This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Presentation of awards by Bill of Rights Day Association. Mayor Wagner reads the proclamation.
Awards is given to Wagner (no really, Kennedy). He's not in attendance, and the children are sad. Philip Ryan reads his acceptance.
Warren Weaver receives an award for distinguished public service in the field of journalism.
Dr. Peter San Martino receives an award for work in education.
Edward S. Silver receives an award for law enforcement.
A fifth award is given to Vincent Rossini, the National Director of the Bill of Rights Association, for his work promoting the Bill of Rights.
A letter written by Senator Javits is read. Benediction.
In Recognition of the
174th Anniversary of the Ratification
of Our American
Bill of Rights
The 17th Anniversary of the Adoption of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
CITY HALL , NEW YORK
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1965
Twentyfifth National Observance
AMERICAN BILL OF RIGHTS DAY ASSOCIATION
CAPT. VINCENT ROSSINI
Founder and National Director
Order of Exercises
CHAIRMAN OF THE EXERCISES
HON. EDWARD D. RE
Chairman, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
of the United States
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER. Miss RINA TELLI
Dramatic Soprano, Star of Opera, Concert and TV
INVOCATION. RABBI EUGENE J. COHEN
National Jewish Welfare Board
READING FROM THE SCRIPTURES REV. EDMUND A. BOSCH
Chaplain, Police Department
PRESENTATION OF CITATIONS. HON. ROBERT F. WAGNER
Mayor of the City of New York, Presiding
DR . PETER SAMMARTINO
President, Fairleigb Dickinson University
Rutherford, N. J.
”” In the Field of Education
MR. WARREN WEAVER
Journalist, N. Y. Times
”” In the Field of Journalism
HON . EDWARD L. SILVER
Judge, Surrogate's Court of Kings County
””In the Field of Law
BENEDICTION H. E. MOST REV. JOSEPH M. PERNICONE
Auxiliary Bishop to Cardinal Spellman
AMERICA , OUR HERITAGE ARRANGED BY H. ADES
CARDINAL SPELLMAN HIGH SCHOOL CHORALE
Conducted by William Jacques
The Association wishes to acknowledge the cooperation of Bro. Gregory, F. S. C, Principal
of Boy's Department Cardinal Spellman High School
(The music for these exercises is by the Department of Sanitation Orchestra under the leadership of
Maestro JOHN M. CELEBRE, through the cooperation of HON. FRANK J. LUCIA, Commissioner.)
Bill of Rights
The Ten Original Amendments
(Religious Establishment Prohibited. Freedom
of Speech, of the Press, and Right to Petition.)”””¢
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,
or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably
to assemble and to petition the Government
for a redress of grievances.
(Right to Keep and Bear Arms.)”” 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.
(Conditions for Quarters for Soldiers.) ”” No
soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in
any house without the consent of the owner, nor
in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed
(Right of Search and Seizure Regulated.)””The
right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and
no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause,
supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly
describing the place to be searched, and the persons
or things to be seized.
(Provisions Concerning Prosecution, Trial and
Punishment””Private Property Not to Be Taken
for Public Use Without Compensation.)””No person
shall be held to answer for a capital or other
infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment
of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in
the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when
in actual service, in time of war or public danger;
nor shall any person be subject for the same
offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb;
nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to
be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of
life, liberty, or property, without due process of
law; nor shall private property be taken for public
use without just compensation.
(Right to Speedy Trial, Witnesses, etc.)””-In all
criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the
right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial
jury of the State and district wherein the crime
shall have been committed, which districts shall
have been previously ascertained by law, and to
be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses
against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining
witnesses in his favor, and to have the
assistance of counsel for his defense.
(Right of Trial by Jury.)””In suits at common
law, where the value in controversy shall exceed
twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be
preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be
otherwise re-examined in any court of the United
States than according to the rules of the common
(Excessive Bail or Fines and Cruel Punishment
Prohibited.)””Excessive bail shall not be required,
nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual
(Rule of Construction of Constitution.) ”” The
enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights
shall not be construed to deny or disparage others
retained by the people.
(Rights of States Under Constitution.) ”” The
powers not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States,
are reserved to the States respectively, or to the
"The Four Freedoms"
"In the future days, which we seek to make
secure, we look forward for a world founded
upon four essential human freedoms.
"The first is freedom of speech and expression””
everywhere in the world.
"The second is freedom of every person to worship
God in his own way””everywhere in the world.
"The third is freedom from want””which, translated
into world terms, means economic understandings
which will secure to every nation a
healthy, peaceful life for its inhabitants””everywhere
in the world.
"The fourth is freedom from fear ”” which,
translated into world terms, means a worldwide
reduction of armaments to such a point and in
such a thorough fashion that no nation will be
in a position to commit an act of aggression
against any neighbor””anywhere in the world."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Address to the Congress
January 6, 1941
Who have issued proclamations or messages concerning
Bill of Rights Day Observances
Alabama, GOV. GEORGE P. WALLACE
Alaska, GOV. WILLIAM A. EGAN
Arizona, GOV. PAUL J. FANNIN
Arkansas, GOV. ORVAL E. FAUBUS
California, GOV. EDMUND G. BROWN
Colorado, GOV. JOHN A. LOVE
Connecticut, GOV. JOHN DEMPSEY
Delaware, GOV. CHARLES L. TERRY, JR.
Florida, GOV. FARRIS BRYANT
Georgia, GOV. CARL E. SANDERS
Hawaii, GOV. JOHN A. BURNS
Idaho, GOV. ROBERT E. SMYLIE
Illinois, GOV. OTTO KERNER, JR.
Indiana, GOV. MATTHEW E. WEISH
Iowa, GOV. HAROLD E. HUGHES
Kansas, GOV. JOHN ANDERSON
Kentucky, GOV. EDWARD T. BREATHITT
Louisiana, GOV. JAMES J. McKITHEN
Maine, GOV. JOHN H. REED
Maryland, GOV. J. MILLARD TAWES
Massachusetts, GOV. ENDICOT PERBODY
Michigan, GOV. GEORGE W. ROMNEY
Minnesota, GOV. KARL F. ROLVAGG
Missouri, GOV. WARREN E. HEARMES
Mississippi, GOV. PUL B: JOHNSON Jr.
Montana, GOV. TIM BABCOCK
Nebraska, GOV. FRANK B. MORRISON
Nevada, GOV. GRANT SAWYER
New Hampshire, GOV. JOHN W. KING
New Jersey, GOV. RICHARD J. HUGHES
New Mexico, GOV. JACK M. CAMPBELL
New York, GOV. NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER
North Carolina, GOV. TERRY SANFORD
North Dakota, GOV. WILLIAM L. GUY
Ohio, GOV. JAMES A. RHODES
Oklahoma, GOV. HENRY BELLMON
Oregon, GOV. MARK O. HATFIELD
Pennsylvania, GOV. WILLIAM A. SCRANTON
Rhode Island, GOV. JOHN H. CHAFEE
South Carolina, GOV. ROBERT E. McNAIR
South Dakota, GOV. ARCHIE GUBBEND
Tennessee, GOV. FRANK C. CLEMENT
Texas, GOV. JOHN B. CONNALLY
Utah, GOV. GEORGE D. CLYDE
Virginia, GOV. ALBERTIS S. HARRISON, Jr.
Vermont, GOV. PHILIP H. HOFF
Washington, GOV. ALBERT R. ROSELLINI
West Virginia, GOV. WILLIAM W. BARRON
Wisconsin, GOV. JOHN W. REYNOLDS
Wyoming, GOV. CLIFFORD F. HANSEN
The first national observance of the Bill of Rights Day, Proclaimed by
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was held on December 15th, 1941 in the City of New York
and has become an annual observance.
The proclamation of the Mayor of the City of New York, first capital of the United States,
where the Bill of Rights was accepted by the First Congress and submitted to the States for ratification,
was issued in behalf of the Association and signed by Mayor Robert F. Wagner on Dec. 1965.
AMERICAN BILL OF RIGHTS DAY ASSOCIATION
175 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK CITY 10, N. Y.
National Director: Capt. VINCENT ROSSINI
Asst, National Director: JOHN TORZILLI
Educational Director: FREDERICK CUTTITTA
Public Relations: CARL W. GERACI
The Association Wishes to Acknowledge the Patronage of
THE COLUMBIA ASSOCIATION
O F THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Program Published through courtesy of
Equitable Savings and Loan Association, 15 Willoughby St., Brooklyn, N. Y.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 70604
Municipal archives id: T1492
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
This ceremony in recognition of the one hundred seventy fourth anniversary of the ratification of our Bill of Rights is an occasion for profound Thanksgiving to Almighty God and to the patriotic men whose courage wisdom and foresight gave to America a legacy of liberty and freedom the priceless heritage made possible by the framers of our Constitution has its origins in the Bill of Rights which form the foundation of all our civil and political rights it is the supreme law of the land which guarantees personal freedoms to all Americans regardless of race color creed or previous National are it is therefore fitting that the anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the Constitution our Bill of Rights should be remembered by the nation which has reaped the blessings of liberty and freedom that aren't trying then that charter freedom of religion freedom of speech freedom of the press freedom of assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances we will have a long enjoyed these freedoms must never forget that they have been gained only after a great struggle and that men have died to preserve them no greater challenge confronts our nation today than to assure the full enjoyment of these rights by all and that as long as one America is denied any of the right guaranteed by our Bill of Rights our precious heritage is in danger of being lost for all that. The American Bill of Rights Day association is extremely proud of the distinguished recipients of the bill of rights awards for the nine hundred sixty five. It is particularly proud of inciting Senator Robert F. Kennedy for his distinguished service in the field of government in generous measure much of the progress that has been made in the field of civil rights is attributable to his successful effort in paying tribute to the Honorable Edward silver the distinguished surrogate for the county King for his outstanding leader here in the field of law and order and for the past thirty five years in honoring Dr Peter San Martino president of fairly Dickinson University for his dedication and ability in administrating one of the nation's largest institutions of higher learning in commending Mr Warren we were journalist for The New York Times for his splendid contributions toward public and light and. Deep pride and personal play that I announce something that does not appear in the program and that is the great player of all of those who for the past twenty five or so years have been associated with the association and that is our tribute to the founder Captain Vincent Racine we are indeed proud and paying tribute to Captain Vincent Racine founder and I can all director of the American Bill of Rights Day Association for twenty five years of dedicated work in furthering knowledge and appreciation for our American Bill of Rights the American Bill of Rights they Association has singled out banding Americans whose achievement in their respective fields the last great the greatness that may be achieved in a free and open society founded upon our Bill of Rights. By these ceremonies today we also observe the seventeenth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This great that peroration stands as a prominent testimonial to the underlying quest of all mankind for civil political and personal liberty to us assembled here today it is a humbling thought to realize that this universal declaration adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations is itself inspired by and founded upon our own American Bill of Rights the legacy of our bill of rights thus the service not only our debt of gratitude as Americans but that of all mankind for the past ten years at least the privilege of presenting the awards to the recipient has been accorded to our distinguished and beloved mayor Mayor was once again it is my privilege to call upon Mayor Wagner to present the scrolls for the one hundred sixty five prior to doing so mail Agner will read the proclamation that he has so graciously accorded and issued on this occasion however I know that I express the feelings and sentiments of all of you were I not to attempt to give them public Sprecher to the debt of gratitude that each and every one of us old to Mayor why it was he who had given up this wonderful it was he who had given us the encouragement it was he was given us the inspirational leadership to select men truly deserving of the ideal. Of the American Bill of Rights words would surely fail each and every one of us were we to attempt to verbalize and express the deep personal gratitude that we feel the mayor why I need not bring to your attention that his officiating today as the presiding arbiter of these ceremonies makes these ceremonies and additionally as Barack occasion for I know that he will be invited again whether or not he may come in a different capacity and a capacity perhaps more lasting than the one that he holds today is something that I cannot say but I know that he has the well wishes and the blessings and appreciation of all of us may I Ladner Will you please come forward and read the proclamation that. Early. You very much my good not friends. Singh was chairman today. Of the members of the clergy captain the Seine a distinguished award winners and. Ladies and gentlemen I am I Leon had to once again issue this proclamation which reads as follows Whereas the Irish in the American Bill of Rights in the freedoms and the show was. Not be obscured by the passage of time by attitudes of indifference in this fashion whereas all Americans are an author of late determined that in America such rights and privileges as are enshrined in the Bill of Rights will never be lost curtailed weekend whereas fiery knowing our dedication to the principles and ideals proclaimed by the Bill of Rights we may better carry out. To meet the challenge to our priceless heritage of individual liberty and protracted for all future generations whereas this year is the twenty fifth anniversary of the first proclamation designating December fifteenth as American Bill of Rights Day signed by the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt and one hundred forty one. Therefore I Robert F. Wagner mayor of the city of New York to hear by proclaim December fifth nine hundred sixty five as American delegates day in New York City and to call upon officials of the city of New York to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on that day and to invite the people of the city to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and prayer. That's where I buy have a run to set my hand and cause the seal of the city of New York to be affixed and I'm delighted to present this to you and say to you how deeply appreciative we are a lot of the tremendous interest work that you have. Put into our Bill of Rights Day because we got to and would nearly beat would not merely be the successor thank you very much like we thank. Thank you very much Mr Mayor Mr Mayor our first recipient for distinguished public service in the field of government is the Honorable Robert F. Ladner United States Senate and. I'm sure that the psychologist in the audience could write a whole chapter. Based upon that. Bopara if it is that there you know. I was thinking of the spot of course. The Honorable Robert F. Kennedy United States Senate Senator Kennedy unfortunately could not be with us. And we are all terribly sorry as are all of you protect your lily all of the schoolchildren who have come here to see the senator and the other award winners however we are very fortunate in that Senator Wagner in addition to telephoning and sending a telegram not a candidate. Has sent Mr Philip Bryan who will read Senator Kennedy's accepted it is my pleasure at this time to read the citation awarded to the honor of a robin F. Kennedy United States senator whose distinguished service in government as legislative counsel attorney general and United States senator has been exemplified by a devotion to the ideals expressed in the Bill of Rights and a vigorous enforcement of the rights of all Americans whose keen awareness of the cruel responsibilities of government has made possible a better appreciation of the American way of life and the interest the world peace and understanding whose contributions to the Civic and governmental life of the city state and nation have helped to make our country a better community in which to live whose quality of mind and heart and whose dedication to the principles of equality and justice for all every one for him the respect and gratitude of all Americans later than gentleman Mr Ryan representing Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Thank. God for a man Wagner. Distinguished award support for every purchase and yes I met with Senator Kennedy this morning when he realized that he wouldn't be able to attend and he asked me if I'd please attend in his place and thanked this group for naming him. The recipient of one of this award he asked me to please mention to each a few how truly grateful he was for this meaning and he also as a. Student He also asked if I would read to each of you the remarks that he had paired for delivery at this new meeting today we are here to celebrate the anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments the United States Constitution the Bill of Rights as stood since seventeen ninety one as an inspirational to oppressed peoples everywhere and in recent years judicial and legislative actions have given even greater meaning to these and other amendments to our Constitution reason as the life of the law lord Coke has said nay the common law itself is nothing but reason this approach underlies the spirit of our observance today the law has played a great role in the development of American society in the law in our constitutions and statutes and decisions we have deposited we have deposited our most cherished freedoms to its protection we have committed the delicate balances upon which society rests the tension between free speech and public order between the rights of individuals and the right of the group between the right to worship and the right not to have others say how we should or should we decide whether a man goes free. Or is deprived of his liberty by law we decide whether a man should be punished and in what way via law. But we do not always do so by reason for there are other kinds of law than that of which Lord Coke spoke one is a lot that is a set of rules old and unchanging their purpose forgotten their reason Lost which we yet observe like the ancient rituals of a lost tribe Justice Holmes call it resolving to have no better reason for all of the law than that it was laid down a time of Henry the Fourth we still have such rules another kind of law is a lot of poverty a law that senses manage birth to a life of imprisonment in ignorance in helplessness and in fear the law of poverty and the law that is outworn too often operate together to negate the law of reason of which Lord Coppa spoken as we celebrate today our precious historical documents we should realize that there are areas of future improvement that are needed. These documents must be kept in daily meaningful working order we need to be aware of exacting loyalty to these documents by old or affidavits alone an eminent Judge Learned Hand tells us the spirit of liberty is one in which we embark on a course in the knowledge that we may be somewhat incorrect in our judgments and assessments. And the same judge hand who so notably great the Federal Circuit here in New York tells us above all that Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women when it dies there no constitution no law no court can save it thank you. Thank you very much for on our next recipient isn't the still aren't we them for distinguished public service in the field of journalism a water to water and we love political right still even when you please. Thank. God I thank you to read the following whose brilliant career in journalism has given America one of its most influential influence interpreters of political thought and its written expression whose incisive hand had not only interpreted the American political scene but reflected as well the public conscience with reminding it other to responsibilities and duty dissemination of news and respect for truth and serve the cause for public and like men and justify public confidence in the freedom of the press whose writings have promoted a noble worthy contribution to the field of journalism in the noblest traditions of the American press ladies and gentlemen this is a war and we were. The you may I simply say that the New York Times as you are all aware is a collective enterprise which involves many reporters and many editors and when one of us is singled out as I've been so generously today for some sort of public recognition that recognition really belongs to all of those people and in that then on behalf of my colleagues I accept this citation with Brad. Thank you very much Mr receiver in the field of education Dr Peter San Martino for distinguished public service in the field of education awarded to Dr Peterson Martino president of fairly to continue to. Fight. Ladies and gentlemen Mayor Wagner read as follows distinguished career as an able administrator I learned teacher and inspired author has contributed substantially to the development of higher education in the United States whose dedicated service as a university president for more than two decades has resulted in unprecedented growth academic development and international stature for one of the nation's most respected institutions of higher learning where the literary contributions and efforts in furthering the study of languages have made for a better understanding among all peoples of all lands whose outstanding leadership in the field of education has helped develop a sense of moral responsibility as well as a professional confidence of students under his charge. Lag. Judge Ray may lag Now the thing rest gas ladies and gentleman too short break a few thousand years ago topic please and is and to get a mention most of the prints are both side forth in our Bill of Rights and then they were forgotten for hundreds of years and Massachusetts and sixty forty one in the bodies of Liberty mentioned most of the principles in our Bill of Rights and when the time came to vote on them Massachusetts never voted yes and never did on nineteen forty one hundred and fifty years afterward when it belatedly approved the principles of the Bill of Rights so you can forget the important things of life and Sophocles call them the UN written cold the unwritten heavenly code of heaven and this is why we should always remember the on written heavenly code of heaven thank you very much thank. Thank you Dr that Martino in the field of law enforcement the honorable Edward S. deliver a surrog