National Geographic : 1909 Jan
HONORS TO THE AMERICAN NAVY NEARLY every state, territory, and insular possession of the United States and many foreign countries were officially represented at the annual dinner of the National Geo graphic Society, which took place on the evening of December the fifteenth last. The banquet hall of the New Willard Hotel was beautifully decorated with flowers and palms, and covers were laid for four hundred. The divine blessing was asked by Right Rev. Bishop O'Con nell, Rector of the Catholic University of America. INTRODUCTION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE GRAPHIC SOCIETY, MOOR TOASTMASTER, THE NATIONAL GEO DR WILLIS L. The principal theme of this annual dinner of the National Geographic Soci ety will be the achievements of the Navy of the United States. In many ways the Navy has added to the sum of our geo graphic knowledge, and its magnificent feat of assembling the greatest armada ever brought under the immediate direc tion of a single commander, and then, at this date nearly circumnavigating the globe without mishap, and with the fleet every moment ready for action, is worthy of celebration, not only by this society and by this nation, but by all the nations of the earth, for its guns are shotted, not with the arbitrary power of the tyrant, but with the humane sympathies of a mighty natibn. And so the National Geographic Society honors itself in pay ing homage to the Navy. We will now have a word of greeting from one who is about to retire from the responsibilities of a great office; but we would say in passing that neither by his own volition nor by the act of others can he ever retire from the affection of those who during his long years of public service have come into personal associ ation with him; he cannot retire from the admiration of those who have watched his course as a man of clean purpose and of noble ideals in statesmanship; he can not retire even from the respect of his political enemies-the Vice-President, the Hon. Charles W. Fairbanks. A WORD OF GREETING-BY THE VICE-PRESI DENT OF THE UNITED STATES, HON. CHARLES W. FAIRBANKS It is a very agreeable duty, indeed, which has been assigned to me, and I only regret that I do not possess that gift of utterance which will enable me to conform literally to the sentiment which appears upon the program. "A word of greeting" seems but an inade quate return for your manifestation of cordiality and of kindness. The toast master has evidently not appreciated the fact that a word of greeting is a some what ambiguous term. In the Senate of the United States, when a Senator arises and is recognized by the Chair and states that he wants to say a word, it is invaria bly a signal for an exodus of the older Senators to the cloak-room. I have been somewhat diverted from the contemplation of this theme at the table tonight by the Attorney-General of the United States. He has developed qualities I did not suspect. He had no sooner taken his seat than his eyes began to sweep over this magnificent gathering and he wanted me to point out the hand somest ladies in the audience. I asked the number of ladies here of the toast master, and he said there were 120. I then said to the Attorney-General,. "There are 120 handsomest ladies in the audience." This is another evidence of the good taste of American statesmen. I want to congratulate you, sir, and your associate members of the National Geographic Society, upon what you are so admirably accomplishing. The scope of your investigation is as wide as the continent-in fact, as wide as the world itself. You are circumscribed by no limits in science or in geography; you comprehend it all in your generous pur pose. It is a splendid thing that here at the National Capital, where are centered so many splendid influences, this great organization should have a habitation and a home.