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And he our national educational radio presents highlights from the 1968 convention of the National Association of educational broadcasters the any big convention was held in Washington in November. This program was recorded by WMUR FM the American University on this program you will hear the honorable Wilbur Cohen secretary of the Department of Health Education and Welfare to introduce Secretary Cohen here is the president and B William G. Harley as I've already indicated to some of the sessions here in Washington when signals come from a certain place and the city you respond. And so that's why our schedule is so drastically altered our banquet speaker is appearing one day earlier.
And it is most gracious indeed of our speaker to readjust his personal schedule in order to accommodate our alternate agenda. Our speaker has an imposing array of credentials distinguished awards and important offices. But as far as I'm concerned the most notable one is the fact that he was graduated from the University of Wisconsin where he and I were classmates back in the 30s from the campus in Madison he came to Washington to be on the staff of President Roosevelt's Cabinet Committee on Economic Security and he drafted the original Social Security Act. He joined the Department of Health Education and Welfare and rose through the ranks in the Social Security Administration and later was appointed assistant secretary for legislation then became undersecretary to John Gardner And in March of this year President Johnson appointed him to the top post in the department. During
his career in Washington Secretary Cohen has had a hand in virtually every piece of social legislation considered by the Congress while serving as assistant secretary for legislation. He was responsible for handling some 65 major legislative proposals which became law including such measures as the TV facilities act Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Medicare. As a result of his legislative fights he has been called many things especially by the American Medical Association. But I particularly like the description of Life magazine which called him El fun and bouncy. And the magazine goes on to say quote After all his years in the capital Secretary Cohen has lost none of his humanitarian glow as though he
feels every person in the country who is home alone sick is his personal responsibility. It is my great privilege and pleasure to present to you and the honorable Wilbur Jay Cohen University of Wisconsin class of 34 and also the secretary of the United States Department of Health Education and Welfare. The a vote. Thank you Bill Bell forgot to tell you that I am among other things a professor at the University of Michigan on leave for the last eight years and that last week I attended the Wisconsin Michigan game in which Wisconsin got beat as you know 34 to 9. This speech I'm going to give you is in the nature of a practiced
speech if you will permit me 60 days from now when I return to become a professor and I'm trying to get my speeches down to 15 minutes which is regular class time. So we're beginning 10 minutes late and the class will have to state 10 minutes over time in order that I can complete my 50 minutes so that the students get their full tuition. The last time I was privileged to address this convention three years ago your attendance was something like fifteen hundred I've been told by Bill that upwards of 4000 of you have registered for this convention a three fold increase within three years and only five years ago only seven hundred fifty attended your conference in Wisconsin and seems to me this represents not only remarkable growth but an indication of the Importance in which public broadcasting has an educational broadcasting ham in the nation today.
What is particularly interesting to me is that your growth reflects a diversity of members and purposes. You are no longer a handful of producers and engineers and station managers just struggling for visibility in the national scene. Your membership now includes educators administrators businessman and professional people. You represent some of our largest and greatest universities and our smaller school districts are most populated metropolitan areas and some of the most remote sections in rural America. Your convention theme freedom from ignorance which President Johnson and his education message to the 90 of Congress enunciate it is our fifth freedom is indeed to me a most worthy goal and a worthy thing. There is just so much more to know today than in the times of our grandfathers. The joint committee of Congress on automation and technology in education said in its
report a couple of years ago the amount of knowledge to be communicated during the process of education is increasing in geo met great progression year after year in this country along we produce approximately 25000 technical papers every week along with 400 books and thirty five hundred articles. There have been estimates that as much technical knowledge will be developed within the next 30 years as has been accumulated during the entire history of mankind. We have in common. Your organization and mine a concern that this knowledge will be communicated and use to help manage the perplexing problems of our time and the same time to enrich and deepen his spirit. Freedom from ignorance has become a national goal along with other goals which have become enshrined in our national vocabulary and are monuments to freedom of
speech freedom of worship freedom from want and freedom from fear and other expressions echoing from our past we hold these truths to be self-evident and all manner created equal and are endowed with inalienable rights. Life liberty and pursuit of happiness and to ensure these rights Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Mankind's oldest dream has been self fulfillment and self realisation. The dignity and the worth of every individual human being and the words on our monuments the freedoms we in shrine is national goals are all reflections of that dream. In our American society in the long transition from empire and monarchy and feudalism and serfdom to the concept of democratic societies in which individual liberty and worth is primary we have
come increasingly to realize that government does have a role in assuring individual freedom and in providing an environment in which this freedom can flourish and grow. It is one thing just to talk about freedom. It is quite another thing to put it in practice for all man and for all women whatever their race or color no matter how rich or poor and no matter what their political beliefs to create an economic social and political climate in which that freedom can truly operate and in which the individual search for truth and knowledge to dispel his ignorance can develop with maximum opportunity and minimum restraints. America's great contribution has been the development of a government which is a
cooperative venture encompassing all facets and levels of government from the individual at the grass roots to the national level. We have demonstrated how a pluralistic society can promote and assure individual freedom. In the last eight years we have developed. Medicare and civil rights legislation new education legislation economic and social opportunity improvement of Social Security health legislation and a whole host of evidence that government and private enterprise can work affectively together in a partnership toward solutions to complex and pervasive problem. The educational television facilities act of one thousand sixty two is a demonstration of the kind of partnership I'm talking about. During a period in which we have experienced our greatest forward thrust and expanding the horizons of communications technology the results of this
legislation have been impressive grants made under this program have more than doubled the number of educational television broadcast station in a matter of just five years. Geographically all sections of the country a benefit at a total of one hundred sixty one grants were made in 47 states Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The number of states without any TV broadcast and been now reduced to three and the total number of people to room service was made available for the first time or for whom such broadcast service was appreciably improved was nearly one hundred twenty million. Thirty two million dollars in federal grants were expanded under the TV facilities that on a per capita basis the federal share of the cost of these facilities amounted to less than 30 cents per person among a population within service areas of stations aided the amounts of money nationally which have been stimulated for facilities and program operations by this federal seed money
amounts to two hundred million dollars. And I hope those of you have been interested in this program will keep this in mind when you hear the next political campaign come around and talk about that terrible bureaucracy in Washington which is only interested in spending more and more money. Please remember it because it will be mentioned again in the next campaign. The progression from from the facilities active 962 to the Public Broadcasting Act of one thousand sixty seven. Is another illustration of that diverse partnership of interests and concerns that work and how the results of a successful program can be built upon the Public Broadcasting Act recognizes the need for continuity of support for transmission facilities to bring noncommercial programmes to all people in the country by extending authority for the TV station support and aiding educational radio stations as eligible for support. It recognizes the fact that hardware for transmission
is not enough and established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to provide for the increase needed in quality of programme production. And if sometimes progress is seen to be slow it is nevertheless true that the corporation is now a reality and that the facility grants program is back in operation. And one thing I want to assure you is that the Department of Health Education and Welfare is aware of the goal still to be reached in the legislative actions necessary to extend these provisions into the future. And if in this future campaign somebody is talking about another step toward socialized public broadcasting I will hope you will also remember that this is perhaps an outstanding example of how the private sector and the public sector can work harmoniously together. Our progress in dealing and developing the means and systems of communications had been good but over only a relatively
short period of years it is far from adequate. Much of that I see every week and hear on commercial television and radio is trash. Pure unadulterated trash. Much that we see and hear is simply not worthy of a great nation like the United States or of our democratic ideals or of the potentialities that rest in 200 million Americans. If some of this television and radio programs reach the heights of being just a wasteland I would consider that we were making great progress. Thank you thank you. Who. It needs to be much better Ladies and gentlemen because we are face still in the United States of America with gigantic problems
so deep and so pervasive that some people think that they are inside people. Let me summarize briefly some of the most pressing problems in this society of ours which I believe educational broadcasting must face in the decade ahead. As I see it from my perspective of 34 years in public and university service we have a new series of problems and they are the issues the most pressing domestic problem calling for a national solution. Is racial inequality and racial discrimination. And we must simply whether we like it or not make equality of opportunity a reality in the United States in the decade ahead. Thank you all. You on second
problem in the United States is the problem of poverty. We have twenty two million people in poverty in the United States and although we have made the greatest contribution to the solution of that problem. By reducing the number 18 million from the 40 million that there were when I came into the administration in one thousand sixty there still remain 22 million people. Two thirds of whom are white which most people in the United States don't know and don't believe it's true because our communications network is just simply not made that point clear. Most people in the United States think the poor and maimed are made up almost entirely of blacks. Two thirds of the people who are poor in the United States are white. And that simple fact Ladies and gentlemen is a testimonial to our failure of communication in the United States. The problem of poverty in the stimulation of continued economic growth in the provision of jobs for
the disadvantaged is a key problem in the years ahead. The past few years have seen a growing consensus that productive and satisfying jobs and income security should and must be assured. All members of the working force. A third problem in our society is our educational system. In many of the 18000 school districts of the country education is a farce. The teachers are underpaid. The students are undereducated. The school year is not enough. The schools are closed when they ought to be open. The teachers are inadequately trained. There is great turnover and we must simply see to it of America's going to remain great and strong. A world power that our educational system is radically improved. And they asked amounts of federal money to be put into federal aid to education. If there's any one national problem any
one national need that we ought to unite on is not to skimp on putting money into education. And let me tell you another thing in which you communicators have not made a dent a major reason why elementary and secondary education in this country is in the throes of almost complete collapse in many communities. Is that largely result rests on the the property tax. Which of the communicators in this country have ever brought to the attention of the American people and tell you a radical and diminish and dampen the influence of the property tax in the United States. You're not going to have good elementary and secondary education for your children or your grandchildren or your great grandchildren. Somebody has got to take up the cudgels to educate people in the United States about the fundamentals of tax policy instead of just showing Hollywood movies all the time to people and try to direct them and educate
them into the fundamentals that are restraining this great nation from reaching its potentiality. Thank you. You're. A fourth problem is the inadequacy of our health care system. It is a myth that the United States has the best medical care system in the world. The United States stands 14th in the world in infant mortality. There are 14 13 or 14 other countries in the world in which infant mortality is better than that of the United States of America. What better test is there of the failure of our health system to deal with the probably the most fundamental problem of health that a child when it's born shall be born. Well. We are far from assuring every American the right to best health care. Medical science makes possible.
National Association of Educational Broadcasters convention highlights
Wilbur Cohen
Producing Organization
WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
American University (Washington, D.C.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3782. This prog.: Wilbur Cohen, Secretary, Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare. Introduced by William Harley, president, National Association of Educational Broadcasters
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Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Producing Organization: American University (Washington, D.C.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-Sp.6-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:18:56
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Chicago: “National Association of Educational Broadcasters convention highlights; Wilbur Cohen,” 1968-12-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022,
MLA: “National Association of Educational Broadcasters convention highlights; Wilbur Cohen.” 1968-12-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 12, 2022. <>.
APA: National Association of Educational Broadcasters convention highlights; Wilbur Cohen. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from