Center for the Arts
Opera House built in 1868 on the historic square in Pulaski, Tennessee
Figure FRANK DIXON LECTURE TOPICS 1. The Man Against the Mass 2. The Square Deal 3. An Outgrown Constitution 4. The Social Survey THE SOCIAL SURVEY IS A SEARCHING INVESTIGATION INTO ALL THE LOCAL CONDITIONS—PHYSICAL, INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL, SANITARY, EDUCATIONAL, RECREATIONAL, RELIGIOUS, GOVERNMENTAL—AFFECTING THE WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE IN ANY COMMUNITY, TO THE END THAT MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT MAY BE ALONG LINES OF BEAUTY, HEALTH, INTELLIGENCE, ECONOMY AND EFFICIENCY OF ADMINISTRATION. Of Practical, Immediate, Absorbing Interest to Every Town and City The Social Survey OR Taking Stock of a Town (Sketch of Lecture) THE CALL FOR AN EFFICIENCY EXPERT There are business firms in this country today that spend as much as forty thousand dollars on a single investigation of themselves; not because they are on the verge of bankruptcy, but because they are on the rising tide of prosperity. These firms have been built up, each of them, around some one man. That man has put his time, his strength, his hopes, his dreams into it. He has built it up from the ground. He has introduced all its machinery; he has developed all its methods. He is so familiar with it, that he realizes he is not a competent critic of his own work, and goes outside to find a total stranger who has an expert knowledge of that line of business and invites him to come in and look the firm over. He lays bare the books; he explains all the methods. He says, Search us, and find us out. If there is a leak anywhere, put your finger on it. If there is an antiquated or cumbersome method employed, turn the light on. Hard-headed, practical, progressive business men will thus spend thousands of dollars to assure themselves that they have the most efficient business methods in the modern world. Why should not a town do the same thing? Why should not a city use the same wisdom? THE DEMAND FOR SPECIAL ABILITY A town or city is a business corporation primarily. It is doing business along many lines, requiring the highest expert knowledge in every line. It is spending thousands of the people's money every year. It is frequently bonding unborn generations for public improvements. Yet not one town in a hundred knows what becomes of its own money! A town is usually perfectly satisfied if it feels reasonably certain that it has honest men to spend its money. That is a rare enough satisfaction. It is not enough that a town should have honest men to spend its money. It may have honest men to spend its money and stand stock-still for a hundred years. A town should not only have honest men to spend its money, but honest men who understand town administration and can get full value for every dollar that they spend. Almost any town in the United States would spend ten dollars for public improvements where it now spends one, if it could only know what becomes of its money. PUBLIC AFFAIRS AS IMPORTANT AS PRIVATE BUSINESS Not a business man in your town would dare transact his private business as the ordinary town transacts its public business; he would go bankrupt in less than six months. The affairs of every town ought to be conducted economically and efficiently as the affairs of any individual or corporation in the town. THE GUARANTY OF MUNICIPAL SOLVENCY Why not deal with your town just as business men deal with the affairs of a corporation in which their money is invested? They insist upon an intelligent accounting for every dollar received and expended. They know what their obligations and resources are. They demand economy and efficiency, and they get what they demand. Your town is the most important enterprise on earth for you. Your business is located here, your money is invested here, your homes are built here, your children are born here; they grow up in this atmosphere, their characters are determined largely by their surroundings. Almost all of the happiness that comes to you in this world must come to you right here in this town. The development of your town is the supremely important thing for you. ECONOMIC FORESIGHT Almost everything that is done in the average town is wrongly done, and must be torn to pieces and done over again and again. Did you ever know a town to build a street, and let it stay undisturbed long enough to settle? Did you ever visit one of our big cities when they seemed to have anything finished? You can scarcely walk five blocks in a straight line without danger of falling into some sort of excavation. The rapid growth of a city does not justify this amazing waste, nor does normal improvement demand it. It is due to an almost utter lack of intelligent foresight. CORPORATE WISDOM The great corporations of this country have the best brain of the nation employed in planning for their expansion for decades ahead; why should not your town, which affects your happiness more profoundly than any other corporation, practice the same wise method and employ competent men to map out the lines of its future growth? HEALTH The health of your town is an asset of paramount importance. The average town in the United States does not keep a record of births and deaths. Anybody is liable to be born and to die and not know it! YOUR RESPONSIBILITY ALONE God Almighty exhausted the resources of omnipotence in your behalf when He laid down the fundamental laws of health and gave you intelligence to discover and obey them. Your health is your responsibility, and yours alone. You have no right to pray for health, until you clean up your town, and keep it clean, and conform to the laws of health, and then you will not need to pray, except to bless God for good common sense. SICKNESS UNNATURAL Nature never intended that any man should die of disease, and if you do, you die prematurely, and you never do that but once. A NATIONAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT Gorgas, through intelligent sanitation, made Panama a health resort. It we had a National Health Department, with a Secretary in the President's cabinet, co-operating with state and local departments, we could trace disease to its source and largely abolish the source. We could add fifteen years to the average term of human life with the knowledge even now available. Pure water, scientific sewerage, milk and food inspection, sanitation and preventive medicine will make any town on the continent healthy, and none can be secure in health without these precautions. WOMEN AND CLEANLINESS Every town in the country ought to have a woman sanitary inspector. It you want a clean town, give some woman the job and back her up with your money appropriation and your moral support, and she will clean the town and keep it clean. Nobody else will. EDUCATION Your educational system is not the least important of your community assets. ECONOMIC VALUE OF YOUR SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT Your superintendent of schools is creating more wealth than any man among you, and his salary ought to be equal to the best paid any man—banker, merchant, manufacturer. TEACHERS' SALARIES Do you pay your teachers salaries that command the highest ability? The average teacher's salary in the United States is less than that of a good farm hand! MEN TEACHERS Do you employ as many men as women in your public schools? In most towns women are employed almost wholly. Cheaper! There are certain departments of school work that women alone ought to fill; there are other departments that women ought never to fill. When a boy reaches the age of thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, passing out of the grammar school into the high, he ought to be put under the discipline of strong, clean, wholesome men teachers and kept there through that period Give your girls to women, and your boys to men when they are passing through that most perilous borderland between youth and manhood and womanhood. Equality between men and women, economic, political, moral, does not mean that a man is a woman, or that a woman is a man. The distinction is fundamental and ineradicable. It is imbedded deep in the structure of human nature. A boy needs close association with men: a girl needs feminine touch and environment. PRESENT SCHOOL SYSTEM INVOLVES WASTE OF YEARS Your school day should be eight hours, as a minimum; your school week should be six days; your school year should be twelve months. Build your schoolhouses wisely, give adequate space to each class-room, proper ventilation, proper light, proper heat; above all, surround your schoolhouses with ample playgrounds equipped as outdoor gymnasia, and give your children the benefit of expert supervision on the playgrounds and the school is the best place for boy or girl every day in the year and every possible hour of every day. EDUCATION FOR LIFE, NOT AWAY FROM LIFE Relate your schools to the commercial, industrial and agricultural interests of your community; educate your children for the life that they must live, and not away from that life. GRADED SCHOOLS WILL DISAPPEAR Our present system of graded schools is but a crude attempt to solve the problem of popular education. It will eventually be rejected as artificial, mechanical, unscientific, injurious. Has Madame Montessori pointed the way of future development? A NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION We need a National Department of Education, with a Secretary in the President's cabinet, stimulating backward sections, creating ideals, establishing standards, and placing at the service of the most obscure region the resources of a powerful government. TOWN GOVERNMENT The form of town government which has prevailed throughout the country since the adoption of our federal constitution, which was modeled after that constitution, with its mayor and two-chambered council, is the most extravagant and least efficient ever invented. It is admirably adapted to political jugglery, but comparatively useless for social ends! FIRST IMPORTANT STEPS TOWNARD SOLVING CITY PROBLEM The first intelligent step taken by us toward the solution of the problem of municipal government was the adoption by some of our progressive towns of the Commission form of government. The next important step, still more intelligent and scientific, was the development by a few of our towns of the City Manager plan of Commission government. That way lies economy, efficiency, democracy. POLITICS AND INEFFICIENCY INSEPARABLE When we take our towns out of politics, and make the introduction of partizan strife into municipal affairs criminal in law, as it has always been in morals, our colleges and universities will begin to educate young men for the profession of City Management and we shall have expert fitness exalted to its proper place in our community life. PRACTICAL MEASURES Our towns ought to be artistically planned, their streets ought to be clean, their water pure, their sewerage scientific, their milk and food inspection effective, their schools progressive, their government economical and efficient—no good citizen will dispute this proposition. Yet but little, if anything, is being done in many towns towards the realization of these ends. Why? Because our towns have not yet adopted the instrument of effective democracy. Every town in the nation ought to have a COMMUNITY WELFARE ASSOCIATION, embracing in its membership every man and woman in the community, without reference to religion or politics. That association should have standing committees dealing with every phase of community need—Town Planning, Food Inspection, Sanitation, Schools, Playgrounds, Parks, Amusements, etc., etc. These committees ought to be working the year round, building their programs, creating public sentiment, organizing public energies, formulating public policies, co-operating with all existing agencies for the public benefit. From the village to the metropolis, this organization is indispensable. Without it, growth may be ugly, extravagant, and monstrous; with it, any dream of civic beauty and efficient administration may be realized. For more than twelve years Mr. Dixon has delivered an average of one hundred and fifty lectures a year, in every state of the Union and in almost every section of every state. He has spoken to more than a million people. The last season was the best. Following is the list of towns in which he gave his lecture on The Social Survey during the Chautauqua season of 1915: April 16. Jacksonville, Fla. " 17. Waycross, Ga. " 18. SUNDAY. " 19. Brunswick, Ga. " 20. Savannah, Ga. " 21. Charleston, S. C. " 22. Sumter, S. C. " 23. Darlington, S. C. " 24. Fayetteville, N. C. " 25. SUNDAY. " 26. Wilmington, N. C. " 27. Goldsboro, N. C. " 28. Rock Mount, N. C. " 29. Raleigh, N. C. " 30. Durham, N. C. May 1. Danville, Va. " 2. SUNDAY. " 3. Greensboro, N. C. " 4. Winston-Salem, N. C. " 5. Salisbury, N. C. " 6. Monroe, N. C. " 7. Chester, S. C. " 8. Rock Hill, S. C. " 9. SUNDAY. " 10. Greenville, S. C. " 11. Anderson, S. C. " 12. Greenwood, S. C. " 13. Columbia, S. C. " 14. Augusta, Ga. " 15. Griffin, Ga. " 16. SUNDAY. " 17. Americus, Ga. " 18. Columbus, Ga. " 19. Montgomery, Ala. " 20. Tuscaloosa, Ala. " 21. Birmingham, Ala. " 22. Florence, Ala. " 23. SUNDAY. " 24. Decatur, Ala. " 25. Fayettville, Tenn. " 26. Huntsville, Ala. " 27. Pulaski, Tenn. " 28. Gadsden, Ala. " 29. Anniston, Ala. " 30. SUNDAY. " 31. Rome, Ga. June 1. Cleveland, Tenn. " 2. Johnston City, Tenn. " 3. Morristown, Tenn. " 4. Harriman, Tenn. " 5. Chattanooga, Tenn. " 6. Tupelo, Miss. " 7. Tullahoma, Tenn. " 8. Mufreesboro, Tenn. " 9. Springfield, Tenn. " 10. Paris, Tenn. " 11. Murray, Ky. " 12. Jackson, Tenn. " 13. Dixon, Tenn. " 14. Union City, Tenn. " 15. Cairo, Ill. " 16. Mayfield, Ky. " 17. Marion, Ky. " 18. Morganfield, Ky. " 19. Henderson, Ky. " 20. SUNDAY. " 21. Princeton, Ind. " 22. Washington, Ind. " 23. Bloomfield, Ind. " 24. Martinsville, Ind. " 25. Danville, Ind. " 26. Bedford, Ind. " 27. Eminence, Ky. " 28. Frankfort, Ky. " 29. Shelbyville, Ky. " 30. Lebanon, Ky. July 1. Danville, Ky. " 2. Richmond, Ky. " 3. Mt. Sterling, Ky. " 4. SUNDAY. " 5. Winchester, Ky. " 6. Cynthiana, Ky. " 7. Georgetown, Ky. " 8. Newcastle, Ind. " 9. Crawfordsville, Ind. " 10. Anderson, Ind. " 11. Carey, Ill. " 12. Muncie, Ind. " 13. Marion, Ind. " 14. Decatur, Ind. " 15. Peru, Ind. " 16. Rochester, Ind. July 17. Plymouth, Ind. " 18. Savanna, Ill. " 19. Winona Lake, Ind. " 20. Goshen, Ind. " 21. South Bend, Ind. " 22. Niles, Mich. " 23. Dowagiac, Mich. " 24. Kalamazoo, Mich. " 25. SUNDAY. " 26. Coldwater, Mich. " 27. Angola, Ind. " 28. Ypsilanti, Mich. " 29. Mt. Clemens, Mich. " 30. Port Huron, Mich. " 31. Lapeer, Mich. Aug. 1. SUNDAY. " 2. Flint, Mich. " 3. Lansing, Mich. " 4. Charlotte, Mich. " 5. Battle Creek, Mich. " 6. Hastings, Mich. " 7. Belding, Mich. " 8. Columbus, Ind. " 9. St. Johns, Mich. " 10. Saginaw, Mich. " 11. Alma, Mich. " 12. Manistee, Mich. " 13. Muskegon, Mich. " 14. Grand Haven, Mich. " 15. SUNDAY. " 16. South Haven, Mich. " 17. Benton Harbor, Mich. " 18. Michigan City, Ind. " 19. Waukegan, Ill. " 20. N. Manchester, Ind. " 21. Logansport, Ind. " 22. SUNDAY. " 23. Tipton, Ind. " 24. Frankfort, Ind. " 25. Thornton, Ind. " 26. Brazil, Ind. " 27. Danville, Ill. " 28. Joliet, Ill. " 29. Oconomowoc, Wis. " 30. DeKalb, Ill. Sept. 3. Chicago, Ill. By all odds, the most constructive piece of work presented from the Chautauqua platform. It is a model lecture. Witty, strong in argument, telling in illustration and array of facts, backed by a strong personality, it carries all before it. What Mr. Dixon says applies to large cities and small villages alike.
—Charles F. Taylor, Greenwich, Conn. Lecture engagements may be made through immediate application to FRANK DIXON 56 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn, N. Y.