mississippi bottomlands where the task of the pioneers
i conquering the wilderness stands unfinished. If we had
ut a tenth as much resourcefulness into meeting the lessons
E the floods of 1912 and 1922 as we have into naval pre-
aredness, the news from Cairo and points south this last
>nth would have been different.




N the emergency, some of the lessons learned in the Great
/ar have been put to work. The smoothness with
hich the Red Cross has raised its preliminary funds, the
wiftness with which its skeleton organization has taken on
esh and action are in point. So, also, the larger lessons
af co-ordination, the creation of a Cabinet Committee which
interlocked all the government services with Secretary
Hoover as key, the non-political state reconstruction commit-
tees he called into being in which to vest state responsibility,
the widely representative conferences in which civic and
medical, as well as governmental, forces take part.

An equally broad base is needed in addressing the larger
tasks of rehabilitation and flood control in the months ahead.
In formulating a program, the Engineering News-Record
in its current issue urges the appointment of an engineering
board by the President, on which the Mississippi River Com-
mission (committed to the all-levee plan) shall be repre-
sented but shall not dominate. Their plea is a plea for broad-
ening out beyond the Army group of engineers, a plea that
is sound so far as it goes. It should go further. Such a
commission should include economists, foresters, and agricul-
tural experts, as well as Army and civilian engineers. The
technical engineering problem is part of a larger social prob-
lem, reaching back to the watersheds in thirty-one states.



Wi should have to go back to the piping days of the
Palmer raids and the Lusk committee for an under-
standing of the stark fear and hysteria which animate the
die-hards in the recent moves of the Conservative government
in England. The raid on the Soviet trading headquarters
in London is the most spectacular manifestation of this.
But the teeth of their program shows through in the Trade
Union Bill before Parliament. Sidney Webb, the ranking
student of 'British industrial history, traces in the official
monthly journal of the Labour Movement, the slow emanci-
pation of workers from coercive laws during the past hun-
dred years. He seeks analogies for the provisions of the pres-
ent measure its constraint upon the rights of association,
of striking, picketting and the rest. He concludes, "This is
industrial conscription with a vengeance! The bill is not, as I
thought, parallel only with the acts of 1799-1800. It is worse."
The dominant group in British politics is apparently out
to smash the unions and to cripple the Labour Party. It is
to this situation that Ramsay MacDonald returns, half con-
valescent from his very serious illness (a throat infection) in
a Philadelphia hospital. That illness prevented his speaking
before American audiences giving his message of the evolu-
tionary movement he leads, committed to political democracy
and social action. His leadership is needed as never before
at home, an affirmative espousal in the face of assault. The
episode, big and bitter as it is, is one stage in the slow
emergence of a new England the England of the common
man, just as a century ago the middle classes were 'forging
to power. With dictatorship in Russia and Italy, it is
tremendously significant to believers in self-government
everywhere, that in England goes forward this constitutional
movement, which is endeavoring to reconcile a civic structure
of government, formed in an earlier epoch, with the rising
tides of an industrial civilization; which is essaying an
answer different at once from Communism and Canutism.
It's difficulties are visualized when a vote is taken in Parlia-
ment. Such are the inequalities of the old geographical
set-up, that the members who go out on division to be
counted with the labor group represent very nearly twice as
many voters in the electorate as a corresponding number of
the government party who go out to the other lobby.




AS T D we have to go back to the days of the Palmer
raids and Lusk committee to understand the situa-
tion confronting men and women of good will and common
sense in two great American commonwealths. In 1921
hysteria was unleashed in these United States; as result ..
1027 California is confronted with the incarcerat.on of a
citizen on an issue which affronts the intelhgence; Massa-



283



^84



chusetts faces the ghastly possibility of judicial murder

The California Syndicalist law" rel c poTt red
ba,tmg, has been declared constitutional by the Un ted
States Supreme Court, and Charlotte Anita Whhneysnt-
enced under it six years ago to from one to foumen yea s
in the pen.tentiary, must serve out her time unless she is par
doned by the governor. Miss Whitney announce that sh
will not ask for a pardon since "I have done nothing to
pardoned for."

Anita Whitney, club woman and social worker was
charged with taking part in the organization ofTcal 'fomia
branch of the Communist Labor Party an ephemeral
ization which "discussed" and "resolved" and
died. It was charged that the Communist Labor
affiliated with the Moscow Internationa . Mit
denied at her trial that she had any knowledge of nvun
lawful purpose on the part of the organiza fon or that the
convention she attended violated either the tf t or he
letter of any state or federal law

The Syndicalist law provides fines and long terms of im
pnsonment for the use of violence or for "teachTg a d n
or abetting" violence or for organizing or belnSng to an
organization which countenances force and 3en
furthering a political cause or an industrial dispute

Miss Whitney's case differed from that of wZ n Bur
whose conviction under the Syndicalist lawTs affiled bv
this Supreme Court decision. Burns assisted n bS un
the California organization of the Industria Wo ke" of
the World which had at that time a definite pLgr m
violence and sabotage including "injuring machinerv wJ
employed to use it, putting emery S?hT25SJdL
scattering foul seeds in fields . . scattering ma ches and us'
chemicals to start fires to destroy property of ^ e rnpl ov "rs "
The validity of the law was unanimousfy upheTd bv ?he
court but Justices Holmes and Brandeis regretted that
appeal was not so drawn that the court could rule on h
question as to whether Miss Whitney's acts violated he
state law. Justice Sanford, delivering the opin on
Court, held that "the Syndicalist act is not lass Sat on-
nor "as applied in this case repugnant to the du process'
clause as a restraint of free speech, assembly and association "

To many of us it seems a disgraceful thing tha Tn
supposedly capable of detached consideration tolerant debate
and a sense of humor, any person should be branded as
felon for unconventional beliefs. The California act imposes
penalt.es not only for doing, but for thinking or advl
catmg. It smacks too much of the treatment of Chris
tians under Nero, Irish Catholics under Cromwell or
British Protestants under Bloody Mary. The ordeal tha
Miss Whitney has gone through%he possible ordea 1 be o
her, are cause for indignation and pity But the real sha,
is in this hysterical law on the California statute books



EDITORIALS



m h
orTnf 7'

T thTfo

t

^
''



along lines of the Klu Klux Klai
people, even, accept this theory. It
To be sure, there is an internation;
but in this country it is s
t would rank about on
College Alumnae Association. Van
- to the governor, pointed out wit
perfect accuracy that he, as an anarchist, believing in littk
r no government, was as unsympathetic as possible wit
3mmun,sts who believe in nothing but government; an
my student of radical thought knows how true this is. Bui
the notion in the mind of witch-hunters,
is a group which believes the courts, rigl
be supported at all costs. This is now th
the situation, since with the ending of th
judicial proceedings it became possible to attack Judg
Webster Thayer directly. The attack was staggeringl
:tive; the affidavits of women like Mrs. Lois Rantou
straightness is beyond question, of m
.dean of Boston newspaper men, and
Crocker whose hair has grown gray in the public SC rvi
the commonwealth, command respect even in the enemy
camp. To the valiant upholders of courts, right or
this sort of thing is peculiarly painful high treason. The
:s an uneasy suspicion that all is not right, but the escape
reaction is in the line of sanctifying the judicial recor
Whitewashing the courts is not supporting them but whit

. The
the



h h

?,' !!
Th "

u
u

.h ,
bou IT'

e , lnn cmt > but

h" ^
" g ' *" *




OACCO and Vanzetti have wrecked more in Massa-
O chusetts than dinner parties, friendship- and bu
relationships. They have shattered the llus on of ]
chusetts solidarity. What was i WaV . \ H
political, and W classes of option h'ave emerged



observation indicate?
. of ordinary people-
wrong has happened; that
nd that if Sacco and Vanzet
or Mr. Doheny or had had
there would have been no convictior
eaction, but it is terribly sound
rial counsel been able, the
been convicted, as
: cases. But there is also

who could have known n f

Sacco and Vanzetti, not because
they were radical; where-
to God it will come out al
about entering the dis-
- -er, and hopes Governor

will turn out to be the man.

:, of course, the organized groups in the !
jeld headed by Bishop Lawrence, who are for a review of
the whole matter by impartial appointees of the governor.

a political issue. Vanzetti himself has stated his own
case with a dignity and ability which commands respect,
bacco, whose mind is said to have given way, considers the-
whole business useless; he wants to die. From the point
t view of the convinced anarchist, Vanzetti is probably
making a mistake. If the anarchist cause is to be ad-
and most effective means of assisting
3r him and Sacco to die this summer making them-
a pair of martyrs whose names will cause a hush for
a decade wherever conservative justice is mentioned. Van-
zetti, however, is more human than radical ; what he wants



.. ;he execution of the
... v,.m,nv*uu3 IIILCI naiionai organization two m n ' t-Vi f ( j

which aims to upset the world and the United States in r - * tremendous body of opinion be-

lieving them innocent, will shatter '(Continued on page 292)



\





From the cover design of Marching On, by James Boyd. Charles Scriimer's Sons

Letters & Life

In which books, plays and people are discussed

Edited by LEON WHIFFLE

Page Mr. Mars!



iPREAD EAGLE is propaganda fit for a
king. No, I mean fit for the commons. Kings
already know what it tells, or else are not
interested. This sermon in melodrama at
the Martin Beck theater is Jed Harris' latest
slice of life. It is a tract against war, with
subsoil bitterness and informed cynicism that kept
ic invited guests of the first night including the heads
the Rand School, the Socialist Party in New York,
nd the American Civil Liberties Union in a state of al-
rnate chuckles and outrage. Jed Harris deserves our pro
ound thanks for his courage and his gusto. He is not only
producer of rare skill in theatrics, but our greates
ntrepreneur of the drama as journalism. The stage is us-
,ally behind the times. But Spread Eagle is as fresh-mmted
! a Childs' griddle-cake. It's an X-ray of imagmat.on
hot through the headlines onto Mexico. The authors a
-haracteristically two newspaper men, George S. Brooks ;
kValter B. Lister.

The authors say in effect: If you Americans don t watc
ut, you may be tricked into a war against Mexico through
he Machiavellism of some captain of finance.
Henderson of Wall Street operates corporations a
vorld, including the Spread Eagle mines in Mexico.
vants the United States to intervene to protect his mtere
so in Act I he hires a Mexican brigand to start a revolution
and provides the sinews of war with some $600,000
wanders Charles Parkman, son of a former pres.dent of th
United States, looking for a job. Joe Cobb the hard-bo, cd
secretary to the great man, sees that ,f Parkman-
"White" House baby "-goes to Mexico and gets hurt, t
nation may be roused to the seething point. Henderson
sees likewise. They exchange glances-and the audience



gets its first thrill. Parkman goes on his fool's errand, and
in Act II at the mines is stood up against the wall by Hen-
derson's hand-picked revolutionist along with the wife of an
engineer killed in a former raid. She has stayed because
the climate kept tuberculosis from killing her. This execu-
tion scene is melodrama, but full of pathos notwithstanding.

The trick works. Uncle Sam goes marching South
war while the propaganda-machine begins to weave its sweet
seductions to hysteria. Three quick scenes b
back to life with heart-sickening vividness.
of the theater reads an order for all the soldiers in the house
to report for duty. It sounds so real that one wit pret
several National Guardsmen left their seats on the i
night. Then we see the announcer telling bed-time stoi
over the "mike" in Station WPIX. In rushes a wild
gentleman, pushes him aside, yells that Congress has declared
war and broadcasts a patriotic appeal so like what we
Led to once that the audience cheers, unth.nk.ng, as it al-
ways does, unthinking. Next we see a news reel in a
motion-picture show, from the animated cartoon of Uncle
Sam marching across the map of the states through the
flag-de d parades of troops on Fifth Avenue and the bat-
tearing south on vengeance, to the chmax of seeing
Henderson sign his dollar-a-year contract to help
the war he started. And the band st.rs the blood -






N about war, they certainly
if not how wars originate, at least how they



frSt^rr^tt it almost ruins the
blood will a( _ t feels rathcr ljmp and vacant .

is flimsy and hokum-made. Parkman turns



285



up, not at all dead, which is a fine stroke of irony but rather
obviously needed in the machinery for a curtain. There is
a partly true picture of a general a stuffed-shirt in a brass-
hat eating an apple and being sociable to the great financier.
He is too subservient, for generals never know they don't
make wars. The hard-boiled secretary whose diatribes with
a former newspaper buddy of 1918 against the last war
produce the fine pungent lines of Act I, sinks under the
old hypnosis of the marching bands and turns up in the
uniform of a new kind of tank corps. He enlists in the war
he mostly hatched himself (that's a good stroke too) and
he tells the captain of finance where he gets off.



3
4

unt



Spread Eagle is full of good theater, but it
is also full of dynamite. It's melodrama but what's
war? If people come to see a "good show" and get an
inoculation of anti-war vaccine, it's a good job. The main
fable is essentially hard to believe and its joints creak, but
the essence of the play is true and it has overtones that must
reverberate in the heart and memories of the American
people. Here is the hard, brilliant wisdom of disillusion,
with no cure to offer, but deadly certain of the disease. Do
you think you can risk having it again so soon? The play
points out two things most shrewdly. It shows how eco-
nomic imperialism gets us into trouble making the world
safe for "our nationals and our property" rather than for
democracy. And the thrill and magic of that second act
prove how propaganda drives us mad. Jed Harris has
done the brave deed of inviting Philip sober to look at Philip
drunk. Better than that, Philip is given the extremely un-
pleasant job of looking at his next drunk.

This is the best war play I ever saw in one sense: it is
propaganda against the next war, not a post-mortem on the
last. It deals with the one about which we may yet do
something, not the one about which all we can do is pay.
This is what may happen tomorrow. So Spread Eagle pro-
vides the needed capstone for the cycle of plays in our Reper-
tory for Peace. That cycle should be printed and put on a
little shelf in every library in the land. And whenever the
tides of greed and hate run high among us, we should have
a memorial week of these plays. There are enough now for
six nights in this noble heritage war bequeathed our drama
during our ten years of repentance. I should play them in
this order:

The Insect World, by Kapek

Heartbreak House, by Bernard Shaw

Inheritors, by Susan Glaspell

Aria da Capo, by Edna St. Vincent Millay as a prelude
to

What Price Glory, by Maxwell Anderson and Laurence
Stalling*

The Enemy, by Channing Pollock

Spread Eagle, by George Brooks and Walter Lister
Here is a new arsenal for believers in preparedness.

LEON WHIPPLE

"This Believing World"

OUR May Graphic credited This Believing World, by
Lewis 'Browne, to the wrong publisher. The Mac-
millan Company are rightly proud of their midwifery in
bringing it out. It was listed correctly enough among the
Miracle Books which have spread non-fiction rich in edu-
cational values among wide groups of readers.



286



Mornings Dear

MY GARDEN OF MEMORY, an Autobuigraphy, by Kate

K L E !<% ;f d p$; $faTsri$* *"~

AST month Kindergartners from all over the coun.
celebrated in New York Patty S. Hill's fortieth anr
versary as a teacher. In 1905-6 Miss Hill came from Lou;
ville to Teachers' College, New York leader of the young
teachers who were striving to adapt the kindergarten
the advances in psychology and child study, to keep to t
spirit of Froebel's teaching while rebelling against th
ter. That the kindergarten plays such a living p;
American education today is due to its pioneers and, in tur
to such insurgents as Miss Hill.

For a generation that is watching the struggle for ex
tence of the free experimental schools, it is difficult to ret
ize and encouraging to remember that the kindergarti
went through a similar period before breaking into t
public school. And few who cherish the stories of Ka
Douglas Wiggin, either as chapters in their own juveni
reading, or as treasure trove for their childen now, kno
of her part in that pioneering, as the teacher on Tar Fl
in San Francisco the first free kindergarten west of t
Rockies.

The story of those early teaching days is to be found
her autobiography, and in a companion volume by her sist
the "glorious days" when (as she put it) "the kind<
garten theory of education was on trial for its li'fe"; or
Susan E. Blow, another of the pioneers wrote, "when A
never knew whether the kindergarten would last over nig,
and never doubted it would last forever." But before di
ping into these volumes, there is the intimate reminiscen
of their days of training in Los Angeles told to a gath
ing of kindergartners by Mary S. Gibson. As education
commissioner of the State Housing and Immigration Coi
mission, Mrs. Gibson is herself credited with another, a



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