This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
WNYC announcer introduces the program to the radio audience.
Van Doren introduces Vining, who talks about her book, "Windows for a Crown Prince," about working with the future emperor of Japan (Akihito). She speaks about the children in Japan and the atomic bomb.
Van Doren introduces Cerf, who talks about his book "Good for a Laugh," "What's My Line?" and his career. Tells a joke about a pregnant woman that the crowd goes crazy for. Recommends "Charlotte's Web," "Dennis the Menace," and "Every Dog Should Have a Man." Leads in to Moses's speech by implying he ought to run for mayor.
Van Doren introduces Moses, NYC Parks Commissioner, by listing his contributions to the community, like ramps in Central Park, a merry-go-round in the Park; some failures. Moses talks about his new biography, "Robert Moses: Builder for Democracy."
WNYC announcer again lists the program speakers, introduces "the UN story."
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71178
Municipal archives id: LT2319
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
From the prime fault of the hotel after we bring you now five prime scripts in the second book and off alone for the current season. The launch which took place this afternoon sponsored by The New York Herald Tribune and the American Booksellers associates are speakers today the New York City Park the messenger Robert Moses Bennett search publisher for humorous and a list book Brave funny but was the future of the young prince of her parents. Are not all over the program of the armistice ceremony Greta Van Doren literary editor of The New York Herald. This band or. Was it the personal request of the Emperor of Japan Times that in one thousand six an American woman was sought to help educate the crown prince. Elizabeth Gray's Vining a quite a write children's book was chosen. Description of what she tried to do for the next four years and by count. Magine eighty way to open windows on a wide wide world of the Crown Prince when the time came for her return to the United States she felt that my job was done the Emperor and Empress gave every evidence of satisfaction and gratitude for what she had accomplished and General MacArthur expressed his approval but her real reward was a lonely shy boy Campion. Custom and convention changed into a modest life poet is a young man with a growing independence of thought and action who gave promise of being able to assume successfully the responsibilities that one may be. Talked out of these Boy years makes utterly fascinating read. She talked the crown prince not only English but Western education history and. She also taught the empress in the Princess's and the crown prince's class at school in the course of all this she was taken into the imperial household as no other foreign now has ever been she found that the imperial family together once a week but by custom were not permitted to live together the children had separate houses the crown prince even living outside the Imperial. Which surrounded the palace properties always accompanied by a doctor police officers and several Chamberlain who in effect managed his life she described many of the customs and exotic rites the beauties of the ceremony. With the in them of duck. Worm culture the Japanese A. Flower arrangements New Year's celebrations and the Emperor poetry party a unique and impressive ceremony to which few Westerners have ever been invited to poetry is a part of the life of people in Japan for the expression of. A. Thought on. This is binding reminds us that the emperor when approached by his ministers to determine but to approve a declaration of war against the United States expressed his disapproval by reciting twice the lines of a famous poet and walking out of the room up looked absorbing from beginning to end reflects to an extraordinary degree the qualities that made her work so successful. Acquire. The spirit. And. And. Of. The. Idea. In fact. Little bit. I have been told. To. First place. In the morning. Then the Japanese. And the not. And. In the second place. We think. You know. I did not apply to. The American friends Committee for. Me. In the crowd. He was. Very. He was very. Very. Friendly and. He was no more. Any other adolescent. But he would cheer. Him up to the exact I thought that. Potential. But I felt that his education and training surrounded as he had been by grown not serious grown up men in striped trousers who went with him everywhere and prompted him at every turn had tended to sap his initiative and I longed to set him free to give him a chance to develop enthusiasms of his own do make his own mistakes and learn from them and to have a fun that is the right of any child to have highly placed I have been asked to teach the crown prince in English but after I was there for a short time the minister of the imperial household said to me we want you to open windows on a wider world for our crown prince and this I took to mean that through the medium of English I could tell him about the world outside and I could explain to him the real meaning of that democracy which the Japanese people. Were embracing with and he will be a sort of zeal I never tried to indoctrinate him with any specific documents but I did try to expose him to the best that I knew and I think it is significant that in all the four years that I was there I had complete freedom of my teaching nobody Japanese nor Americans ever tried to direct or to censor what I taught we began with the simplest kind of things. Oh first grade American readers and the like because when I first got there and the. Things I'm sitting down I'm standing up I'm walking to the window and I knew Japanese was that image but gradually we progressed to. Biographies. And stories stories from history stories of exploration and this guy actually was out of the United Nations all the universe universal the of universal human rights and the new Japanese constitution to such books as called. Up Pilgrim's Progress and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar the fall of the crown prince his homework. Was to take some of the new words that he had learned and incorporate the sentences of his invention I was always interested in his tendencies because they were. Obviously perfunctory they almost always had some idea all of that was quite his own and that would give me. The way his mind was working on for instance one of the words he had used was the word organisation and he came up with this sentence democracy is the best organisation of government and democracy was not the way he had to use it which organisation in some years. He was getting a little bit older by this time. The word he had to use was for and we had been discussing the United Nations I rather thought of political forms of. She folded it about her. Because not good to look at. Another word was appreciated and he said it is one weary to appreciate a person when you first meet him. That is very characteristic of the boy he is conscious and deliberate. He makes up his mind carefully and. When he has once given his faith he is constant and this I submit is a good characteristic in. The future. And another said. This using the word conscience and this sentence I actually saw him make and he looked up. In the dictionary I don't know what the word was he said the man whose conscience is paralyzed is dangerous I did not teach. I had other pupils. I taught it his sisters his younger brother and also. Soon after the end. She too would like to learn English and so forth two days two mornings a week I went to the palace and those hours. Other happiest hours that I had in Japan she is a charming person very. Very good. With a sense of fun and I think the amazing spontaneity when you think she has lived surrounded by high ridge and. Then too I told the crown prince is class in school. In three sections and two classes in the school that his sisters attended the boys at the time I first went there were in what corresponds to grade the girls were a little bit older the crown prince's present Crown Prince is the first crown prince of Japan to go all the way. With the other boy his father and his grandfather went through elementary school and then were taken out and. Conditions in the schools in the schools those those first years that I was there particularly were rogue Tokyo as you know was seventy percent destroyed that meant that people were in error. In little wooden shacks in barracks or crowded with relatives transportation was pretty fearful the street cars and trains. Whirlwind us they were they were dirty and they were in jam packed to the windows in the doors sometimes people had their ribs broken in the crush food was very scarce the daily ration at the time was fifteen hundred calories and frequently it was late it inflation raised prices so high. Most people had to use in order to get by. To buy food for their families because the people who had the back of the black market. And that was called me the bamboo shoot existence because I used to get at the end of the part of the bamboo shoot you must peel out peel off one after another the outward husks the stage beyond that is called the onion skin existence because when you peel off the outer layers of the again it brings tears to. The school to work oh they're one of the best they get in. The chili if they came to school tired and cold and hungry and even so if they put their minds on their work and they applied themselves and learning I found and found them to be. Ardent idealistic co-operative and great fun fifty's if. They were the boys at the time were having what was I suppose a quite new experience for the Japanese male they were having to help their mothers at home they used to come and see me as Christmas day during the holidays and they would write me letters and they kept diaries in English for me to correct and hand back and so I got an insight into their lives the Boerigter I found generally. Were pretty complacent about what the work they did at home one boy admitted I am a very good housekeeper. But the girls were rather more realistic one girl wrote I could I bake the grid with the electric appliances while I write the diary with rapt attention it was. So over the bridge get burned. And another girl wrote. I cooked the bridge to both fight it was a bit scary. They hated war these young people they are hearing about war through bombing at night through fire through flight through terror through hunger and homelessness. And yet I found that they had northerners toward the enemy who had brought war home to them on the second out of first rate. And are they are they surrender and the atom bomb I got a whole lot of little essays and comments in their diaries and also in their letters and the same spirit went through all of them one girl wrote. Two years ago on today we could have joyful peace World War had ended we will never forget today in my lifetime and another girl wrote. Today is the second anniversary of the end of World War two We are full of memories my older brother was killed in the war four years ago he was such a nice brother that I miss him very much it is truly two years ago we renounced war and started night as a peaceful nation and many changes have been done in that time under the new constitution militarism has been swept away. And Japan and is advancing toward democracy and this came from a fifteen year old boy two years ago on August sixth one nine hundred forty five first atomic bomb for Japan did explode above the Hiroshima city and in that moment large numbers of people died by atomic bombs I could not believe this cruel incident at that time for this incident was guided from war to peace. Atomic bomb was key to the Second World War but it was a devil which killed two hundred thousand people I did hate to this atomic bomb at that time but few days later Second World War had ended and so I did thank is that atomic bomb and I hope very much all nations of world will not use atomic bomb to all of human race again these young people who now are in college they graduated from school most of them are in college to other crown prince assist dues whom I thought had married the crown prince himself I tend to got actually in university the first crown prince in history ever to go through a university with commoners and in addition even with a few quid Our friend of his sent me a snapshot showing him surrounded by girls demanding his autograph. When he came of age in a ceremony of about two weeks ago. That the campaign wore an age old costume and the cap of manhood our cap of boyhood was replaced by the cap of manhood and there was great rejoicing all over Tokyo his young man no more used and friendly Oh with. Ability to think from here for himself he occupies the most extraordinary position with. The young people of Japan these these young people. He is their darling their ideals and. Their hopes for the future he is the great counter attraction against communism and the communists in Japan are making a great play for the minds of university students and so there are two things that work against the communist propaganda which is telling the university students that the Communists alone have solved the economic problem and that communists. Want peace and the two things are the character of the person or of the Crown Prince and also the friendship of the people of the United States which means a great deal to the Japanese people today. I wish we could hear more and more of this all I can say to you is that those of you who have not read Mrs Vinings book. Really have a treat in front of you before. Our next big it today is Bennett. Began his career as a humorist early on the Columbia just. Got a degree and a five Beta Kappa key seem to have so down temporarily and he became really a worked on the Herald Tribune in the financial department I believe but was shortly fired for some fatal error and he made that suit that there shouldn't be. Any red as a click on the Stock Exchange he was still under the influence of solid achievement when he bought the modern library and began his publishing history by giving the public those distinguished classics in good looking format at moderate prices then came Random House the firm of which he is now president but somewhere along the line of what has been called his career the humorous side of him reasserted itself and is now so in extra completely intertwined with the sober side that his friends often wonder how he can possibly be the successful public here years. Eight years ago with that surplus energy he seems always to have on hand he produced a collection of anecdotes and stories mostly humorous which he called trying to stop me but first he was modest about them half expecting that someone might accept his challenge but the book was such an enormous success that it went to his head and no one could stop him with the result that he has since published six collections of humorous anecdotes. Of course each time he commits one he swears it's the last he'll never do enough but there's nothing in it he has one now good for a laugh with the subjects classified and this time alphabetical list is from i've blocked up the them. For the benefit of public speakers Club Chairman members of the clergy and. You remember that old question what is the rarest book in America and the answer a volume of Robert Underwood Johnson's poems that has not been autographed. Mr say with his naive and candid delight in the success of his books is running Mr Johnson a close second but I must confess that his inscriptions a more exciting live personal than Mr Johnson's ever worked for instance he wrote in one friend's volume when a first autographed copy and failed to arrive with renewed love additional kisses and the same overall undying admiration. Parenthesis further autographed copies are availabl