Herbert Hoover photo

Address to the Convention of the International Christian Endeavor Societies.

July 16, 1931

FROM EVERY State in the United States, from every province of the Dominion of Canada, from Mexico, and from a score of countries beyond the seas you have assembled in San Francisco to celebrate the golden anniversary of the International Christian Endeavor Societies-an organization devoted to golden deeds and ideals.

The 50th anniversary of the International Christian Endeavor Societies is a notable moment in your history. It is significant not only to you, but to the whole Nation by reason of your past services and your potentialities for even greater usefulness in the future.

From an humble beginning in Portland, Maine, in 1881, the Christian Endeavor movement has become a world force for the promotion of spiritual advancement among our people. The 4 million members in more than 80,000 local units in 126 nations, dominions, states, and island groups present an impressive force in spiritual well-being of the world.

Despite differences of language, tradition, and custom, the youth of the world have found in the organization a common ground for spiritual training and service to their church, community, and country. It represents the most enduring monument to the idealism, insight, and organizing genius of its founder, the late Dr. Francis E. Clark.

The best index to its purposes and values are the principles it stands for. Its loyalties and ideals make for good citizenship, for character, and religious faith. It recognizes that national independence and international understanding are not incompatible. It stands for international good will and world peace. It is a mighty force for sobriety, righteousness, and respect for law, patriotism, and spiritual development in every nation.

It is an appreciated privilege, in behalf of the Nation, to greet the delegates from our own land and other lands to the convention of the World's Christian Endeavor Union at the 50th milepost of this dynamic movement. I congratulate you on the achievements of a half century of practical idealism. You have before you even higher privileges and opportunities to serve with the vigor, courage, and idealism of youth in the solution of myriads of problems of the future. Above all yours is a mission of exemplifying the standards of individual conduct which are the basis of national character. A better world is the mission of youth and it is your mission.

Note: The President spoke from the Cabinet Room of the White House. His address was carried by land wire to the San Francisco auditorium where the convention met, and was also broadcast over the National Broadcasting Company and the Columbia Broadcasting System radio networks.

Herbert Hoover, Address to the Convention of the International Christian Endeavor Societies. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211552

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