In Athens, Ga. last week, Georgia Tech beat the home team University of Georgia in a basketball game 89-80. Disappointed Georgia students thereupon marched up to the girls' dormitory and threw rocks through the window of one of the coeds, Charlayne Hunter. Miss Hunter is not, as one might suppose, a spy for the winning Tech team. She is a Negro trying to get a college education.
THE SOFT AMERICAN (CONT'D.)
The new Attorney General of the United States (5 feet 10, 165 pounds) won his H at Harvard playing end on the football team. Introduced last week at a banquet meeting in Pittsburgh of college football coaches and NCAA authorities, Bob Kennedy began with a smile. "When you play football in college," he said, "you get a little better in the public's mind and a great deal better in your own mind each year after graduation." When he was invited to speak, Kennedy said, he thought to himself: "They want me to reminisce about that 1947 Harvard team and tell in detail about a few blocks I made and tackles that I would have made if luck hadn't been against me." It was a blow to his morale, he said, to learn that the coaches had never heard of his Harvard letter. "However, I come with great pride...." And the smile disappeared and Kennedy emphasized the next words with the crisp, chopping, right-hand gesture the country has come to recognize in the style of his brother JFK: "Except for war, there is nothing in American life which trains a boy better for life than football. There is no substitute for athletics."
Then the new Attorney General took up the theme of The Soft American that the new President outlined in this magazine a month ago. If his listeners had expected mere pleasantries they were in for surprises.
"Think back to what happened during the Korean war. Almost 50% of our Army prisoners—American soldiers who were captured in Korea—died on forced marches or in prison camps. Turkish soldiers captured at the same time suffered no fatalities even though they were generally in worse condition than our soldiers.
"Those who have made a study of the causes of this situation have come to the conclusion that we had such a high mortality rate because in many cases U.S. Army prisoners cared only for themselves, allowing their sick and wounded to go untended and die in the cold."
Moral, mental and physical fitness go together, said the Attorney General. While his audience listened in engrossed silence he ticked off, with the chopping gesture, the TV quiz scandals, the publicized corruptions of the 1950s in labor, business and government, and the lagging fitness standards of American youngsters.
"I am here," he ended as the cheers came, "because President Kennedy and we who are a part of the incoming Administration are deeply concerned about what has been happening to our country.... We are going to work on a program which emphasizes that all children should participate in sports. All children should recognize the need for physical fitness. All children should realize that excelling in athletics is important. If a game is worth playing it is worth winning."
After dismissing Manager Lou Boudreau last fall Phil Wrigley struck a radical course for his hapless Chicago Cubs. He announced the club would open the '61 season with an eight-man board of coaches—and no manager. Last week, ignoring the hecklers, he named his sixth and seventh members of the board, Verlon Walker and Charlie Grimm (previous members: Rip Collins, Harry Craft, Vedie Himsl, Goldie Holt, Elvin Tappe). Wrigley parried all questions with a Confucian "He who explains is lost."