STATE OF DELAWARE
WHEREAS, for the first time in its history, American Education Week will be observed this year, with our Nation at war, and since American Education Week grew out of conditions revealed by the first World War, when twenty-five percent of the men examined in the draft were found to be illiterate and twenty-nine percent were physically unfit, it seems most appropriate that this Twenty-second Annual Observance should be devoted to the theme "Education for Free Men". And,
WHEREAS, while great educational progress has been made, much remains to be done before the ideal of free universal education is in fact available to all people of the United States. Our 1940 Census showed that 13.5 percent of the adult citizens over twenty-five years of age had not completed more than fourth grade education. As recently as May, 1942, it was announced from the White House that enough men to make fifteen army divisions, had been rejected in the draft because of functional illiteracy. These men were physically fit for service, but were not equipped mentally for the role of a modern soldier. And,
WHEREAS, when freedom is at stake, when the destiny of mankind hangs in the balance, when our flag and our men are at all fronts, those of us at home must do what is to be done. We must maintain the home front especially for our children. They are the future. We can put off many things for the duration of the war, but the education of our children will not wait.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Walter W. Bacon, Governor of the State of Delaware, in cooperation with the Public School Officials
of the State of Delaware, and with the National Education Association, do hereby proclaim
AMERICAN EDUCATION WEEK
The broad purpose of American Education Week has become that of acquainting the people with the needs, aims and achievements of the schools. Therefore the radio and press can play a large part in reaching those people who cannot visit the schools. However, let every citizen of Delaware, who can do so, make a special effort to attend the open-house programs which are a universal feature of American Education Week observances. This is your opportunity to become acquainted with what the schools are doing to provide a program of education adequate to wipe out illiteracy and greatly reduce physical unfitness.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand,
and caused the Great Seal to be hereunto affixed,
at Dover, this fifth day of November, in the year
of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and forty-
(GREAT SEAL) two, and of the Independence of the United States
of America, the one hundred and sixty-seventh.
By the Governor:
WALTER W. BACON EARLE D. WILLEY, Secretary of State.