End of the Year, Gulick-style

So here we are, end of another year. Which prompts us to see how Luther Gulick liked to sum up the past trip around the sun  – and welcome the coming one.  Either way, there were always momentous events to be marked, and anticipated, in Gulick’s momentous life.

Ending the fateful year of 1945, after President Roosevelt’s death and the surrender of the Germans and Japanese, Gulick “swang” (his word) back into peace work and what would be daunting new challenges applying the science and art of public administration to a new world struggling to recover from the worst barbarities in human history.

Two years later,  as 1948 dawned, Gulick was witness to the U.N.’s partition of Palestine and the agitation for a Jewish homeland, and shrewdly foresaw the carnage ahead in the Middle East, although he failed to anticipate the Arab attack on the soon-to-be-declared new state of Israel.  Timely today, indeed!  And he also got Stalinist Russia right — “just plain ideologically crazy.”

Fast forward six years and as 1954 dawns, we have Gulick serving New York’s newly elected Mayor Robert F. Wagner as the first City Administrator. Among Gulick’s many triumphs (despite his troubles drafting “dames” for City Hall power portfolios) was appointing the first female Health (and Hospitals) Commissioner — Leona Baumgartner,  who would become a crucial advocate for fluoridating the city’s water supply.
Another New Year, and, like the song says, “Another Opening, Another Show…”