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Local Editorials

From our archives: Deeds, not just words, win freedom

What we thought: 50 years ago

Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials and articles from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following items appeared in the Telegraph on July 1, 2, 3 and 6, 1964.

Deeds as well as words

Suppose the drafters of the Declaration of Independence had neglected to add this paragraph to their document:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.”

It would have been remarkable if any revolution could have been made.

But, of course, the delegates to the Continental Congress of 1776 added that final paragraph, stuck their necks under the shadow of King George’s hangman, and set to work to make their fine vision an accomplished fact. The Declaration of Independence did not create the Revolution; men did.

One hundred and eighty-eight years have passed since that hot summer day in Philadelphia. That historic bit of parchment, faded and scarred, is still a part of mid-twentieth century America. Sometimes, however, we act as though we would like to forget about the acts and deeds of the men that gave meaning to the Declaration.

We have a tendency to assume that once we have made the right sort of speeches and passed the proper kind of resolutions, nothing more needs to be done.

We have some lovely sets of words. But sometimes we seem not to know how to fit action to them. We can sign declarations of independence, but we don’t stick around for Valley Forge and Saratoga.

There are plenty of good examples:

Within the last few years, Americans innumerable have voiced ringing declarations about the irony of permitting poverty to exist in a land of unrivaled plenty; about our need for an effective campaign to wipe out city slums; about the criminal folly of allowing Americans to kill themselves on the highways; about the necessity to conserve our great natural resources; about the unalienable right of all people to freedom, justice and opportunity; about the absolute mandate for peace.

But have we done enough to translate any of these declarations into fact? We have talked and resolved and deplored and condemned – and the targets of our resolving and condemning still loom large and frightening.

We could take a hint from the men of 1776. They spoke their minds about the iniquity of tyranny – and then, with their own hands, went out and delivered themselves from it. – July 3, 1964

Jamboree’s dual purpose

Dixon’s Memorial Pool Friday will be the site of the first annual Sports Swimming Jamboree, sponsored by the Dixon Park District and the Dixon YMCA’s Summer Boys Program.

Park Superintendent Lloyd Swan will be in charge of the event. Assisting Swan will be members of the Park District’s summer staff and the YMCA staff. ...

Another co-sponsor of the meet is the Illinois Youth Commission. ...

The event is open to all boys and girls between the ages of 10-15. Participation in the YMCA summer program is not a requirement for entry in the event.

The program has a dual purpose. The YMCA is using it as part of its summer program, while the Youth Commission uses it as part of its delinquency prevention program.

The basic concept of the program is the opportunity for every child to compete. – July 1, 1964

Pull together to pull weeds

In an extra effort to have Dixon looking its best for the Fourth of July weekend, the Dixon Men’s Garden Club will be out on the streets starting tonight at about 6 p.m. de-weeding and generally sprucing up the petunia rows.

The club members and any volunteer help will start on the south approaches to the city and work their way north. The job is expected to be competed Friday night so the city streets will be looking their best on Saturday.

Downtown merchants are asked by the club to be sure that the petunia pots in front of their places of business are also in tip-top condition for the weekend.

Volunteers who wish to lend a hand in this civic effort are asked to call Garden Club members for instructions for the cleanup campaign. – July 2, 1964

The dangers of tetanus

Tetanus is one of the most dangerous diseases that can strike a human being.

No antibiotic or other drug can halt a full-blown case, and about 60 percent of those afflicted by the disease die.

Yet, by means of immunization, tetanus is almost completely preventable. ...

While millions of babies and members of the armed forces have been inoculated against tetanus, the fact remains that about three-fourths of the adult population is lacking in immunity. The reason is that the protection offered by immunization wears off after several years, and must be re-established by “booster” shots, which most people fail to get.

Protection should start early – 11/2 to 2 months after birth – for the scrapes and falls of childhood offer tetanus many opportunities. In children, as well as adults, immunity is initiated by a series of three shots, spaced out over 8 weeks, and followed by a booster dose within 6 to 12 months. Thereafter, immunity is maintained by booster shots every 5 years.

With the new emphasis on outdoor living, with accidents on the increase, and with the spores of tetanus in the dust and dirt all about us, we can only look forward to an increase in this deadly disease unless we make the effort to get immunized and keep immunized. – July 6, 1964

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