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COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
H. J. Res. 184
A JOINT RESOLUTION DESIGNATING MAY 1
AS CHILD HEALTH DAY
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SEVENTIETH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION
DANIEL A. REED, New York, Chairman JOHN M. ROBSION, Kentucky.
B. G. LOWREY, Mississippi. E. HART FENN, Connecticut.
LORING M. BLACK, JR., New York. FLORENCE P. KAHN, California.
JOHN J. DOUGLASS, Massachusetts. EDGAR R. KIESS, Pennsylvania.
BROOKS FLETCHER, Ohio. FREDERICK R. LEHLBACH, New Jersey. VINCENT L. PALMISANO, Maryland. WALLACE H. WHITE, JR., Maine.
MALCOLM C. TARVER, Georgia. ELMER 0. LEATHERWOOD, Utah.
RENE L. DE ROUEN, Louisiana.
0. J. KVALE, Minnesota.
CARL H. WILLINGHAM, Clerk
CHILD HEALTH DAY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Friday, April 13, 1928. The committee this day met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. Daniel A. Reed (chairman) presiding, for consideration of House Joint Resolution 184, introduced by Mr. Greenwood, to designate May 1 as child health day, and reading as follows:
(H. J. Res. 184, Seventieth Congress, first session)
Whereas the quality of the adult citizenry of a country depends upon the opportunities for wholesome development provided in childhood; and
Whereas in order to secure such well-rounded development, it is essential that provision be made for a year-round child health program; and
Whereas the concentration of the public mind on the necessity of such a yearround program can be effectively achieved by setting aside one day for this purpose as “child health day": Therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States is hereby authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the Government officials to display the United States flag on all Government buildings, and the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places, on May 1 of each year, in order to awaken the people of our country to the fundamental necessity of a year-round program looking toward the protection and the development of the physical and the mental health of our children.
Sec. 2. That May 1 shall hereafter be designated and known as May day child health day and that it shall be the duty of the President to request its observance as provided in this resolution.
STATEMENT OF HON. A. H. GREENWOOD, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF INDIANA
The CHAIRMAN. The purpose of this joint resolution is to designate May 1 as child-health day. Mr. Greenwood is here and we will now hear from him.
Mr. GREENWOOD. Senate Joint Resolution 89, introduced by Senator Barkley and having for its purpose the same purpose as House Joint Resolution 184, has passed the Senate.
'It will be observed that this resolution does not carry with it any appropriation. It has for its purpose the placing of the influence and prestige of the Federal Government behind a movement that is already more or less generally carried on in the various States of the Union. Further, it is intended to promote interest in that greatest asset of America, namely, her youth. It is an attempt to coordinate
various public-welfare groups and interest the public by way of concerted action.
Several of the States already have programs that designate May 1 as the time for the concentration of their efforts toward interesting the public in the health and general welfare of their children.
The CHAIRMAN. If I may interrupt, have you a list of those States, Mr. Greenwood?
Mr. GREENWOOD. I am sorry to have to say that I have not. However, I think I can get them for you. I have a very elaborate statement in connection with this subject by the health department of the State of Indiana, and several bulletins issued along that line by that department that I will leave with you.
Mr. FLETCHER. What date does the State of Indiana observe?
Mr. GREENWOOD. May 1. Georgia also has the same date, I understand.
The CHAIRMAN. Have any of the other States selected some other day?
Mr. FLETCHER. We had this matter up for discussion at the Philadelphia convention of the National Educational Association. The fact is that there is a whole week designated for these purposes, like observing health day. It extends from November 1 to 5. There is a universal observation of a day for health of children. Then other days are observed for other purposes, like constitutional day, when citizenship ideals are developed. There are already five days and a great many educator at that convention were not at all in favor of having so many days designated for observation purposes. One objection to the month of May was that it is a time when commencements are under way, there is a big rush incident thereto, and many schools have in fact dismissed for the year.
Mr. GREENWOOD. May is not commencement time in most cities. Most of the schools run until the last of May.
Mr. FLETCHER. During late April and May the activities of the schools are class plays, final examinations, and preparation for commencement, and those pretty well occupy the time of the schools.
Mr. GREENWOOD. Child health includes the large children but more especially the ones of pre-school age. In the State of Indiana we have clinics where children are taken in connection with work of the board of health. Again, in the schools of the Middle West they have May Day celebrations and indulge in various games. I do not suggest that such is universal. Many of the States and cities have these days set aside for games and public celebrations and addresses along health and patriotic lines, all looking to civic betterment.
Mr. FLETCHER. What school people are back of this—the N. E. A.?
Mr. GREENWOOD. When you say “school people” I don't know about that; but I do know that many of the school folk in the communities where these things take place help put on the interesting and beneficial programs. I have statements from the State of Indiana showing where various schools have cooperated.
Mr. FLETCHER. I have done work in the schools of many States of the Union, and therefore I know that one objection school men have to these things is that they break up their programs. Many municipal and local activities are tending toward a disturbance of the student programs. I think it would be a good idea to have a statement from the group that is officially connected with this movement.
Mr. GREENWOOD. If I may make my statement, I will do so, and then if additional information is desired, I will get it for you. I have (indicating] a letter from the Indiana State Board of Health.
INDIANA STATE BOARD OF HEALTH,
Indianapolis, February 15, 1928. Hon. ARTHUR H. GREENWOOD,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. GREENWOOD: It has come to my attention that you have introduced a bill in the House of Representatives proposing to make May day national child health day, and that you would like to know something of the nature of the celebration of child health day in Indiana.
I am inclosing marked copies of the Indiana State Board of Health Monthly Bulletin, in which you will find suggestions for programs sent out by this office for last year's celebration and an account of the activities reported to us from some of the larger Indiana cities and towns. I am also sending a typed copy of last year's report which gives more detailed programs, quotations from local newspapers, etc. In the January, 1928, bulletin, you will find a brief preliminary announcement of the plans for this year.
Undoubtedly, national recognition would give the day a greater importance in the eyes of both children and adults and would bring it much more forcibly to the attention of every citizen of the United States. It would focus the minds of all citizens on the needs of the child, on the highest standards of physical, mental, and spiritual health, on the latest discoveries in the scientific world which may be applied to child betterment. It would become more truly a day of rejoicing in achievement and of inspiration for future efforts on the part of all who are working toward child health improvement.
For these reasons, I wish to commend your action in introducing this bill and to say that I feel sure it will meet with the approval of all persons who believe that the health of our children is our greatest national asset. Very cordially yours,
Ada E. SCHWEITZE, M. D. Mr. GREENWOOD. There is nothing compulsory about this. For instance, where a State has some other day for this observance, it is at liberty to select any other day. However, several States do already observe May 1. As I have said, the passage of this resolution would put the influence of the Federal Government behind this laudable movement at a time of the year when it has been found to be very effective. Most of the contagious diseases and the breaking down of the body occur throughout the winter months and the spring is a time of newness of life and renewed enthusiasm, when children commence to get out into the open and enjoy games. This resolution offers an opportunity to make an impression upon the communities and the children, including the parents, as well as church, school, and civic authorities and get them behind this desirable movement. The movement is already a success in some of the States, as I have pointed out. I do not have in mind the forcing of any program upon any State. This resolution does not carry a fixed program, but it would confer the influence and prestige of the Federal Government upon the movement, and, as a cooperative effort, the chances for a complete success would be enhanced.
Mr. Douglas. How many States, if you know, have taken this matter up?
Mr. GREENWOOD. I can't give you the number, but I do know that there are several.