Wednesday, November 27, 1947, and I was sitting in the anteroom outside
the offices of Postmaster Goldman in New York. As Public Relations
Counsel for the "Interfaith in Action Committee" I had come to the Postmaster
for some personal information in connection with a testimonial dinner held
in his honor.
"So I sat there in
the waiting-room reviewing in my mind the plans for the dinner and striving
for some new creative idea or symbol that would express the work of my
interfaith friends in terms the public would understand.
"I'm glad that Postmaster
Goldman was very busy that morning and therefore kept me waiting a long
time. What specific picture or slogan, I wondered will tell in an instant
the story of "Interfaith in Action?"
"Then I remembered
my friend, Irving Geist, the philanthropist, and the invaluable cotributions
he had made in the Four Chaplains organization to help paraplegics.
"THE FOUR CHAPLAINS.
That was it. What better symbol of Interfaith in Action?
"Four immortal men
- Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish - who gave their life jackets to soldiers
aboard the sinking transport U.S.S. Dorchester, in February 1943. Four
men of different faiths who locked their arm together on the slanting,
slippery deck until the waters closed over them and made them immortal.
Goldman was looking down at me and smiling. "I've got it." I said excitedly,
"A idea for a new postage stamp. A real symbol of Interfaith in Action that
people will understand."
"Yes, indeed", said
Potmaster Goldman when he had heard the idea. "Putting the Four Martyred
Chaplains on a postage stamp should serve to inspire every man, woman,
and child to practice inter-religious and inter-racial cooperation. The
rest was efficient Post Office routine. Postmaster Goldman started the
machinery working and the Four Chaplains stamp was issued on May 28th,