Publish date:

1959 NATIONAL YOUTH FITNESS WEEK

Author:

A PROCLAMATION

Whereas the ongoing strength of our Nation depends upon the health of our young people; and

Whereas we must always strive to improve the fitness of our youth by determined and coordinated efforts; and

Whereas, in this challenging world, it is essential that our young people recognize their obligation to themselves, to their families, and to the Nation, to endeavor to keep themselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and physically fit; and

Whereas the President's Council on Youth Fitness has recommended that a National Youth Fitness Week be designated:

Now, therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning May 3, 1959, as National Youth Fitness Week.

I request officials of the Government, and I urge parents, young people, and interested local and national organizations, to use all appropriate means during that week to promote programs and activities demonstrating the importance of youth fitness to the end that we may assure the continuing strength and well-being of our people.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this thirty-first day of January in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-nine and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-third.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

FITNESS FOOTNOTES: A SMATTERING OF ACTION

There are hopeful signs this year that the physical part of the youth fitness crusade in America is making progress. The sharp eye and the well-directed camera have recorded in the following pages some encouraging documentary proof here and there across the land that Americans in ever-increasing numbers are being guided into activities that will make needed contributions to their physical well-being and enjoyment. Possibly this new participation will lead eventually to the summit of President Eisenhower's concept of "total fitness," a happy state reached by adding mental, emotional, spiritual and social fitness to the physical kind.

During the course of the past year at least one new ray of hope appeared on the national horizon. The American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation re-examined its national responsibility and came up with Operation Fitness—U.S.A., a truly ambitious national program which may yet put the fitness show on the road if initial enthusiasm for the idea is matched by eventual execution. So far some 6 million youngsters have been directly affected.

Programs of enlightened self-interest devised by business concerns (the Wheaties Sports Federation and Union Oil's 76 Sports Club on the West Coast among others) were being accelerated and perfected, and a new national wrinkle was announced by Mutual of Omaha. The big insurance company prepared to underwrite the expense of a Youth Fitness Congress on the theory that youthful energy may be the drive's greatest need at this moment. The tireless energy of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, whose fitness campaign which reached literally millions continued apace during the year, seemed to suggest the merit of this notion.

Many organizations, public and voluntary, as well as schools and clubs have continued to stir themselves during the year, as have individuals, according to the degree of their dedication. But, from the practical standpoint, Bonnie Prudden remained the First Lady of Fitness. She was everywhere—on TV screens, in newspapers and magazines and on personal appearance tours, demonstrating, encouraging, exhorting. It is fitting that Bonnie Prudden's Fitness Book (The Ronald Press Company, $2.95) is making its appearance in the bookstores during this second annual National Youth Fitness Week.

Girls' college in Columbia, Missouri provides its 1,500 two-year students with more delightful ways to stay fit than the fanciest spa. Facilities at Stephens College include a stable with 40 horses, a golf course and recreation area on a beautiful 250-acre campus that has its own 11-acre lake. In addition to riding and golf, Stephens girls can choose a dozen other recreation and sports activities from tennis to flying. In her two years at the college each girl is required to take a half-hour credit per semester in physical education, which amounts to about three hours a week. The long fall and early spring typical of Columbia make possible a long season of outdoor sports, and one-hour periods guarantee the facilities will be used by a large number of students. The program stresses development of one or more leisure skills useful later on in life. It is all designed for "recreation and fun...to help the students become more successful and happier." Thus Stephens, where two-thirds of the girls go on to higher education after graduation, is convincing evidence of the benefits of properly coordinated physical and academic education.

Public School system in Flint Mich, offers unique chance for sports and fitness in program which utilizes school facilities and personnel around the clock. In a city of about 200,000 people, 93,000 youngsters and adults per week use the schools in afternoons, evenings and on Saturdays—a greater number than are enrolled for the regular school day. This community school program is founded on some wise tenets: the school represents the largest investment of public money in the community; an effective program engages the whole family; people will support what they are personally involved in and will become involved when their actual wants, rather than what someone thinks they want, are supplied. Today most schools have a self-contained community wing with oversize gym, lockers, recreation room and office for the director, who supervises the after-school program. The major part of the cost is borne by the three school tax increases passed since 1950. The balance is provided by the Charles S. Mott Foundation, whose director, Frank Manley, is the man most responsible for this amazing program.

Women's Club in East Orange, N.J., as part of the fitness program of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, took part recently in a two-day workshop conducted by Bonnie Prudden. The ladies learned how to maintain their own and their children's fitness and that of the groups with whom they work. They, in turn, went out and taught clubwomen in their local communities. With 850,000 members across the nation, the federation may make America fit.

Military aid for civilian fitness has come from West Point, the Air Force and now the Marines. It springs from a desire to cooperate with the President's fitness drive and a growing concern with the poor physical shape of incoming recruits. This picture was taken at the Carle Place (New York) High School, where a group of marines from the Manhattan recruiting office gave 136 boys the Marine fitness test. They scored 100 points higher than Parris Island recruits.

Coed University, Purdue in Lafayette, Ind., is the only U.S. institution which has a vast recreational building devoted exclusively to voluntary free-time play and intramural sports for both men and women. No varsity teams are permitted to work out here where students and their dates, as well as faculty families, participate in everything from square dancing to roller skating—some 41,000 of them during the first semester after the plant opened. In addition to the activities pictured here, Purdue's extraordinary building has facilities for about 30 other sports. It was financed by a bond issue which will be retired by the $5-a-semester fee students pay for its use.

College Survey by the National Collegiate Athletic Association shows "extensive athletic programs being conducted by the nation's universities and colleges." The NCAA Committee on Youth Fitness found that 395 colleges with an enrollment of 840,923 men and 450,152
women students, had 34 different intercollegiate and 59 intramural sports for the academic year 1956-57. But the committee, chaired by Tom Hamilton, of the University of Pittsburgh, drew harsh conclusions: There is a critical lack of facilities at many institutions and inadequate provision for required physical education.

Boys' Club in Pawtucket, R.I. is jammed from 3:15 to 10 every week night by its 5,000 members aged 7 to 21, who participate in sports, games, carpentry and other hobbies. Free medical exams are a requirement for members every two years.

Institute for Physical Fitness in White Plains, N.Y. boasts versatile backyard playground equipment designed by Director Bonnie Prudden, who gives instructions for building and using the apparatus in her new fitness book.

YMCA Charleston, W. Va. brings asthmatic kids new physical activity through breathing classes taught by Lawrence Frankel under guidance of Dr. Merle Scherr, allergist. The program's merit led Warner-Chilcott, drug firm, to produce a film which would spread the method to other communities.

[originallink:10490721:42721]

PHOTO

PHOTO

EVERY BOY IN TOWN CAN AFFORD CLUB MEMBERSHIP

PHOTO

BASKETBALL IS MOST POPULAR INDOOR SPORT AT CLUB

PHOTO

ENTHUSIASTIC DIVER IS UNCONCERNED WITH ORTHODOX FORM

PHOTO

YOUNG HOPEFUL TRIES PUSH-UPS IN CLUB'S FITNESS DRIVE

PHOTO

A "BRONCHO" (BRONCHIAL ASTHMATIC) GETS A LIFT FROM FRANKEL

PHOTO

MOVABLE PARALLEL BARS INVITE FEATS OF AGILITY

PHOTO

BALANCE MAZE SEEMS HARDER AS IT GOES HIGHER

PHOTO

DRIVING A FINE HARNESS HORSE, A STEPHENS SENIOR PROUDLY UPHOLDS THE COLLEGE REPUTATION FOR GOOD HORSEMANSHIP

PHOTO

EXERCISES IN MOVEMENT FUNDAMENTALS DEVELOP GRACE, POSTURE

PHOTO

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING IS TAUGHT ALL GIRLS EXCEPT BEGINNERS

PHOTO

FIELD HOCKEY IS ONE OF FOUR TEAM SPORTS OFFERED

PHOTO

FENCING HELPS TO IMPROVE THE STUDENTS BALANCE, FLEXIBILITY AND POISE

PHOTO

A FIELD OF GOLFERS TAKES POSITION UNDER THE TREES TO PRACTICE THE SWING

PHOTO

CANOEING TESTS BALANCE AND MUSCLES

PHOTO

ARCHERY BOLSTERS THE LESS ACTIVE

PHOTO

THE TRAMPOLIN IS POPULAR IN WINTER

PHOTO

GYMNASTIC FEAT at McKinley Junior High reflects major interest of Flint, which boasts two Olympic gymnasts.

PHOTO

FAMILY ROLLER SKATING evening at Flint's Potter Elementary School draws a happy crowd. Special skates spare the gym floor.

PHOTO

PHYSICAL EDUCATION-class in community-wing gym of Selby School features active circle games and calisthenics for the lower grades.

PHOTO

NEW JERSEY CLUBWOMEN LEARN FITNESS FIRSTHAND UNDER GUIDANCE OF BONNIE PRUDDEN AT UPSALA COLLEGE WORKSHOP

PHOTO

TWO MARINE SERGEANTS TRY OUT A HIGH SCHOOL BOY ON CHIN-UPS

PHOTO

A GALLANT ESCORT HELPS HIS LADY INTO HER SHOES AFTER ICE SKATING

PHOTO

INDOOR RANGE PROVIDES YEAR-ROUND PRACTICE FOR DEDICATED ARCHERS

PHOTO

BACK FROM THE SLOPE, SKIING ENTHUSIASTS RETURN EQUIPMENT TO NEW BUILDING

PHOTO

A LARGE ARRAY OF SPORTS PARAPHERNALIA OFFERS SOME KIND OF FUN FOR EVERYONE

PHOTO

GAME OF BOX HOCKEY IS PLAYED BY A GROUP INSIDE THE MAIN GYMNASIUM

TWO PHOTOS

JUDO AND PARALLEL BARS OFFER CHANCE TO SHOW OFF TO THE OPPOSITE SEX

PHOTO

SQUARE DANCING IS A ROUSING FAVORITE OF MANY COUPLES AT COED PURDUE

THREE ILLUSTRATIONS

TWELVE CHARTS

WILLIAM BERNSTEIN