Articles

Tribute to a Hero

by Warren Mass, Editor, The John Birch Society Bulletin

Longtime JBS member John William Finn, who was the last survivor of the 15 Navy veterans who received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, died on May 27. Finn, who retired from the Navy in 1956 with the rank of Lieutenant, was 100 years old.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked Kaneohe Bay, located about 12 miles from Battleship Row at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Finn and his wife, Alice (both of whom joined the Society in the 1960s) were asleep at their quarters about a mile from the base hangers and field when they were awakened by machine gun fire. Finn headed for duty at the base and when he arrived, he would recall years later, he “saw all of our planes on fire and our boys running around all helter skelter and that’s when it hit me. This is the real deal, by golly!”

Finn set up a machine gun on a makeshift tripod out in the open, with nothing protecting him from the attacking pilots. Finn received numerous wounds, including at least four shrapnel wounds to his chest, but he continued firing his gun for more than two hours until the enemy planes departed.

The official citation awarded to Finn with his medal reads:

Although painfully wounded many times, he continued to man this gun and to return the enemy’s fire vigorously and with telling effect throughout the enemy strafing and bombing attacks and with complete disregard for his own personal safety. It was only by specific orders that he was persuaded to leave his post to seek medical attention. Following first aid treatment, although obviously suffering much pain and moving with great difficulty, he returned to the squadron area and actively supervised the rearming of returning planes.

Arthur R. Thompson, the Chief Executive Officer of The John Birch Society, has fond memories of John Finn, inspired, he said, by the fact that “Finn was more than a war hero — he remained a patriot throughout his life.”

Mr. Thompson shared a favorite memory related to Finn, about the time he visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Each ticket to the memorial has a brief biographical tribute to one of the heroes of Pearl Harbor printed on its reverse side. When Thompson purchased his ticket, whose biography did he find printed on the back? John Finn’s!

It is somehow fitting that this noble example of American heroic virtue passed on to meet his Maker just before Memorial Day weekend. Our recollection of John Finn’s sacrifice will remain with us all of our days.

Read also: “John Finn, Medal of Honor Recipient, Dies at 100” at JBS.org (http://www.jbs.org/component/content/article/1009-commentary/6317-john-finn-medal-of-honor-recipient-dies-at-100).

Birching in the Lone Star State
by Ken Hoover,
Field Coordinator

Birchers in three Texas cities not only built audiences for the John McManus “Stealing the American Dream” speaking tour, they also manned tables at the “Tea Party” events — sometimes on the same day as the speech.

The Temple/Waco chapters DHWO and DWFT hosted a very successful McManus appearance on April 12, selling almost $900 in literature and boasting a record audience that included an impressive number of first-time visitors. On April 15, “Tax Day,” DHWO Chapter Leader Janice Carter and husband David manned a table at the Bell County Tea Party event in nearby Salado, Texas. Despite a rainstorm outside, they still managed to sell $75 of literature and presented both the Mayor of Temple as well as the GOP County Chairman with complimentary McManus speech packets.

The McManus tour proceeded to Houston on April 14. Speaker Chairman and COQH Chapter Leader Doris Butcher led the effort, getting the event noted on numerous “Meet-Up” calendars and e-mail distribution lists of various local freedom-minded organizations, and raising the presence of the Society in the “Bayou city.”

On April 15, COQH member William Bell and wife Janet anchored a Birch information table at the Houston Tea Party Society “Tax Day” event in downtown Houston. They were joined by DOGK member Dan Tolleson and C.L. Doris Butcher of Chapter COQH. They gave away copies of The Real Newt Gingrich, the “Saving Freedom” slim-jim, “Heading for Home … or Amnesty?” TNA reprint, “Freedom Index,” etc. and gathered completed copies of the National Opinion Survey.

Down the road in Victoria, Texas, John McManus appeared before a near-packed house. Just prior to the event, a select team of Birchers led by Donna McKay and spouse Murray McKay and David Ford of Chapter QTUD anchored the Birch table at the Victoria Tea Party “Tax Day” Event. After distributing JBS materials, they joined the members and prospects at the Victoria College Student Center.

The Victoria McManus speech was noted for the appearance of two local county sheriffs, T. Michael O’Connor of Victoria county and A. J. “Andy” Louderback of Jackson County, plus a city council member from Victoria and a county commissioner from nearby Goliad County. The appearance of these office holders represent the “first fruits” of the DeWitt and Victoria county chapters practice of cultivating and developing local officeholders.

Hats off to the members and chapters in South/Southeast Texas!

by Bliss Tew, Regional Field Director

Just days before going to press with this Bulletin, we received the sad news that Pastor Daniel Neal, Sr., our new Chapter Leader in Las Vegas, had suffered a fatal heart attack. As a tribute to this late patriot, we are first sharing with our readers the message we received from Floyd Fitzgibbons, the assistant Chapter Leader, from whom we learned of this sad turn of events. Then, below, we will run our story about Pastor Neal as originally written, in celebration of his life, rather than his death. We also extend our condolences to Sally Neal, Pastor Dan’s loving wife, who supported him in all his endeavors.

Letter from Floyd Fitzgibbons

Dear Las Vegas JBS Chapter members and friends:

Sunday afternoon I visited our new Chapter Leader Dan Neal at the hospital. He had had heart bypass surgery Friday. He looked really well and spoke to me for about 30 minutes. All the tubes were removed earlier in the day and regular foods were started that night. Everything seemed to be in perfect order with his recovery.

Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Dan’s wife Sally. She said that Dan may have had another heart attack that morning and after the doctors worked on him for two hours they could not get his heart to start again and he passed away.

I am shocked and saddened by the loss of Dan. Sunday night, while I wanted to talk about how he was doing, he could not stop talking about the plans he had for the LV JBS Chapter this year! He was so excited about leading the chapter to new heights. Dan had the spirit of liberty burning in his soul to the end.

As Dan would have wanted, our scheduled chapter meeting will proceed on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. in the beautiful meeting room Dan reserved at the La Quinta Inn off Tenaya south of Cheyenne. He wanted to introduce people to the JBS in this meeting, so we will show a DVD about the JBS and use the balance of the meeting for planning our upcoming chapter actions. Please invite friends and acquaintances so they can learn about the John Birch Society.

I look forward to seeing all of you and your friends there.

Floyd Fitzgibbons

Assist. Las Vegas Chapter Leader

Editor’s note: Pastor Daniel’s son (Daniel Neal Jr.) has just agreed to be the next chapter leader.

Original Article Prior To Pastor Daniel’s Death:

Our Society Is Going Strong in Las Vegas

Our new John Birch Society Chapter Leader, Pastor Daniel Neal, Sr., is publicizing The John Birch Society Las Vegas Chapter on his radio show on KVVV 1060 AM, heard every Sunday morning at 10:02 a.m., (see http://www.kkvv.com/sunday.html).

Since religious leaders are among the most respected of opinion molders in our communities, Pastor Neal is in an excellent position to promote the Society’s goal of “Less Government, More Responsibility, and — With God’s Help — a Better World,” on two fronts: the secular and the spiritual.

But on the evening of January 30, at a wonderful January John Birch Society Las Vegas Chapter Meeting, held at the La Quinta Inn, it was former Chapter Leader (and present newly appointed Assistant Chapter Leader) Floyd Fitzgibbons, who inspired members with a very touching story.

Floyd told the story about giving the book The Shadows of Power (http://www.shopjbs.org/index.php/books/shadows-of-power.html) to his dad. His dad is a “dyed-in-the-wool Democrat,” belonging to the well-known group of people that has a fervid loyalty to leftist Senator Harry Reid and leftist Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.

Floyd’s father read the book, was suitably impressed with it, and now enthusiastically endorses its contents. He is taking a “second look” at the situation our country is in.
These two favorable blows for the Las Vegas Chapter of The John Birch Society occurred last night!

News reached us as we wrote this article that Pastor Neal just suffered a heart attack and has been treated at the hospital. No doubt he’d appreciate our prayers for his speedy recovery.

End of original article.

Birchers Brave the Cold in Fargo

On a frigid December day, JBS members rallied outside Democratic U.S. Sen. Bryon Dorgan’s office in Fargo, North Dakota. About 40 people showed up in very cold temperatures to express their opinion about ObamaCare problems. Volunteer leader Daniel Rugroden and his members handed out reprints of JBS literature on Stealthcare. A local TV station sent along a crew to videotape the events.
 

Our Members in Action
Birchers Recognized for Constitution Day Events
by Warren Mass
, Editor, The John Birch Society Bulletin

Members of The John Birch Society Chapter in Sarasota, Florida, received excellent publicity in the form of a news story (see graphic) about their Constitution Day activities in the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

The article noted that the members met at a local fire station the Saturday before Constitution Day,
September 17, to educate the public about the precious founding document and quoted several of the members about the mission of the Society in protecting the Constitution.

The reporter noted: “Each attendee received a book with the words of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and updated amendments,” and also listed the location and time of the chapter’s monthly meetings. She also reported “‘Overview of America’ was previewed at the event and can also be viewed on YouTube.”


   

 


Council Member in Action: Ray Clark

by Larry Waters, JBS Vice President


Ray Clark is a Council member and advertiser in The New American who has carried our magazine for years in his three Clark’s Nutrition Centers in California. The magazines are prominently displayed near checkout counters before the stream of customers that frequent his stores. He orders and sells 60 or more of each issue including reprints of many. In another section where he displays a variety of literature, he offers books such as Shadows of Power and The Creature from Jekyl Island and sales of both are encouraging, especially in view of their serious titles.

Frequently, customers will come back and purchase 8 or 10 copies of a particular issue. The recent issue on nuclear energy as well as the "Economic Bubble" issue have sold quite well. When someone comes in for large quantities, Ray will arrange for that customer to be given something extra such as the Overview of America DVD.

During the period when we reprinted the popular issue “Global Conspiracy,” Ray sold over 3,000 copies until it went out of print. The issue of October 2007 entitled “Merger in the Making” has thus far sold over 1,000 copies and is still going strong. In fact, Ray’s office is adorned with boxes and stacks of JBS literature denoting his serious intent.

When asked if this response to our material is evidence that his customers represent a cross section of America, he replies that they actually represent a more liberal than average segment of the population. He does encounter a few who are not happy with his pro America material, but this only motivates him all the more.

To have such a cross section of America respond so favorably to our primary outreach publication is indeed proof that many citizens will do so when given the opportunity.


 

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