The war was over! Everyone was waiting for definite word from the Emperor of Japan that arrangements have been made for the formal surrender. The “bomb” had been dropped (twice) and the fact that Hirohito was ready to surrender had virtually ended the fighting.

That situation had saved hundreds of American lives while MacArthur had a chance to arrange surrender details. This was the world into which the Rotary entered for its 26th year in Kent. No one really knew what the postwar years would be like but Rotarians were anxious to share and help prepare for a lasting peace.

One of our weekly speakers was John S.Knight, publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal. He told Kent Rotarians that MacArthur had been right in retaining Emperor Hirohito on the throne in Japan, and had great praise for the American occupation in that country. He had recently returned from five weeks in the Pacific theater, witnessing the surrender ceremonies on the battleship Missouri.

Club member Roy Smith return from war torn Europe having gone on special assignment as a technical consultant for the Foreign Economic Administration and he alerted Rotarians to the plight of Europe. Other notable speakers included the honorable Everett Dirksen, then a congressman and war veteran from Illinois who spoke at our 25th anniversary celebration banquet.

Member, Martin L. Davey, former Governor, Mayor and Congressman, was active in acquiring outstanding speakers for our club, just as his current relatives, the Myers’s
have likewise produced some of our recent great programs.

More to follow.

Jim Myers