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The struggle between neutrality and those who believe Britaina€™s war is our war too intensifies during the summer of 1940, with American heroes like the eighty-year-old General John a€?Black Jacka€? Pershing speaking out insistently on behalf of aid to Britain.
1940 is an election year, and President Roosevelt, seeking an untraditional third term in the White House, is hesitant to support Churchilla€™s Britain too strongly as he faces the most serious opponent of his lifetime, Republican dark horse Wendell Willkie whom many Americans like and admire. FDRa€™s alter ego Harry Hopkins is one of the administrationa€™s most controversial figuresa€”part New Deal champion, part political hack.
A warm glow spread through me, and I was ready to climb off my high horse, but now Hopkins was frowning. I had one thing left to do: cancel my New School course and apologize to the students I was leaving in the lurch. I got a platter of doughnuts for my students and explained the situation as they showed up. Chamberlain returned home to a sensational welcome, waving a scrap of paper he called a€?peace with honor, peace in our time.a€? Churchill called it unmitigated defeat. His words thrilled me, but Charles Lindbergh, a universal hero if we had one at the time, called for neutrality instead, and flew to Nazi Germany for a red-carpet tour of the Luftwaffe that had been poised to bomb Paris and London.
For the next few years Lindbergh will be neutralitya€™s champion, and the leading spokesman for the isolationist a€?America Firsta€? movement opposing U.S. Chamberlaina€™s policy of appeasement has failed abysmally, but the a€?phony wara€? he reluctantly declares on Germany neither saves the Poles nor incommodes the Germans for the next eight months. On the afternoon of August 22nda€”the news of the German-Russian treaty had arrived that morninga€”Paul White of the news department of the Columbia Broadcasting System called Elmer Davis on the telephone. Elmer Davis had continued to warn the public about the dangers ahead in articles like a€?We Lose the Next Wara€? in the March a€™38 Harpera€™s. The proposal for a popular referendum on the declaration of war implies a growing conviction that the people themselves should make the ultimate decision of international politics; but to make it intelligently we need to know more about the cost of wara€”and about the cost of trying to remain at peace in a world at war. There, set down twelve years ago, is a preview of the history of Europe after Municha€”a Europe which at the end of 1938 stands about where it stood at the end of 1811, with this difference: In 1811 England was not only the implacable but the impregnable enemy of the man who dominated the Continent. 1939 passes with Americans mainly at the movies, though, in what will go down as their best year ever. There is a vast difference between keeping out of war, and pretending that this war is none of our business. When Hitler invades the Low Countries and France, driving the British Army to the Channel, a new Prime Minister takes office, Winston Churchill. The stranger will never become a Baker Street Irregular, but he has come to New York on a wartime mission that will change Woodya€™s life. Churchill, overage and once-scorned maverick politician out of another era, seems to mean it, too. In New York, where much of Americaa€™s public opinion is made, unmade, and remade, two years of uneasy peace and agitation following the outbreak of war in Europe make for a turbulent climate, but one in which Mr.
Elmer Davis has some ideas about that last item, though he isna€™t prepared to share them with Chris Morley yet.
Woodya€™s afternoon is not over, as Elmer Davis takes them from Christopher Morleya€™s shabby hideaway office on West 47th Street to the magnificence of his own club on West 43rd. In the distance, beyond Fifth Avenue rushing by a stonea€™s throw away, lay Grand Central and the Chrysler Building rising beyond it. In Western Europe, the a€?phony wara€? smoldered through the winter of 1939-40, but with spring, Hitler invaded Norway and Sweden, and his blitzkrieg started its blast through Holland, Belgium and France. By mid-May, Ia€™d begun organizing a National Policy Committee meeting to be held June 29-30 under the title, Implications to the U.S.
Beneath the ancient oak trees on Pickens Hill, we sat in a circle, each giving in turn his or her reaction to the very present danger of a Nazi conquest of Britain. Whitney Shepardson retired to Francisa€™ study and emerged with a brief declaration we called a€?A Summons To Speak Out.a€? Next day, Francis and I compiled a cross-country list of some hundred names to whom we sent the statement, inviting signatures. On the previous Friday, just before giving our release to the press for Monday's papers, I had telephoned Morse Salisbury at the Department of Agriculture: a€?Get me off the payroll this afternoon. Woody, Elmer Davis, and Fletcher Pratt bring the BSI into the Century Groupa€™s proposal for the United States to exchange fifty mothballed World War I destroyers desperately needed by Britain for air and naval bases on British territories in the New World, a deal proposed by FDR before the disastrous summer is out, as the Battle of Britain begins.
The Century Association continues today, but two venues that have disappeared are also part of this chapter. Largely forgotten today, Billy the Oysterman was a Manhattan institution at the time, though West 47th Street was a second and newer location. The midtown Billy the Oysterman opened in the a€™Thirties and was managed very personably by Billy Ockendon Jr. In contrast to the original location, the West 47th Street Billy the Oysterman was an attractively modern place, with Walrus and the Carpenter murals on the walls. The other is Pennsylvania Station at Seventh Avenue and West 33rd, torn down in 1964 thanks to developersa€™ greed, but whose destruction led to preservation of many other architectural and historical landmarks in New York. A A A  A warm glow spread through me, and I was ready to climb off my high horse, but now Hopkins was frowning. Many Americans are relieved by the avoidance of war, but how tautly nerves are stretched becomes clear when the Halloween War of the Worlds broadcast by Orson Wellesa€™ Mercury Theater of the Air panics radio listeners from coast to coast.
A A A  His words thrilled me, but Charles Lindbergh, a universal hero if we had one at the time, called for neutrality instead, and flew to Nazi Germany for a red-carpet tour of the Luftwaffe that had been poised to bomb Paris and London. British Armya€™s hair-raising evacuation at DunkirkA  to avoid destruction or surrender, he was sent by Winston Churchill to New York with a top-secret job description emphasizing finding ways to circumvent the U.S. Jeff Schlegelmilch is the Deputy Director for the National Center for Disaster Preparedness. Topics of past work include developing inter-organizational processes for operational epidemiological modeling, evacuation and sheltering planning for people with medical dependencies, and adapting private sector business processes to support disaster response and recovery operations. Her prior experience includes the management and evaluation of emergency preparedness training for healthcare workers and first responders under the Bioterrorism Training and Curriculum Development Program. Shwetha Bhaskar designs, develops, and deploys training and distance learning related to emergency preparedness, planning, and response for the CDC-funded Columbia Regional Learning Center (CRLC), which caters to thousands of learners in the US and internationally. Thomas Chandler, PhD, is an Associate Research Scientist at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, The Earth Institute, Columbia University and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. He focuses on the human impact of natural disasters, geographic and social networks, community preparedness, and sustainability education. Dennis Johnson directs NCDP’s public policy, government affairs, and advocacy agendas and manages NCDP relationships with a broad spectrum of federal and state public officials, public and private sector entities and advocacy organizations.
Recent work includes field studies in communities recovering from disasters, quantitative modeling studies, and analysis of publicly available data to assess potential hazards, disaster needs, and resources. Prior to joining NCDP, Sabine served as Research Scientist and Managing Director at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at the Earth Institute, Columbia University; preceded by postdoctoral appointments in the Department of Psychology and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). Elisaveta Petkova holds a doctorate in public health from Columbia University and a master of public health from the University of Minnesota, both in environmental health sciences.
Prior to joining NCDP, she was part of the research team of the Columbia Climate and Health program where she carried out a multidisciplinary research on the population health impacts of air pollution and temperature extremes.
Erin Sehnert graduated from the University of Michigan School of Social Work with a concentration in Social Policy and Evaluation, focusing her personal studies on disaster relief and recovery. She is presently assessing the environmental impacts of Hurricane Sandy, a NIOSH funded project working with the Center for Disaster Medicine at New York Medical College and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH). In addition, Ms. Jeb Weisman has taught and practiced in the fields of anthropology and information systems for 30 years.
The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute at Columbia University works to understand and improve the nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.
The center maintains a strong working partnership with the Children’s Health Fund, a national organization that supports pediatric care for underserved children.
An illustration of the strength of this collaboration is the work that the center has done together with the Children’s Health Fund in the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and more recently after Superstorm Sandy. What are the short-term and long-term effects of disasters and public health emergencies on children and families?

How do medical and public health systems help prevent, mitigate or respond to the needs of children and families threatened by public health emergencies or disasters?
What factors contribute to, or impede, children’s and family’s recovery in the aftermath of a public health emergency or disaster? What can the Children’s Health Fund – as a central operating authority, or as a confederation of loosely-knit medical units, personnel and health care institutions – do to prevent, mitigate, or respond to public health emergencies and disasters? What role does public policy play in facilitating or impeding the formal and informal systems supporting children and families at risk of or affected by public health emergencies or disasters?
This renewed funding will go a long way to continue this important research and fruitful collaboration.  National Center for Disaster Preparedness  director and founder Dr.
Geodynamics Seminar: Why do only 10% of California Homeowners Carry Earthquake Insurance, and Fewer Retrofit?
Churchill warns that the Battle of Britain is about to begin, and that a€?never has so much been owed by so many to so fewa€?a€”the RAF fighter pilots in their Spitfires and Hurricanes.
Widowed dowagers holding court in the lobby in long gloves and high collars eyed me disapprovingly through lorgnettes. One thing Ia€™d want you to do is put together a weekly assessment of where the war stands. I went down early the first night of class and put a note on the classroom door telling them to see me in the fifth-floor lounge. Woody works out his frustrations on her, using Bentona€™s murals on the walls around them to heap scorn upon her politics. Poland falls, and after occupying its eastern half, Stalin attacks Finland as well, reported here by Elmer Davis whoa€™s become CBS Newsa€™ principal nightly news commentator.
He can then, in dealing with a nation that has lost its charactera€”and this means every one that submits voluntarilya€”count on its never finding in any particular act of oppression a sufficient excuse for taking up arms once more. 9 covers a single but for Woody enormously critical hour of a late-June 1940 afternoon, at Christopher Morleya€™s hideaway office on the top floor of 46 West 47th Street. The description comes from a woman who did see and condemn it, the late Dee Alexander, Edgar W. One was the big frame and boyish face of Gene Tunney, but the other was a stranger, short and thin with a freckled face, blue eyes, and brown hair going gray. But America is still divided, and even Baker Street Irregulars may question how realistic this appeal for their help is, and how far the White House is prepared to go. Stephenson is quite prepared to operate -- and one not foreign to Woody either, no matter how exasperated he gets with Rex Stouta€™s stridency about it. Without a pause Elmer led me inside and across the lobbya€™s tiled floor to join the flow of men up the staircase beyond.
Ia€™d enjoyed lunch there with Elmer, but never asked if law made one eligible; I doubted it did, short of Learned Hand. Inside a meeting-room, about ten men were talking in small groups, but I took in only the one glaring at us indignantly. Until that moment, none of us had quite recognized in our innermost selves the convictions we now found awesomely and unanimously evident: The United States must enter this war.
Some recipients, like Warner and Wilson of our original group, could not sign because of their official positions.
But when the group meets at the Century Association in New York, he is therea€”with Woody in tow. One is Billy the Oysterman, the West 47th Street restaurant a few doors down from Chris Morleya€™s hideaway office where the BSIa€™s leaders began to meet over lunch. The first Billy was William Ockendon, of Portsmouth, England, who came to the United States and set up his first small oyster stand in Greenwich Village around 1875. It had a well-stocked bar, which of course mattered to Baker Street Irregulars, and a menu extending far beyond the oysters that had given Billy the Oysterman its start. It was popular with people at Radio City nearby, and also with Christopher Morley and Edgar Smith.
Irwin Redlener is the Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute, which works to understand and improve the nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Redlener is also President and Co-Founder, along with singer-songwriter Paul Simon, of the Children’s Health Fund (CHF), a philanthropic initiative created to develop health care programs in some of the nation’s most medically underserved communities. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from UMASS Amherst in Health Policy and Management, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Quinnipiac University. She has a master’s degree in Information Processing and holds a PhD in Spatial Decision Support Systems and GIS. She implemented a broad spectrum of learning modalities ranging from face-to-face to simulation-based training for emergency preparedness. In addition to his role at NCDP, he is Executive Vice-President for Government Affairs at the Children’s Health Fund, a non-profit organization that initiates and supports innovative pediatric programs designed to meet the complex health care needs of medically underserved, economically disadvantaged children. Johnson was a senior program officer at the Fund for New York City Public Education and a research analyst at the Public Policy Institute of the Business Council of New York State. Kanter is Professor of Pediatrics & Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University. He has served on preparedness policy advisory panels for the Centers for Disease Control, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the New York State Department of Health. Her expertise falls within the area of environmental decision making, with a focus on risk perceptions, human behavior, and communication of scientific information.
She has conducted research on the use of climate information in agriculture, public health, and disaster preparedness and management. She is also Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis at Colorado State University. She has particular interest in environmental health policy and public health preparedness and response to natural disasters. She has also served as a consultant on a variety of initiatives related to environmental health risk assessment, communication and management. Sehnert on the SHOREline project which promotes youth empowerment in creating recovery projects and programs for their families and communities.
He holds a master’s degree in public health in Environmental Health Sciences with a concentration in Environment and Molecular Epidemiology from the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
In addition to his role at NCDP, he is CIO for the Children’s Health Fund, co-PI and Senior Researcher at the SmartLab Institute, University College, Dublin, Ireland, and holds an appointment at OCAD University, Canada. Over the past decade, the center has engaged in a number of projects funded by the fund, which recently announced its renewed support with a $2.5 million pledge.
In the Gulf Coast, the center joined staff from the Children’s Health Fund on a site visit to Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish, worked together to conduct town hall meetings and focus groups, conducted a population survey to identify needs and concerns of affected residents, and more recently has developed the SHOREline youth empowerment program and curriculum in multiple Gulf Coast high schools. Irwin Redlener is a pediatrician and national children’s health expert who co-founded the Children’s Health Fund with singer-songwriter Paul Simon in 1987. The opinions expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Earth Institute or Columbia University.
Nazi bombers attack London and other British cities as well as military targets, lighting up the night despite the blackout with burning buildings. The State Department and the Army and Navy have most of the dope youa€™ll need, and they wona€™t open up just to be nice. It was my favorite room, with the strong images and bold colors of Thomas Hart Bentona€™s a€?America Todaya€? murals on the walls.
Short and stacked with long dark wavy hair and strong features bare of make-up, she was frowning and tapping her foot. For America, isolationist by instinct and neutral by law, the Sudetenland crisis during the summer of 1938 is the first great watershed. Americans become polarized over the rights and wrongs of it, especially when Hitler starts demanding territorial concessions from Poland as well. On the contrary; the more the exactions that have been willingly endured, the less justifiable does it seem to resist at last on account of a new and apparently isolated (though to be sure constantly recurring) imposition.

This point of view was ably expounded by the late Senator Borah on October 2nd, in his speech opening the neutrality debate.
Rough bookcases lined the walls, but books and papers were everywhere, including the floor. At the far end, Rex Stout sat in a dilapidated armchair with his feet on a footstool, arms around his knees. But at the end of May, Richard Cleveland, son of the former president and an attorney in Baltimore who had been the NPCa€™s first chairman, called me up to say he thought we should hold a smaller session on the subject, at once.
But on Monday, June 10, 1940, the New York Times and the Herald-Tribune carried the a€?Summonsa€? over 30 rather influential names from 12 widely separated states and the District of Columbia. Davis knows them all, and one of the ringleaders was his cabin-mate on the boat to England when they were Rhodes Scholars at Oxford as young men. But the cautious Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies will turn into the much more assertive organization Fight for Freedom! She is working on projects studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill disaster on the physical and mental health of the Gulf Coast residents with a special focus on children’s health. She was the recipient of the Association of Commonwealth Universities Scholarship at the University of York and the Fulbright Research Scholarship at Pennsylvania State University. Centers for Disease Control examining the public health systems response to Hurricane Sandy in the NYC Area (2013-2015), and the principal investigator of a $150,000 two year grant with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S.
His work has appeared in the Journal of Social Studies Research, the National Council for Social Studies Bulletin, and in Interactive Learning Environments. His research investigates the matching of children’s needs and services during responses and recovery from public health emergencies in order to better integrate pediatric disaster services into regional systems of care. She was named the 2010 Greek Life Professor of the Year and has received CSU’s Alumni Association Best Teacher Award, College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award, the Waterpik Excellence in Education Award, and the Ann Gill Excellence in Teaching Award.
She is past Chair of the American Sociological Association Section on Environment and Technology and President of the Research Committee on Disasters for the International Sociological Association. She currently focuses on the health impacts of environmental exposures and climate change and has published several articles on these issues. Sehnert has served as a member of AmeriCorps NCCC, where she was involved in community disaster recovery and engagement projects in Louisiana and Mississippi post Hurricane Katrina, such as building homes and cooking meals for up to 800 volunteers. He has a keen interest in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their use in disaster preparedness and recovery.
After Superstorm Sandy, center staff accompanied Children’s Health Fund staff during the rapid assessment phase, helping to determine areas of greatest need for the fund’s clinical services. He has also recently served as one of 10 members of the National Commission on Children and Disasters, appointed by Congress and the president.
Britain and France go along with Hitlera€™s demands, brokering an agreement at Munich giving the vital strategic part of Czechoslovakia to Germany. This is only the first sip of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year, unless a€“ unless! In August 1939 Hitler and Stalin turn the entire world upside-down with their surprise non-aggression pact freeing Germany from the threat of a two-front war. Denouncing a€?the hideous doctrines of the dominating power of Germany,a€? he nevertheless contended that they were not an issue and seemed to see no ethical difference between the belligerents. And just as Woody receives a cryptic summons one day in June, after the fall of France, a great stirring in the land is beginning. Elmer occupied a smaller chair nearby, and Edgar Smith perched between them on an upturned beer crate. After years of Downing Street appeasement, and Britain facing Hitler alone now, Churchilla€™s first hurdle is convincing America that Britain is finally determined to fight it out to the end. Both Whit Shepardson and Francis Miller are foreign policy establishment figures whom Woody will also meet again in Washington, after America is in the war.
Woody and smoky, comfortable rather than classy, with lumbering, loquacious waiters, it prospered too. His areas of expertise includes public health preparedness, community resilience and the integration of private and public sector capabilities. Prior to joining the NCDP she was a Research Associate Professor at the Institute of Rural Health, Idaho State University.
She co-designed Play2Train, an Interactive MultiUser Virtual Environment for experiential learning which received a Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge award by the U.S.
Department of Health & Human Services, on the usage of social media during disasters (2014-2016). Peek studies vulnerable populations in disaster, with a special emphasis on the experiences of low-income families, racial and ethnic minorities, women, and children. In addition, the Institute on Teaching and Learning at CSU selected her as a 2011-12 Teaching Fellow as part of a university-wide competition.
She is a Board Member for the William Averette Anderson Fund, which was created to expand opportunities for African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities in the field of hazards and disasters research and practice. Murrow brings the Blitz into American homes nightly with his broadcasts from the streets and rooftops of the beleaguered city.
In those days I did relief work on the Lower East Side, and there were some pretty nasty gangsters around. Redlener is the author of Americans At Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared For Megadisasters and What We Can Do Now, published in 2006 by Alfred A.
Bhaskar holds a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a graduate degree in new media journalism, along with an undergraduate degree in communications. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he has been developing and evaluating curricula pertaining to disaster response and the needs of socially and geographically vulnerable populations. The good thing about the Murray Hill was that I couldna€™t possibly run into anyone I knew, not before the BSI returned in January. And at the Worlda€™s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Long i??Island, New Yorkers and tourists taking in a€?The World of Tomorrowa€? learn that it will be indefinitely postponed. Dust was thick everywhere and hung in the smoky air where sunlight fell through unwashed windows.
He is personally committed now to what Churchill declared in another speech to Parliament this month, and the world. And at the Worlda€™s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Long Island, New Yorkers and tourists taking in a€?The World of Tomorrowa€? learn that it will be indefinitely postponed. Peek is an appointed member of the National Academies Resilience Roundtable and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Resilience Observatory. Woodya€™s is not immune, and that summer he leaves home to live alone in the Murray Hill Hotela€™s Victorian confines. Occasionally he would get away to a nearby hotel, but this was no refuge, as he was liable to be routed out of bed at any hour of the night to deal with a fresh sensation from overseas. Author: How Like a God (1929), Seed on the Wind (1930), Golden Remedy (1931), Forest Fire (1933), The President Vanishes (1934), Fer-de-Lance (1934), The League of Frightened Men (1935), The Rubber Band (1936), The Red Box (1936), The Hand in the Glove (1937), Too Many Cooks (1938), Mr. Author: Travels in East Anglia (1923), River Thames (1924), Whaling North and South (1930), Lamb Before Elia (1931), The Wreck of the Active (1936). Author, Giant of the Western World (1930), The Church Against the World (1935), The Blessings of Liberty (1936). Author: Foreign Trade and the Domestic Welfare (1935), Price Equilibrium (1936), Appointment in Baker Street (1938).

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