We believe in, we stand for, above all, the God-given freedom of the individual. We hold that the Constitution of the United States is the most profoundly important instrument ever devised by man for the protection of that freedom – the Constitution as written by the Founders of the American Republic, construed in proper context, and safeguarded from subversion by a collectivist state.
We support the private enterprise capitalist economic system. The republican form of government that protects our freedom cannot otherwise endure. Likewise, without Constitutional guarantees, our free enterprise economy cannot long survive. Together, they have established the United States of America as the freest and most bountiful nation on earth.
We perceive as the most serious threat to our freedom and way of life the ideologies of collectivism and state socialism.
We see it as our duty – and as the obligation of all thoughtful, freedom-loving Americans – to oppose all efforts for an ever bigger and more omnipotent government that would make the state our master rather than the servant of the people as intended by our Founding Fathers.
When America’s Future was founded, over fifty years ago, the Second World War had just ended, and the United Nations had just been launched. The Cold War had not yet begun, and neither had the conservative movement. Fifty years ago, the number of conservative, constitutionalist, free-market-oriented organizations and publications could be counted on one hand. But the number of communist-front organizations, to say nothing of liberal and left groups, numbered more than one thousand.
Our nation was in transition, and our enemies moved quickly to make the most of it. There was an obvious need for organizations and individuals willing to defend the American way. And so, on April 24, 1946, America’s Future Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational organization, was founded in New York City by a group of businessmen dedicated to the preservation of two great fundamental American principles: the competitive, private enterprise system that has made our country strong and prosperous, and the constitutional form of government that has kept us free from the tyranny of individuals or factions.
We had among our founding members such distinguished Americans as Frank E. Gannett (our first president), Mrs. Amos Pinchot, and Gen. Robert E. Wood of Sears-Roebuck. The many prominent Americans who have served as trustees include National Association of Manufacturers past president Robert L. Lund (a longtime president of America’s Future); Henning W. Prentis Jr. of Armstrong Cork Co.; former New Jersey Governor Charles Edison; George W. Strake of Houston; and Charles Hook of Armco Steel.
From the very beginning, we at America’s Future concentrated our educational efforts on the proverbial man-on-the-fence, the uncommitted millions, the students eager to learn about their country and its traditions, the educators and ministers who are the prime targets of the collectivists, the parents concerned about the future of their children, the workers who have benefited from the free enterprise system, and the voters who control the destiny of our nation. Between 1946 and 1948, America’s Future sponsored and produced over the ABC Radio Network a Sunday afternoon commentary featuring Samuel B. Pettengill, former member of Congress and nationally known constitutional authority. We also began the publication and distribution of books, pamphlets, and reprints now numbering in the millions.
Serious questions were then being raised in the schools and elsewhere about the “relevance” of that most basic of American documents, the U.S. Constitution. Between 1946 and 1954, America’s Future distributed 600,000 copies of The Constitution of the United States — Its Sources and Application by Thomas J. Norton. Also distributed during this period were nearly one million copies of three influential books written by Samuel Pettengill: Jefferson The Forgotten Man, Smoke Screen, and For Americans Only.
In 1948, America’s Future launched a weekly radio program called “Americans, Speak Up!” Each week, a nationally known American was interviewed by Bill Slater, then one of the nation’s most popular emcees. Prominent Americans including Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, Norman Vincent Peale, Gene Tunney, novelist Kathleen Norris, industrialist Clarence Randall, and Yale senior William F. Buckley Jr. explained why basic American principles are as valid today as they were when our country was founded.
In the 1950s, noted journalist and staunch patriot John T. Flynn joined forces with America’s Future. For more than 25 years, John T. Flynn had been one of America’s most influential print and broadcast commentators. A former managing editor of the New York Globe, John T. Flynn was also published in Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, Collier’s, The American Magazine, and Reader’s Digest. His description of creeping socialism in England and the United States, The Road Ahead, sold more than one million copies, and another four million in a Reader’s Digest condensation. Other memorable Flynn books included While You Slept, an analysis of communism’s victory in Asia following World War II; The Lattimore Story, an account of the machinations of the architect of our disastrous China policy; and The Roosevelt Myth.
“John T.” went behind the headlines to explain the real significance of events and personalities. He was the champion of the little man. He attacked with equal vigor Big Government and Big Business. He admitted to only one bias — an unapologetic Americanism. His commentary for America’s Future, aptly named “Behind The Headlines,” was carried on more than 300 radio stations of the Mutual Broadcasting System. An estimated ten million Americans tuned in weekly in 1954 to hear “Behind The Headlines” and Flynn’s other programs. Commentaries by Flynn were also distributed to hundreds of newspapers, with an estimated readership of twenty million. The column was continued until 1967, with Rosalie Gordon succeeding Flynn as its author after he retired in 1961.
In 1955, America’s Future established All-American Books, a quarterly review. In 1956, we launched the All-American Book Digest, which offered condensations of two key books in each issue. Among the first volumes to be selected were John T. Flynn’s While You Slept, Elizabeth Bentley’s Out of Bondage, Donald R. Richberg’s Labor Union Monopoly, and Rear Admiral Robert A. Theobald’s The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor. In 1959, we published the first issue of our America’s Future newsletter. Both the reprints of our radio program, “Behind The Headlines,” and the quarterly All-American Books were incorporated into the newsletter, which has been printed without interruption ever since.
We launched our Textbook Evaluation Project in 1958, to give due recognition to textbooks that accurately portray our history, our government, and our economic system — and to alert the unsuspecting public to those that distort the facts or justify the expansion of Big Government. We were the first to expose this leftist indoctrination of schoolchildren. During the many years of its existence, our Textbook Evaluation Committee reviewed hundreds of individual books, mostly in the social sciences.
R.K. Scott succeeded the late Robert Lund as president of America’s Future in 1958, and in 1961 became the full-time moderator of “Behind The Headlines.” Rudy Scott devoted 31 years of his life to our organization, giving us energetic leadership in his dual capacity as president of America’s Future and the voice of “Behind The Headlines” until his retirement in 1989.
America’s Future published and distributed 150,000 copies of Max Rafferty’s speech “The Passing of the Patriot’ in 1962. We donated significant books to high school and college libraries, the most notable being Captain Eddie Rickenbacker’s autobiography, Rickenbacker.
Pamphlets have been a part of our heritage since the American Revolution, and America’s Future has continued that tradition. Since 1954, we have distributed millions of pamphlets. One of the very first was John T. Flynn’s classic The Hand in Your Pocket: It’s The Little Man Who Pays the Most Income Taxes. Our current list includes Dr. D.L. Cuddy’s The New World Order and Philip Clarke’s High-Tech Terrorists and Top Priority: Rebuilding National Defense.
Our 25th Anniversary, in 1971, elicited high praise from the most prominent conservatives in America, who were happy to acknowledge the tremendous contribution made by America’s Future. Commending our efforts to educate Americans about “the great enduring principles of our nation,” Senator Barry Goldwater concluded that “America’s Future has contributed significantly to a brighter and better future for America.” Then-Governor Ronald Reagan also congratulated us on reaching the quarter-century milestone, expressing his appreciation for our “good work and efforts to reach all the people of this nation, particularly our young people, to enlist their continuing support for the democratic and free life we in America enjoy.”
John Wetzel, who had served America’s Future as treasurer since 1958, succeeded as president in 1989. An able administrator, he continued all our educational activities. His indispensable assistant was Helen Kelleher, who served as America’s Future’s treasurer.
Philip Clarke became the voice of our syndicated radio commentary, “Behind The Headlines.” A veteran journalist Clarke had reported from Rome, Paris, London, and Teheran. His distinguished career included stints with the Associated Press, Newsweek magazine, and the Mutual Broadcasting System. Clarke served for many years as the broadcast and newsletter editor for America’s Future, and in 1985 re-introduced “Behind The Headlines” as a syndicated newspaper column under his byline. His numerous contributions to our ongoing pamphlet series have included: The Lessons of Vietnam, National Defense: Suicide or Survival, Castro’s Cuba: Soviet Bastion in the Americas, The Realities of Space Defense, Patriotism in America, The War on Drugs, and Tragedy and Triumph: America in World War II.
Robert Morris, the renowned geopolitical strategist and one of America’s foremost authorities on intelligence and national security, became America’s Future’s chairman of the board in 1989 and president in 1995. During World War II, he was a U.S. Navy intelligence officer in Soviet Counterintelligence and Psychological Warfare in the Pacific, and in 1951-53 was chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. Morris achieved remarkable distinction in many careers: attorney, judge, academic, strategist, and author. He was president of the University of Dallas, 1960-62, and president of the University of Plano, 1964-1972. A member of the Circumnavigators Club and a world traveler, he published a syndicated newspaper column for many years under the title “Around the World.” He is chairman of the National Committee to Restore Internal Security. His many important books include No Wonder We Are Losing, Disarmament: Weapon of Conquest, What Is Developmental Education?, and Our Globe Under Siege.