7:55 - Athletics - Judge William F. Hagarty.

Email a Friend

The Honorable William F. Hagarty, New York State Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, on the history and benefits of exercise, organized sports and joining athletic clubs. Hagarty lauds the place of sport in ancient Greece and commends the "fine physical condition" of American presidents Washington, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.

This segment is primarily aimed at American boys: “I want especially every boy within the sound of my voice to hear... The tasks imposed upon and successfully achieved by these great native Americans (American presidents) could have been accomplished without a development of their bodies to that high degree of endurance that only vigorous, daily, muscular exercise could bring about, and they stand as models, not only for our Boy Scouts, but for all young Americans, and indeed, for the youth of all the world.” Hagarty continues: “Let the boys look to (New York Policemen and Firefighters) for their heroes and not to the Al Capones and 'Legs' Diamonds of the underworld.” And finally, “While these mimic battlefields, [sporting fields] are really but the breeding ground for the healthiest kind of imitation and emulation for the red-blooded boys of our land.”
The history of athletic clubs and organized sports is related, and World War I is portrayed as an event in which the importance of physical conditioning and discipline was instilled in America’s youth. The 1934 Olympic Games in Los Angeles are also alluded to.
“May heaven speed the day when length and breadth of our United States shall be peopled men and women, and boys and girls, solely by those of this type: strong bodied, true hearted, big souled (sic) patriots, athletes all for the land they love and the god they worship.”

Athletics: “A subject which is dear to the heart of all Americans” according to the announcer.

WNYC archives id: 73715