Centennial 1914 – 2014
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1941: Thinking Ahead about the Coming “Emergency”

The 1941 annual meeting in Los Angeles, themed “Meeting the Problems of the Emergency,” was the first time the convention had been west of Omaha. Opening sessions were held Sunday, Oct. 19, exactly seven weeks before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

The coming world war was a certainty, and NACOS President John D. Adams of Des Moines noted in his welcoming address that the “whole defense program has thrown new responsibilities on local chambers. I am sure all of you are up to your necks in defense effort.” The next speaker focused on “the job of production for total war…civilian preparedness in cooperation with the Army
and Navy.”

Many chamber execs noted that their local economies were booming thanks to national defense projects. War mobilization by late 1941 was becoming frantic, and they were busy planning civic developments and expanded infrastructure projects. But already they were thinking ahead about their post-war communities: “And woven into all of this present day planning must be provision for the return of the peace-time economy, both in communities experiencing the direct stimulation of emergency spending and those communities trying to do business as usual,” said E. G. Harlan of Boise, Idaho, in his presentation “What’s Doing in Civic Development?”

1934: Explaining the New Deal

The Ypsilanti, Mich., Board of Commerce sponsored an eight-week course for members on “The New Deal in Theory and Practice” featuring: “Economic and Political Theories and the New Deal; The Government and Industry; The Government and the Farmer; The Government and Money; The Government and Banks; The Government as a Lender and Borrower; The Government and Relief.” — NACOS News, April 1934

1934: The Move to D.C.

May, 2, 1934, the NACOS Board recommended that permanent association headquarters be established in Washington, D.C. Up to that point, the association’s offices moved each year with the new president to his home town office. NACOS’ Washington office space was donated by the U.S. Chamber.

1928: Airports are Necessary

“The rapid progress of modern transportation demands that communities recognize the importance of establishing airports. Many cities have thought aviation a passing fad or fancy. Such communities will soon learn the fallacy of their belief.” — NACOS News, May 1928

1928: Pests!

The Tyler, Texas Chamber conducted a rat extermination campaign, enlisting “school children throughout the county into a formidable army of pied pipers which ceased work only after 100,000 rats and salamanders had been killed. Keeping repaired the dykes of business demands of a commercial organization that it fight with equal ferocity vermin in any of its forms.”

The Columbus, Ohio Chamber announced a campaign to eliminate the city’s rat population, estimated at “600,000, twice the number of human inhabitants,” with a “specially prepared poison being used by a crew of five exterminators.” — NACOS News,  1928

1927: Enhancing Radio Reception

The Albion, Mich. Chamber conducted “Better Radio Reception Week” in late March of 1927. All local radio owners were furnished surveys about their radio reception that week to determine where in the city interference was prominent, followed by the use of a “highly sensitive radio to trace the causes of interference—leaky transformers and the like.”

1927: Swindlers Nabbed

The Allentown, Pa., Chamber caught “a group of stock swindlers of notorious record who also were being sought in New York in connection with a $5,000,000 swindle.”
NACOS News, Feb. 1927

1926: Novel Industrial Exposition

Bath, N.Y. — Eleven local manufacturers took part in an industrial exposition just held by the Chamber of commerce. The exposition was known as The Bath Show Window Industrial Exposition, the principal feature of the event being that it was conducted in store windows in the business district.  — NACOS NEWS, July 1926

1924: A New State Chamber

“The Milwaukee, Wisconsin Chamber is trying to start a movement to organize a State Chamber in Wisconsin, with the idea of bringing about closer relations between the farmer, the businessman and the manufacturer.” ­— NACOS News February 1924

1924: A New Park

“Two parcels of land aggregating 113 acres, valued at $50,000 have been given to the city of Muskegon, Michigan, by the Pere Marquette Railroad for park use, through the efforts of the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce.” — NACOS News February 1924

1924: Auto Licensing

“At Ypsilanti, Michigan, the Board of Commerce handles the automobile licenses. Thirty-five hundred sets went through their hands this year.” — NACOS News February 1924


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