THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER
MISS MABLE KING
and the audience
The Right Reverend Alexander Mann. D.D.
Bishop of Pittsburgh
Mr. William S. Linderman
President of the Board of Managers
of the Buhl Foundation
Mr. Charles F. Lewis
Director of the Buhl Foundation
ACCEPTANCE ON BEHALF OF THE
CITY OF PITTSBURGH
The Honorable Cornelius D. Scully, Mayor
DEMONSTRATION of the PLANETARIUM
Mr. James Stokley
Director of The Buhl Planetarium
and Institute of Popular Science.
Mr. Joseph R. DeOtto at the organ.
The Rt. Rev. Alexander Mann, D.D.
Bishop of Pittsburgh
Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, we are gathered here to dedicate this Planetarium to the honored memory of Henry Buhl, Jr., merchant and philanthropist of this city, whose will created the Buhl Foundation, to which the City of Pittsburgh owes a steadily increasing debt of gratitude.
But this Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science means more to us than a deserved tribute to a loyal and generous citizen.
Meeting as we do in a time of worldwide anxiety and distress, under the shadow of a Great War, we rejoice to dedicate here a monument to the honor and glory of the pursuits and the studies of peace. Here through the coming years thousands will come to learn more of the glory and the beauty of this wondrous universe of the Creator.
Centuries ago an unknown poet of Israel sang; "The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork. There is neither speech or language, but with their voices are heard among them," and today through the peaceful work of men of science, the words of the unknown Hebrew singer have gained for us a deeper and a grander meaning.
May thy blessing rest upon the work which shall be carried on here. May our increasing knowledge of the starry Heavens deepen within us our reverence for the power and the wisdom of Him, Who made it all, and may our study of Thy world lead us as it lead Thy servant of old, to the great confession that "the law of the Lord is an undefiled law converting the soul. The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart, the commandment of the lord is pure and giveth light unto our eyes," and from that confession may we make his prayer our own, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer."
Amen. INTRODUCTORY ADDRESS
Mr. William S. Lindermam President of the Board of Managers of The Buhl Foundation
Tonight we are meeting in this room to dedicate to a generous citizen of this community an appropriate memorial building. By the magic of science, many others, listening in their homes to the words spoken here, are a part of this meeting.
This building is to be called The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science. It is a memorial to Henry Buhl, Jr. Although he died twelve years ago, it is not easy to believe that he is no longer with us. His friends here tonight remember too well ever to forget his simplicity, his integrity, and his devotion to his duty. Moreover, Henry Buhl left behind him something he intended to be alive and vital in the service of the people of this region. He created The Buhl Foundation, and left to it the major part of the estate he had built up in a lifetime of toil.
Those to whom he entrusted his estate are gratified that they have found, as Henry Buhl anticipated, many projects worthy of aid in the community where he lived. In accordance with his suggestions, first thought has been given to the people of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County; indeed, all grants by the Foundation have been for work in this community.
In eleven years since its establishment, this agency he created has made philanthropic grants totaling nearly three and a half million dollars. This institution to be dedicated tonight represents the largest grant of the Foundation. For the building and its equipment, Mr. Buhl's Foundation has spent nearly $1,100,000. To the operation and maintenance of the building the Foundation has pledged its support so that there shall be required no operating subsidy from public funds.
To guarantee an independent, philanthropic administration, the direction of the Planetarium and Institute has been delegated to a Board composed of representatives of both the City and the Foundation.
The Board of Managers and Executive Staff of the Foundation are deeply conscious and appreciative of the many gracious messages in connection with this occasion. They regard themselves, however, merely as the agents of a great and philanthropic citizen of Pittsburgh, now dead. We of the Buhl Foundation lay no claim to and accept no credit for public spirit nor for generosity on this occasion. Whatever of public spirit may have motivated the Foundation's work is but the reflection of Henry Buhl's will and desire. Whatever of generosity there may be in the building of this institution is the generosity of Henry Buhl, Jr. This building in a real sense represents the fruits of his life and the projected shadow of his career.
Henry Buhl created his Foundation as a memorial to his wife, "who," as he said, "by Christian faith, lived a good and useful life and whose counsel and devotion have been my great help and comfort in life." One of the early acts of the Board to whom Mr. Buhl entrusted the administration of the Foundation was to build a memorial to the founder's beloved wife. On the wooded campus of the Pennsylvania College for Women it placed the Louise C. Buhl Hall of Science in her memory.
It has long been felt by the Foundation that a living memorial might properly be appropriately dedicated to Henry Buhl, Jr., himself. It, too, should be a memorial of wide service, useful to all the people of Pittsburgh and the hundreds of populous communities in this and neighboring states. Humble man that he was, he was the last who would have prescribed or desired that his name should be carved in stone or cast in bronze. Yet it seems no less fitting that there should be established in his memory this institution, which, we pray, may project the intent and public spirit of his last years to the service of generations yet unborn. It also seems especially appropriate to the friends of Henry Buhl that this memorial to him should stand on this spot in the old city of Allegheny which was his home and the scene of his labors during all his mature life.
All those connected with the Foundation are grateful to you who are gathered here this evening and by your presence attest your belief that this is an appropriate and useful thing to do.
I now present the Director of the Buhl Foundation, Mr. Charles F. Lewis, who on behalf of the Board of Managers will formally present this building to his Honor, the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh. Mr. Lewis: ------ PRESENTATION ADDRESS Mr. Charles F. Lewis Director of The Buhl Foundation
There is to be dedicated here tonight a new institution designed to minister to public education and cultural advancement. With due humility it will make its bow and strive to take a modest but worthy place among those great and older institutions which have arisen during the past decades and generations to mark Pittsburgh's emergence into maturity as a metropolitan community of character and poise and culture.
Surely to this audience no defense need be made for the development of our privately endowed colleges and universities, museums, libraries, orchestras, art galleries, and scientific institutions. They are, indeed, the finest flowers of the economic, social, and political systems under which America was founded and through the beneficence of which it has grown to greatness. They represent economic and social democracy in its fullest achievement. It is in direct consequence of their trailblazing efforts that government has been encouraged more and more to extend and supplement educational and cultural facilities for the people. The result is that in America, through private initiative and government response, educational opportunity is more democratic and more nearly universal, and cultural appreciation is more widespread than in any other populous country on the face of the earth.
You who are gathered here tonight, representing public administration, education, sciences, worship, philanthropy, and other great fields of human service well understand that this is true. You must value, accordingly, the place of the privately supported or endowed institution of education as the bulwark of American liberty. These institutions are dedicated to truth. By their very nature they can serve no selfish purpose. In them is no facility for the wiles of the propagandist. In America they are, thank God, free of the yoke, which has been fastened upon such establishments in totalitarian states.
It is a matter of history that in every land in every age where there has risen an oppressor, and in which freedom of thought and speech have been proscribed, one of the first acts of the tyrant has been to attack agencies dedicated to public enlightenment and freedom. To their defense the people have rallied again and again. In their name have been achieved some of the greatest of mankind's victories over tyranny; and only when free institutions have been enslaved has human liberty ever perished. We must believe that so long as free institutions endure in America, we may know that America is safe from threats of internal usurpation. It should be significant to us, therefore, that privately endowed institutions today continue not only to command public confidence and support, but that their numbers still increase from year to year. In this is to be found a measure of confidence in the future of America.
To be admitted to such a select company places upon a new institution a great sense of responsibility. It is not without regard for this responsibility that the donors of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute have approached the task of building, which is now complete, and look forward, in association with representatives of the city government, to the long-term implications of operating this institution.
This new institution embodies a Planetarium and an Institute of Popular Science. The very name indicated dual functions and dual, although closely allied, purposes. The major objective is to interpret to the people the amazing, almost miraculously swift onward advance of scientific progress. In words that we can all understand, it is intended that this progress shall be shown. Here, if even a little may be taken away from the sometimes fearsome mystery that surrounds this thing we call living, perhaps many in the course of years may be able to step forth the more confidently and to face life more understandingly.
The Planetarium, together with the Hall of Astronomy, the telescope room, and the amateur astronomers' rooms will be devoted to popular interpretation of the science of astronomy.
The Planetarium instrument itself, which shortly you will see, is the most recent as well as the most astounding in a long series of mechanical contrivances devised by man to attempt to illustrate the apparent movements of the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets across our sky. The instrument is a calculating machine of the universe. But the show it presents in the hands of a skilled demonstrator is a combination of education, inspiration, and dramatically exciting entertainment. The Planetarium room has aptly been called the "Theater of the Stars." It is a theater of a thousand shows with a constantly changing repertoire. Its presentations are an amazing, unending serial drama in which the characters are worlds that sweep across a stage awe-inspiring in its vastness.
Besides the Planetarium productions, the new institution will offer a lecture hall fully equipped for scientific demonstrations of many sorts and for the presentation of the finest in scientific and educational motion pictures. There are also five galleries to be devoted to scientific exhibits free to the public at all hours that the institution is open. In these galleries, exhibits will tell the stories of physics, of chemistry, of astronomy, and from time to time perhaps the stories of biology, geology, and other sciences. Many of the exhibits will operate at the press of a button and some will explain themselves in voice to the visitor. There are workrooms for amateur astronomers and a clubroom for group meetings. All these rooms we hope you will visit this evening. Within a few months there will be a ten-inch telescope through which visitors may see the real stars after having beheld the artificial heavens within the building.
These are the facilities, which the institution will offer to the general public, to scientific groups, to schools and colleges of the tri-state district.
Why, it may be asked, should there be a planetarium? I will give you two reasons, either one of which justifies the expenditure of funds and effort.
First, I believe that the oldest curiosity of man was about the stars; and I believe that this curiosity is infinitely worth satisfying. The heavens themselves were the world's first motion picture theater. The ancients had no broad, smooth highway upon which to speed in automobiles. They had no cinema. They had no brightly-lighted concert halls. The heavens, at night, were their theater. We know that they watched the skies intently and we know that they peopled them with amazing creatures: the Great Bear and the Little Bear; the Dragon; the Charioteer; Orion, the great hunter, and his two dogs; Cygnus the swan; and many others. And they wove legends and tales, which have come down to us today. Sophisticated moderns that we are, we look at the stars and cannot for the life of us see the Great Bear. We call it the Big Dipper. We utterly fail to visualize the figures in the sky as the ancients did. This, we must believe, is because their imaginations were keener than ours, more naive and childlike, less dulled by artificial stimuli. Yet I have never known a city-bred person, who, transported to the open country on a vacation, failed to look upon the heavens in wonder and in rapture and to be filled with a longing to know about them. This longing, this curiosity is worth satisfying because it has to do with the very stuff of which creation itself was made.
I like to think that there is another reason why the popular study of astronomy, as made possible by a planetarium is worthwhile, and that is that that it teaches us that everything in the universe takes place in compliance with eternal and unchanging laws. These laws are so precise and exacting that we are able to predict with absolute certainty the position of any planet at any time as seen from any spot on earth. We know to the minute the coming of an eclipse centuries ahead and exactly in what part of the earth its totality will be present. There is no referendum, no amendment, and no repeal. There is only certainty. Nothing in the laws of men is comparable to this. When a man has grasped the import of what this means, it is difficult to see how ever again he can be other than humble, or can ever again be satisfied with anything that is half-way, or slipshod, or unworthy.
Why, it may be asked, are scientific galleries to be provided in the Buhl Institute of Popular Science? They are already, in other cities, larger scientific museums than this is or can ever aspire to be. It might be said first that an effort will be made in this museum to demonstrate new ideas in the presentation of scientific knowledge to the public; that the limitations of space will be a spur to the frequent changing of exhibits so that always a new and fresh story will be told. By this policy it is hoped to make this museum as important and valuable to Pittsburgh, relatively, as some of the larger institutions are valuable in their communities.
And now may I say just a word to and for the members of the loyal and competent staff into whose hands the conduct of this new institution will be entrusted in just a few hours. There is a greater giving than the giving of money, and the community will ever look to you for that giving. You have already given much; you will be called to give even more. James Russell Lowell once said: "The only conclusive evidence of a man's sincerity is that he gives himself for a principle. Words, money, all things else are comparatively easy to give away, but when a man makes a gift of his daily life and practice, it is plain that the truth, whatever it may be, has taken possession of him." There is in this institution a truth worthy to command the lifetime devotion of any man. With you will abide the opportunity to know this truth. May great happiness and great contentment come to you in that knowing and in that service. We are proud to have you with us here tonight because it is with confidence that this new institution is entrusted to your hands and your hearts.
It has been said tonight that it was the intent from the beginning that this institution should be a memorial to the life of Henry Buhl, Jr. The fact that he created a Foundation to serve his fellowman and particularly the citizens of the City of Pittsburgh and the County of Allegheny is the best testimony to the essential spiritual purpose of his life. Through generations of Buhls this same spirit has been traced until in Henry Buhl, Jr., it came to its finest flower. Those of us who have been permitted to study his life and antecedents have come to have a deep affection for his simplicity, his stern integrity and above all for the essential and unostentatious spirituality of his nature.
It is the hope and aspiration of those who have conceived and built this institution, therefore, that its work will be, in every sense of the world, inspirational. When a man or a woman, or a boy or girl walks out again from the building, after an hour or two spent here, it is our hope that it will be with a sense of uplift in his heart and a spring in his step; a feeling that this is a pretty good world after all, and that there is a beneficence and a security in the very immutability of the laws of our universe that challenges the best in every one of us.
It was not without thought that there has been carved upon the plain stone wall of the building which faces the East that the greatest sentence ever written by man in any tongue: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge."
If for those who come into this building there may be shown a bit of this knowledge, and if for them there may be caught a bit of this glory, the donors will be content.
Mr. Mayor, I now have the honor, on behalf of the Board of Managers of The Buhl Foundation, to present through you to the City of Pittsburgh, this building given in memory of Henry Buhl, Jr. and dedicated to the service of all people of this great region which he loved so well. ACCEPTANCE ADDRESS The Honorable Cornelius D. Scully Mayor of Pittsburgh What a piece of work is man?
"That which slumbered in the plant and fitfully stirred in the beast, awakes in the man. The eyes of the mind are opened, and he longs to know. He braves the scorching heat of the desert and the icy blasts of the polar seas, but not for food; he watches all night, but it is to trace the circling of the eternal stars. He adds toil to toil, to gratify a hunger no animal has felt: to assuage a thirst no beast can know."
"Out upon nature, in upon himself, back through the mists that shroud the past, forward into the darkness that overhangs the future, turns the restless desire that arises when the animal wants slumber in satisfaction. Beneath things, he seeks the law; he would know how the globe was forged and the stars were hung, and trace their origins to the springs of life."
"And, then, as the man develops his noble nature, there arises the desire higher yet-the passion of passions, the hope of hopes-the desire that he, even he, may somehow aid in making life better and brighter, in destroying want and sorrow, sin and shame. He masters and curbs the animals; he turns his back upon the feast and renounces the place of power; he leaves it to others to accumulate wealth, to gratify pleasant tastes, to bask themselves in the warm sunshine of the brief day.
"He works for those he never saw and never can see; for a fame, or for but a scant justice, that can only come long after the clods have rattled upon his coffin lid. He toils in the advance, where it is cold, and there is little cheer from men, and the stones are sharp and the brambles thick, Amid the scoffs of the present and the sneers that stab like knives, he builds the future; he cuts the trail that progressive humanity may hereafter broaden into a highroad."
"Into higher, grander spheres desire mounts and beckons, and a star rises in the East leads him on. Lo! The pulses of the man throb with the yearnings of the god-he would aid in the process of the suns."
Thus spake a great American student of society. The process of the Suns! Here tonight, Pittsburgh proudly accepts this Planetarium, this temple of the skies, this epitome of man's thirst for knowing and of man's genius for creating.
Here is a monument to Henry Buhl, Jr. and to the management of The Buhl Foundation, which he established; here is a tremendous contribution to the cultural center that is Pittsburgh.
And here is a monument to man-to man of all ages and of all degrees. To Babylonian shepherds who watched the flocks as their flocks slumbered; to solemn lean Egyptian priests who observed the movements of the heavens which hung over the fabulous Nile and its cities; to the clever men of Greece and to the medieval monk; to the men of Kepler's stamp, who used the false science of truth to cloak the truth of astronomy; to Galileo who flung into the teeth of darkness, the lamp of experiment and observation; and to all of those who wished with John Milton:
Tonight, we are all watchers of the skies, and not one new planet swims into our ken, but the whole glory of the firmament. The City of Pittsburgh is proud that that it now becomes the fifth American City to possess a Planetarium, and that Planetarium, the most modern and the best equipped of all.
And Pittsburgh is grateful. We are grateful to Henry Buhl, Jr., a man whose life in Pittsburgh was a model of good citizenship, of community spirit, of full and fruitful living. And Henry Buhl, Jr., has a life after death in Pittsburgh, the city he loved. Let me read from his will:
"I suggest . . . but do not so direct that . . . consideration be given first to the aid, needs and well-being of the Citizens of the City of Pittsburgh and the County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. I make this suggestion out of regard to the community where I have lived and been engaged in business activities all my life, and where I have formed friendships and associations which I cherish most dearly."
Henry Buhl, Jr., was too wise a man and too modest a man, to shackle the living with the grasp of the dead, and he set no rigid restrictions on the Foundation which he established. But we who knew him and know this region, know that the Foundation has been administered, as he would have wished to bring valuable cultural advances in the greater community which was close to Henry Buhl's heart.
I like to think of him as a boy out in the country, gazing at the night skies and wondering, as we all have wondered, at their beauty and their mystery, and I like to think of this Planetarium as the answer of science to those wonderings of Henry Buhl.
Pittsburgh is grateful to the men of The Buhl Foundation: to Mr. Charles F. Lewis, its far-sighted Director, to Mr. Linderman, its able President, and to the other members of the Board of Managers, Messrs. Braun, Brooks and Robertson. And it is grateful to Councilman George Evans, who as a city official, and a good Northsider, and a man who has within him a burning zeal for the building of a more beautiful and a greater Pittsburgh, did so much to smooth the way for the construction of this Planetarium and Museum. And in his efforts, Mr. Evans has the fullhearted cooperation of all his colleagues in City Council.
The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science will be in every sense a public institution although no public monies were needed for its construction. The Buhl Foundation paid the entire cost of building and equipping it, and the Foundation has generously pledged that that no public funds will be needed for its operation in the years ahead.
I am happy that my administration was privileged to aid in bringing the Planetarium to Pittsburgh.
Its values will not stop at the riverbank or at those artificial lines, which delimit corporate Pittsburgh, or even those highway signs, which declare the jurisdiction of the states. It will serve the entire tri-state district, and in that district, it will emphasize Pittsburgh's place as a center of culture and recreation, as well as a focal point for industry, business, and trade.
But I do wish to emphasize the importance of this Planetarium in what has been called the renaissance of Old Allegheny, this historic part of Pittsburgh which is so integral a part of our common history and tradition.
Allegheny High School now has a fine new building, and on Monument Hill, the City, the School Board, and the various Federal Works agencies have constructed a first-class athletic field. The Allegheny General Hospital is housed in a great and modern building. The parks of the old North Side Commons have been rescued from the dirt and squalor and have been recreated as green spaces of real beauty.
This Planetarium arises on the grounds where the old City Hall tottered in every high wind.
The flood control program is freeing the North Side lowlands from the menace of inundation. And two other great improvements are coming to the North Side, just as surely as this Planetarium stands here tonight. The first is slum clearance and the construction of low-cost housing projects by the Pittsburgh Housing Authority and the second is the construction of a high level bridge, connecting the district north of the Allegheny River and the rest of Pittsburgh without the nerve-jangling nuisance of traffic slow-ups and tie-ups.
There is room in Pittsburgh for two civic centers, and The Buhl Foundation has led the way to the creation of our second.
All honor to it. Stephen Collins Foster's father was Mayor of Old Allegheny. Willa Cather, a great American novelist, taught in Allegheny. Samuel Langley and John Brashear worked in Allegheny. There is a great tradition here, and long may it be preserved.
And all that we have done in Allegheny, in Pittsburgh, is a part of the tradition of America, the tradition of freedom, the tradition of man's dignity, the tradition of the truth freely spoken and freely written.
This American tradition did not spring full-blown out of Plymouth Rock. There is nothing in the air or water, or the soil of America which says that ye who breathe this air or ye that drink this water or spring from this soil shall be forever free.
No, American democracy stems from the men of many lands and the men of many races, the men who burst through the fog of superstition and rent the veil of falsehood, the men who sought the truth in nature, the truth that sets men free.
It was from these men, some of whom died at the stake, some of whom languished in chains, that democracy stems. The midnight watcher of the sky knew the grandeur of the heavens too well to believe that any divinity could cloak such a puny creature as an earthly king. The demonstration of the laws of nature demolish a belief in the inviolate rightness of the ukases and edicts of prince or potentate. The expanding world of man's knowledge revealed daily that no philosophy set down, no book or system, was immune to challenge the curiosity of scientific men.
It was from this fount of curiosity, of observation, of discovery, of human wisdom promoting human dignity that our American democracy flowed.
Men are not created equal in the eye of the worlding whose vision goes no farther than the petty life about him, but certainly men are equal in the solemn judgment of the spheres, men are equal in the light of the Sun, men are equal in the radiation of universes millions of light years distant and millions of times vaster than our own.
Knowledge made men free and free men made America. May the knowledge of our people continue to keep them free. Today, in this world of ours, the old superstitions stalk the earth anew. The divine right of kings become the heavenly mission of the dictators. The inquisition of old is the secret police of today, and men once again die or rot in concentration camps because of their beliefs.
The skilled hands and brains, which made this very Planetarium possible, are today forging weapons of destruction for a war of conquest and subjugation, a war to spread the divine right of dictators.
But in the very land which has come to be the symbol of anti-democracy, the land where suppression of human freedom has reached its modern zenith, there too, the people will stir as their minds break the bonds of printed words, and shouted speeches, and secret police, and concentration camps. The mind of man cannot be forever fettered and even now there are men and women who see beyond the limits imposed on their thinking and their lives. Nora Waln has told us of this stirring, and she calls it, "Reaching for the stars." That is the symbol of freedom, and may the people of Pittsburgh, their lives enriched by this Planetarium, reach for the stars forevermore.
Mr. Stokley took his place at the control board of the Planetarium projector: the room became dark to the accompaniment of the music of the organ; and the stars illuminated the dome. Mr. Stokley then presented the Planetarium's first production, "Stars over Pittsburgh," reproducing the skies above the City the evening of the dedication, Tuesday, October the 24th, 1939.
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