Welcome to Howard’s Point
True, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, praiseworthy…
These words appear innocent and simple, naive and “old fashioned” don’t they?
That is tragic and ironic.
The tragedy is that many people today would agree. People who embody these traits are not on Prime-Time television and generally are not the ones elected to public office.
The irony is that these concepts and a population that honors them provide the greatest hope for reestablishing our integrity as a nation and assuring its future. Find it hard to believe? Then take time to read Dad’s papers and speeches and see if it makes sense to you.
This website was created to make publicly available commentaries by Dr. John Howard (my father), through forty-five years, one of the wisest and most insightful analysts of America’s cultural disintegration and what must be done to restore responsible freedom in America – if it can be restored.
This format should make it easy to find commentaries, speeches and op-eds on a broad range of topics. Look for new posts often. All of Dad’s writings and speeches are housed at Northern Illinois University in the Regional History Center. The wonderful people there are painstakingly scanning all of the documents and sending them my way on a regular basis. To give you an idea of the scope – Dad gave over 500 speeches, published numerous articles and commentary, and tirelessly hand wrote letters to share thoughts, encouragement, and guidance to not only leaders throughout our country but also very often to Marie, Martha, Katie and me – his children.
The things he wrote will leave an impression and give you good insight into his thoughts and character. It won’t tell you two things: first, the intensity with which he would sell you on those thoughts, and second, Dad was a musician and there wasn’t a holiday, birthday or any other occasion that didn’t include at least one instrument and singing. Oh and we all sang, it wasn’t an option – he even taught and had us practice harmonies for the Thanksgiving and Christmas hymns. We loved it.
He also spent time writing fun poetry for birthdays that sometimes were sung to a favorite tune or two. Dad loved to golf, his Bible, play cards, do jigsaw puzzles, NYT crossword, yard work, go shelling, and was a voracious reader. For thirty plus years he put together a three-ring binder for his children containing favorite poems, important thoughts, and other miscellaneous things he found important enough to go into the Christmas binder.
Dad passed away in August of 2015, a few days shy of his 94th. Several years before that he and I started this website project and now I want to dust it off and get it going again. Everyone who knew Dad also knew he would only write with a number 2 pencil on a yellow legal pad. So it only made sense to go with a pencil in the logo. The pictures in the slider at the top are taken on Howard’s Point in Northern Wisconsin.
Here were Dad’s initial thoughts on a web page welcome…
First and foremost, the focus of the web site is to share my views with you the reader and hopefully encourage you to think.
For the last forty years I have been actively writing and giving speeches on the requirements for a successful free society and the many forces that actively work to undermine it. For the first twenty of those years, as a college President, my focus was on education’s role in preparing the youth to become responsible citizens. The last twenty years have been focused on the importance of religion and family in a free society and how these three institutions (education, family, and religion) must provide the foundation for a successful free society.
Think about what is important in life, what is joy, what is happiness, what is success? Everyone has a different perspective on this, but just as there are laws of nature, I can say unequivocally that there are laws and general rules of a free society that, when broken, lead to the destruction of that free society.
Howard’s Point also happens to be what five generations of my family have called our small cabin in Northern Wisconsin. This property has been in my family for over 100 years and, for five generations of family and friends, it symbolizes the joys of family and the simple pleasures of swimming, singing, fishing, games, and general family time blanketed with the joy of love.
One of Dad’s favorite Bible verses Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” KJV
….I want to thank you personally and on behalf of the committee (President Eisenhower’s Committee on Government Contracts) for the splendid work you have done since you joined the Committee last May. Through you deep understanding of the problems of both the employers and members of minority groups, your ability to achieve harmony and cooperation in delicate and difficult situations, and for full devotion to the cause, you have made a most significant and lasting contribution to the success of the President’s program for Equal Job Opportunity for all of the people of America. I know I speak for all of the members of the Committee in wishing you success and happiness in your future endeavors. With every good wish, Sincerely, Dick
I want you to know how much I appreciated the letter you sent to me after the election. As I undertake the great responsibility of providing new leadership for America, the messages I have received…will be a constant source of strength and inspiration in the years ahead.
Dear John: I want you to know how much I appreciated your letter with regard to my November 3 address on Vietnam, as well as you letting me have your interesting suggestions. The confidence and understanding you have shown will do much to strengthen our efforts to achieve the just and lasting peace that all of us desire. With best wishes.
Dear John: You were right — it is always good to read friendly commentary, and I very much appreciate your sending me the copy of the article which appeared in the London Sunday Telegraph. Many thanks for bringing it to my attention. With kind regards, Sincerely, Ron
Dear John: You were kind to write and give me an eyewitness reaction to my “picture speech”. It was the first report I’ve received.Thank you very much, John, for your closing words. I haven’t made a final decision yet but, if it is “go”, I’ll be very proud to have your support. Thanks again, Sincerely, Ron
Dear John: Thank you very much for sending me your essay. It is a brilliant piece and, I warn you now, I’ll be cribbing from it shamelessly in the days ahead. I won’t repeat your generous words about me, I’ll just thank you for them. It was good to year from you and, again, my heartfelt thanks. Sincerely, Ron
Dear John: Bless you and thank you for your kind letter and generous words. I’m most grateful. It behooves us all to counter the wave of feeling and lack of understanding about the South African situation. Of course, we are all opposed to apartheid and injustice, but causing economic hardship and unemployment for millions of Black workers is not the answer. I’ve just had a remarkable, statesman-like letter from Buthelezi, the leader of all the Zulus, the largest group among the Blacks of South Africa. He details what punitive sanctions would do to his people and the other tribes as well, and it’s a very ugly picture. Again, you were kind to write — thank you. Sincerely Ron
Dear John: This is just a note to tell you that I found the piece you sent to me – “What Ever Happened To Civilization?” – to be timely, thought-provoking and disturbing. I am trying to address some facets of this problem in my new book, “Beyond Peace”, which will be published this spring. I may excerpt some of your startling statistics and fit them into my text. With warm regards, Sincerely, Dick