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Thoma, Harry C. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 38, Number II (Nov. 1936)

Thompson, James S.
"That continual and fearless sifting and winnowing",   pp. 46-47


Page 47


November, 1936                                   47
found it in the dusty basement of the University Ad.-
ministration building, and, with the aid of a janitor  i
and a wheelbarrow, dragged it to a temporary rest-     ty
ing place in the lounge of the Union, which then oc-
cupied quarters in the Y. M. C. A. building.
  IT WAS in 1915 that the class arranged for a
dedication. But this was effected only after a consid-                  
             sbe.     P
erable effort.  The New Republic for May 1p 5 car-
ried Milton Blair's article reviewing the problem.
Articles appeared also in the State Journal, and the
Madison street cars for a month prior to commence-
ment carried cards prepared by our reunion commit-
tee, which stated that the class would dedicate the                     
    The 1910 Memorial Tablet
tablet at its 1g915 reunion "providing that the Re-                
        Persistence brought it to light
gents will give permission."
  Probably the most interesting "exhibit" in my       great social
fact made in the University.  This re-
clippings on the whole series of events is a letter from  port back in 1894
marks one of the great landmarks
the late "Doc" MacCarthy, then head of the Legis-     in the history
of the University. And from that day
lative Reference Library. Members of the class felt   to this, no responsible
party or no responsible author-
at the time that chances of having the tablet erected  ity has ever succeeded
in restricting freedom  of re-
were extremely doubtful, and I had called on "the     search and teaching
within these walls. There are no
Doc," whose reputation as a fighter in football as    'sacred cows'
at Wisconsin. There is no such thing
well as good government was well-known, in the        as 'standardized' teaching
in any subject. Professors
hope that he might give us some advice on procedure.  and instructors present
faithfully the various sides of
He was in favor of issuing a booklet that would tell  each problem. Their
duty is to train the students to
the whole story of the struggle. Parts of his letter  independent thinking.
They are in no sense propa-
make interesting reading at this time:                gandists for any class
or interest. A university to be
  "Put it up on the walls somewhere so that all can   worthy of its
name must be progressive-not prog-
see it. It is good enough to be put at the right side  ressive in the partisan
sense but in the dictionary
of the main door of the big hall. Do not let them     sense. I would not
care to have anything to do with
hide it out in the woods somewhere. We must have      a university that was
not progressive."
it so that every boy who goes through the University     During the ceremonies,
Professor Ely was observed
knows what it is and its story. Free speech has cost  in the audience, "his
eyes fastened upon the words
rivers of blood. It is the most precious thing we have  that appear on the
tablet."
in our government and we must not let them hide
this tablet, and we must leave this lesson of the tablet  To Dedicate Stevens
Aquatic Gardens
for the future.  Ifathe class of 1up9e10 f cansleave this  ALUMNI who come
abackh form eaHoth mgencoming
lesson, it will certainly do a great service and will go
down to posterity as being a great class.  .  .  .    this year are cordially
invited to take part in the dedi-
The early traditions of Wisconsin go back, I take it,  cation of the E. Ray
Stevens Aquatic Gardens in the
to the Germans of 1848.    I have in my office the    University Arboretum
on Sunday, November 1. The
picture of Gottfried Kinkel, who was a professor in   ceremonies will start
at 3 o'clock. The gardens are lo-
the University of Bonn when Carl Schurz came          cated on the Nakoma
Road just a few miles west of
there. Singular it is that the first trouble that Carl  the Campus.
Schurz got into was the driving out of the regent        An appropriate plaque
will be placed in one of the
sent by the Prussian king to suppress free speech in the  columns at the
main entrance to the gardens during
University of Bonn. You get this in Carl Sciurz's     the services. President
Frank, Chief Justice Marvin
'Reminiscences.' The Germans of 1848 formed the       Rosenberry of the Wisconsin
Supreme Court and
spirit of the University of Wisconsin and they were   Harry L. Russell, '88,
director of the Wisconsin
full of the spirit of freedom of speech."             Alumni Research
Foundation, will give brief talks.
                                                         E. Ray Stevens,
was a member of the Class of
  IT'WAS not necessary to prepare the pamphlet        1893, and was active
in alumni and University circles
which Dr. MacCarthy recommended.       Classmates     for many years. He
served as justice on the State
Duffy, Blair, and Meuer carried on successful nego-   supreme bench for four
years and was one of those
tiations with the Regents and President Van Hise,     who were influential
in starting the University Ar-
and the tablet was dedicated appropriately in June,   boretum project some
years ago.
1915. The State Journal quoted the President as fol-    The construction
of the gardens was accomplished
lows in the dedicatory address:                       by the C. C. C. division
of the National Parks
  "The principles of academic freedom have never      Service during
the past year and this dedication will
found expression in language so beautiful, words so   mark the first time
any such project by this Federal
impressive, phrases so inspiring.  It was 2 1 years   agency has been dedicated
in this area.
ago that these words were incorporated in a report       If you can't get
back at this time, make it a point
of the Board of Regents exonerating a professor (Dr.  to visit not only these
gardens but the entire Arbore-
Richard T. Ely) from the charge of 'socialism' that   tum on your next trip
to Madison. A lovely park
was brought against him.   This professor had in-     has been developed
and the National Park Service is
curred the displeasure of some who regarded socialism  to be congratulated
on the splendid service it has
as so dangerous that they wanted no mention of this   rendered.


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