In the True Spirit

Many colorful chapters in the story of Cleveland's Cultural Gardens have been of special significance because of mass participation by the groups and because of their close association with the underlying purpose of the gardens.

In this connection, the Cultural Gardens dedication should be stressed. This occasion, embraced the turning over of all of the gardens to the City of Cleveland, with a colorful program including a parade of large representations of the various garden groups, men, women and children in the beautiful garb of their native lands across the sea. This program was given, July 30, 1939.

Of general importance in the story of the gardens is the 25th anniversary celebration which took place, July 19-23, 1950 and included the dedication of the Lincoln Shrine in the American Garden at the Superior Avenue entrance to the gardens. This was held jointly with the celebration of One World Day, an annual event described in a later chapter

Brotherhood Shrine-Memorial to the Four Heroic Chaplains




and was conducted jointly by the Cultural Garden Federation and the Cleveland City Division of Recreation, headed by John S. Nagy as commissioner of recreation. Features of this celebration are noted in a chapter devoted to the American Garden.

A stirring Cultural Garden occasion was the later dedication of the Brotherhood Shrine, with its memorial to the Four American Chaplains who gave their lives that the lives of soldiers on the sinking ship, Dorchester might be saved.

The crowning feature of the dedication of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens which was held on the occasion of the Seventh World's Poultry Congress and Exposition was the World Peace Rally which took place at the Music Hall, on the evening of July 30, 1939, with Archbishop Joseph J. Schrembs, Rabbi Rudolph M. Rosenthal of the Temple on the Heights and Dr. Edwin McNeill Poteat of the Euclid Avenue Baptist Church among the speakers. Charles J. Wolfram, president of the Cultural Garden League was chairman.

The dedication ceremonies were confined to the program of the afternoon of that day, opening with an early program in the Garden of the Nations of the American Legion Peace Garden. On this occasion occurred the unveiling of the Peace Monument. The address was given by Paul V. McNutt, Federal Security Administrator, Past National Commander of the American Legion and former United States High Commissioner to the Philippine Islands. Then followed an impressive ceremony, the intermingling and depositing of soil from historic shrines of nations of the world in a metal box in the base of the Peace Monument Shrine.

The parade of the various nationality groups and the American Legion to the site of the general dedication ceremony followed. Among the opening features were a roll call of presidents of the Cultural Gardens by Jennie K. Zwick, executive secretary of the League and presentation of the Cultural Gardens to the City of Cleveland by Leo Weidenthal, honorary president. The gardens were accepted in the name of the City by Mayor Harold H. Burton. Karl K. Kitchen, president of the American Legion Peace Garden presented the guest speaker, Paul V. McNutt. His theme was "To the Cause of Brotherhood and Peace."

On October 25, 1953, the Brotherhood Shrine was dedicated in the section adjacent to the Hebrew Garden between the upper and lower level entrances tot to the Shakespeare Garden, by the B'nai B'rith Lodges and chapters of Cleveland as part of their centennial celebration. The shrine is a memorial to the Four Army Chaplains, Reverend George L. Fox, Reverend Clark V. Poling, Father John P. Washington, and Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, whose heroic choice of voluntary death to save their fellow-soldiers during the torpedoing of the U. S. Troopship Dorchester on February 3, 1943, during World War II, endures as one of the most noble deeds in the annals of our country.

The bronze plaque affixed to the granite rostrum depicts the figures of the four chaplains kneeling in prayer before a female figure representing a mother gathering her sons to her. Sculptor Frank Jirouch was the designer.

Mrs. Lewis W. Phillips, executive secretary of the Cultural Garden Federation, made introductory remarks and presented guests. After the presentation of the Colors by the Catholic War Veterans and the singing of the National Anthem by Samuel C. Levine, cantorial soloist of the Euclid Avenue Temple, the invocation was delivered by Rabbi Earl S. Stone of the Temple, a chaplain in World War II. Judge Albert A. Woldman was master of ceremonies, and Robert Silverman, president of B'nai B'rith Inter-Lodge Council, and Mrs. Reuben Glazer, president of the B'nai B'rith Women's Council, made the presentation of the shrine, which was accepted on behalf of the city by John J. Locuoco director of parks and public property.

The B'nai B'rith Sol Fetterman Award for accomplishment in the realm of community relations was then made to Leo Weidenthal, president of the Cultural Garden Federation, by Alfred A. Benesch.

Dr. Daniel Poling of Philadelphia, editor of the Christian Herald and father of Chaplain Clark V. Poling, one of the hero chaplains, was principal speaker. "We must live together in the spirit of our soldiers' dying," he said. "The uniqueness of our freedom is our unity, which strengthens loyalty."

Greetings were extended by Father Lawrence Wolfe of the Holy Family Church, a colonel in the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.

This monument to two Protestant ministers, a priest, and a rabbi, honors all faiths, and is a perpetual demonstration of interfaith brotherhood in the true spirit of the Cultural Gardens.


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