EDUCATION AND CITIZENSHIP
Too Long; Didn't Read On the evening of May 14, 1908, the alumni of the College of
the City of New York celebrated the opening of the new college
buildings at a banquet in the Waldorf Astoria. Mr. Clemens
followed Mayor McClellan.
I agreed when the Mayor said that there was not a man within hearing who did not agree that citizenship should be placed above everything else, even learning.
Have you ever thought about this? Is there a college in the whole country where there is a chair of good citizenship? There is a kind of bad citizenship which is taught in the schools, but no real good citizenship taught. There are some which teach insane citizenship, bastard citizenship, but that is all. Patriotism! Yes; but patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest.
You can begin that chair of citizenship in the College of the City of New York. You can place it above mathematics and literature, and that is where it belongs.
We used to trust in God. I think it was in 1863 that some genius suggested that it be put upon the gold and silver coins which circulated among the rich. They didn’t put it on the nickels and coppers because they didn’t think the poor folks had any trust in God.