November 3, 1997 |
Eighty years ago, at the height of World War I, a small group of Quakers met to discuss the devastation and suffering the war had brought to Europe. The 12 Quakers decided that they wanted to help those who were suffering. They also decided that young men who opposed war should be allowed to provide humanitarian relief instead of being forced to fight. Yesterday, Lou Schneider, a member of the Downingtown Friends Meeting, spoke to 40 others about the history of the American Friends Service Committee, the organization the group eventually formed to provide humanitarian services.
April 12, 2006 |
Lyle E Tatum, 87, a former regional director for the American Friends Service Committee who was jailed during World War II for refusing to fight, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease April 3 at the Friends House retirement community in Sandy Spring, Md. He was a longtime resident of Philadelphia and then South Jersey before moving to Maryland last year. Mr. Tatum, born into a Quaker family in Iowa, was given a draft exemption while a student at Iowa State College.
December 6, 1998 |
George B. Mathues, 82, who worked for more than 35 years helping others through the American Friends Service Committee and CARE Inc., died of heart failure Wednesday at his home in Drexel Hill. Mr. Mathues served with the two organizations "because he believed in helping others and showing compassion for the poor," said his wife of 47 years, Theodora Sirninger Mathues. Most of his service was overseas. He graduated from Haverford College in 1938 with a bachelor of science degree and from Harvard University in 1940 with a master's degree in business administration.
November 28, 2010 |
As a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 1940s, Takashi Moriuchi was eager to make a business out of farming in his native San Joaquin Valley in California. But in 1942, he was one of thousands of Japanese Americans who were forced into World War II internment camps. Farmer Lewis Barton, like many other Quakers at the time, did not agree with the camps and through the American Friends Service Committee hired Japanese Americans to work on his 700 acres in what is now Cherry Hill.
November 20, 2000 |
Once again, the Quakers have given Philadelphians a gift, this one just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Visitors to the Arch Street Friends Meeting House will be treated to a poignant exhibit called "Quiet Helpers: Quaker Service in Postwar Germany. " Through rare photographs and personal artifacts, the exhibit tells the story of Quaker humanitarianism and the American Friends Service Committee after both world wars and during the Nazi era. It is a moving - and somewhat controversial - story that earned the Society of Friends the respect and admiration of countless refugees in war-torn Europe and, in 1947, the Nobel Peace Prize itself.
April 19, 2010 |
Robert W. Gray, 91, of Medford, a Quaker who served as associate executive secretary at the national headquarters of the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia for several years, died of kidney failure Thursday, April 1, at home. For almost 40 years, Mr. Gray worked for the Friends committee in various capacities and places. He started in California and had stints in Korea and India before being promoted in 1974 to a headquarters position in Philadelphia. While at the Cherry Street office, Mr. Gray handled many of the committee's finances and projects.
August 31, 1996 |
The late E. Digby Baltzell made a career out of scorning Philadelphia's Quakers. In a succession of scholarly works on the city's upper class, he maintained that the Friends were too "egalitarian," too "content to rest on their inherited wealth and privileges" to provide effective leadership. In comparison to Boston's Brahmins, whom he felt exemplified the Protestant work ethic, Baltzell saw the Quakers as inferior, failing to instill "a strong desire and capacity to take the lead in both community building and community reform.
July 26, 1991 |
Erik Larsen, a conscientious objector awaiting trial for desertion, could face life in prison. He could also be labeled a coward by others. But the latter is the least of his worries, he said. "Whatever discharge I get, I will wear it as a badge of honor because I didn't desert my conscience," said Larsen, 24, a Marine reservist from Hayward, Calif. During a news conference yesterday at the Friends Center at 15th and Cherry streets, Larsen and three other conscientious objectors who refused to fight in Operation Desert Storm spoke of what they considered harsh sentences received because of their CO status, and of abusive treatment while in detention.
September 18, 1989
Some Quakers are having a terrible time reconciling their pacifist beliefs and humanitarian concern for the dispossessed of this city against what they must know, in their heads if not their hearts, needs to be done about the increasingly offensive vagrant who refuses to move from their front porch in Center City. The summer-long encampment at the Quakers' world headquarters of a scripture-quoting man calling himself Jealous T. Street has started to cause problems that reach beyond the grounds of the Friends Center at 15th and Cherry Streets.
December 27, 2014 |
Warren A. Witte, 74, of Newtown, who worked throughout the country to offer aid and social assistance through Quaker organizations, died Wednesday, Dec. 17, at Temple University Hospital of an acute respiratory infection. Born in Wauwatosa, Wis., Mr. Witte spent much of his life in social service through the American Friends Service Committee and Friends Services for the Aging. After retiring in 2006, he remained involved in service through a committee he established to assist Bosnians and the Friends Board Training and Support Project, Chandler Hall and George School.