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Reason for Thanks
In his proclamation setting aside the fourth Thursday of this month as a day of national thanksgiving, President Eisenhower last week cited as reason for gratitude the fact that "the present year has been one of progress and heightened promise for the way of life to which we, the people and the government of the United States of America, are dedicated."
One strong indication of this heightened promise, said Ike, is "in the prospect of improvement of relations among men and among nations."
Nowhere in the nation was simple evidence of improvement of international relations more easily discernible than in the news of sport.
On one international front it could be learned that a famous onetime West Point football star, Pete Dawkins, has become suddenly a white hope of Oxford rugger. On another, one could contemplate the pleasing mellowness of senior golfers in their 70s and 80s (years, not strokes) who had come from England and Canada to play against a team of amiable Americans (see page 36). Then there was the team of British professional golfers whose friendly feelings for the U.S. were seemingly dimmed not a whit by the sound trouncing they got from a U.S. team in the Ryder Cup—though some of them (see page 39) lamented too much hospitality.
Maryland's Laurel race track played host to the Thoroughbreds of nine nations in the annual Washington, D.C. International, and the spirit of international amity represented by the race itself was carried even further by the presence of a French filly with an Italian name (Mi Carina), who is owned by the United States Ambassador to Britain and was ridden by an American of Italian ancestry named Arcaro. Elsewhere in the horsy set, plans were being made to return the courtesy call of the great French trotter Jamin (see page 53), a new U.S. track darling, by sending a brace of U.S. horses to trot against him in France; and international amity was as always the keynote in New York's great week-long National Horse Show.
A handsome young Swede with a power-packed right still dominated the U.S. heavyweight boxing scene, as a 24-year-old Briton, Dave Charnley, arrived to try for the lightweight limelight. And a famous American yacht, Vim, will soon head south to help Australia win away America's and yachting's most coveted cup.
These instances, and many more like them, are evidence of an improvement in international amity well worthy of a nation's thankfulness, and they are in no way tarnished by an overseas triumph that put one of Mr. Eisenhower's White House predecessors in temporary eclipse. This occurred in Nottingham, England, where a university student greeting passers-by in the town square beat President Theodore Roosevelt's world record of 8,513 consecutive handshakes (at a Washington reception in 1907) by pressing 9,001 British palms.
A vital factor in the development of international good will on the playing field is the ability to take a licking in good grace. In this case, we are confident that the late T.R. would have hailed his own defeat with a hearty "Bully!"
Open Door to Open Tennis