The following text came from a
document simply called “Background for this Display.”
Prior to President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1960 White House
Conference on Children and Youth, Roland Larson conducted a
local Youth Leadership Conference for St. Louis Park senior
high students. Well-known persons were invited to
“participate” in the St. Louis Park conference by responding
to this question: “What bit of advice would you consider
most significant for young people, generally, over the next
Quotations from responses were read at the banquet as a
major part of the program. Youth Director Dr. Wilton
Bergstrand gave the major address. Some 200 Park students
were in attendance to hear the advice and comments from
Roland Larson, St. Louis Park guidance counselor, was a
Minnesota delegate to the five-day White House Conference in
Washington, DC, called by President Dwight Eisenhower. At
the time Larson was an advisor to Governor Orville Freeman’s
Minnesota Youth Council.
The question mentioned above was put to several prominent
people in a letter dated February 1, 1960, from Roland
Larson. (Paraphrased) responses were received from:
Eleanor Roosevelt: Work hard to develop your
abilities to the maximum and work hard to see that the free
world wins the struggle between the ideologies of the free
world and the communist world.
Wernher Von Braun (letterhead Army Ballistic Missile
Agency, U.S. Army Ordnance Missile Command, Redstone
Arsenal, Alabama): Apply yourselves diligently to
your studies as a through preparation was absolutely
necessary for a successful career.
Marian Anderson, Opera Singer: Get as much
education as possible and consider school not just an
obligation but a privilege.
Herbert Hoover (from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, NYC)
Richard Nixon, Vice President: Be aware of
current events so they were fully informed on the problems
of national and international affairs.
Ralph J. Bunche, Under Secretary, United Nations:
Adapt your own set of values and principles; be forward
looking, a little bold and nonconformist.
Justice William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court:
Pick at least one, and preferably two, foreign languages
in which to become an expert.
Norman Vincent Peale, Marble Collegiate Church, NYC:
Decide whether to maintain the moral standards of
Christian teachings or whether they should be cast aside and
J. Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI General:
Accept responsibility in an insecure world which is the
target of an enemy eager to exploit your idealism,
credibility and inexperience.
Lauris Norstad, USAF, Supreme Allied Commander,
There is also a document called “The Preparation of
the Youth of America” by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, books, yearbooks, phone directories, interviews, etc. Given the varied sources, we cannot guarantee that all of this information is correct, and welcome any additions and corrections. Please contact us with your contributions and comments.