TOM VAN VOORHIS was an
"Advance Man" for the Parade of Progress in 1954-55. It was his job to travel
ahead of the show and introduce and promote it. The following letter and pictures on this
page provide a snapshot of some of Tom's promotional work.
Mayor BEN WEST of Nashville,
Tennessee (seated) presents TOM VAN VOORHIS with a Proclamation and Key
to the City.
The following letter was sent to
the Mayor of New Orleans from the Mayor of Nashville.
Hon, deLesseps S. Morrison
New Orleans, Louisiana
My Dear Mayor:
This is to introduce Mr. Thomas C. Van Voorhis,
Advance Representative of the General Motors Parade of progress. Mr. Van Voorhis is
assigned to prepare for the New Orleans showing of this fine non-commercial exposition of
American progress now on a tour of the entire nation. It is not only very educational but
highly entertaining as well.
Take my word for this, Chet, the Parade of
Progress is an activity sponsored by a private company, but it certainly deserves
consideration as a worthwhile civic event. Thats the way we regarded it in
Nashville; and were glad we did. In spite of very bad weather while it was showing
here in October, many of our townspeople visited the show were lavish in their praise of
the value to them by having seen it.
Our schools arranged to send their high and
junior high school students to attend special morning showings during regular school
hours. There are many attractions in the show, which appeal to young people in that age
While the show was here I also had the pleasure
of meeting its Director, who, by the way, is a native of New Orleans. He is John E. Ryan,
who was transferred out of New Orleans a few years ago by General Motors. I understand
that Mr. Ryan is a past president of the New Orleans Young mens business Club.
During the time that he was here he talked a lot about his home town. Maybe he
doesnt live there any more, but he is surely a New Orleans booster.
I know you will find out for yourself soon that
this is a very worthwhile exhibition. All New Orleans citizens should be encouraged to see
it. While Mr. Van Voorhis was here, all of us in Nashvilles City Hall enjoyed
working with him. I believe you will do the same.
With kindest personal regards, I am sincerely
yours, Ben West, Mayor.