I’m sorry about the lack of posts this week. It was a hectic one with the start of classes, a meeting in the city toward mid-week, and the wrapping up of a blog post to appear elsewhere later this coming week at another site. I’ll post that when the time comes. The Learning Places class I am co-teaching is off to a good start. We had our first field trip to Cadman Plaza this past week. Before venturing out I spoke to the students about the Reverend S. Parkes Cadman, about whom I knew little before starting my prep for the class. I was making a comparison with Cadman to such figures as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Knute Rockne’s Four Horsemen, the point being that they all became public figures in the 1920s via the mass communication of radio. Twenty years earlier none of these individuals could have reached the masses in quite the same way that they did. Cadman’s sermons were broadcast nationally from his Central Congregational Church in Brooklyn every Sunday. It is strange that he so forgotten today.
I did not know until starting this thing that he served with the 23rd Infantry Regiment on the Mexican border during the Punitive Expedition. His papers are at the Brooklyn Historical Society and I am hoping 1-2 students pick up the baton and dig a little into why he may not have served a year later in the Great War. We shall see. He later became an outspoken opponent of Hitler and Mussolini. In some ways Cadman was the anti-Father Coughlin. Cadman died in July 1936 and so did not live to see the Second World War.
(image/Brooklyn Daily Eagle via Brooklyn Public Library, courtesy newspapers.com)