Journals and Publications in 1938

The first journal of NCFR was called Living. It was a quarterly journal to be published in September, November, February, and May. Edited by Paul Sayre and based at the University of Iowa Law Building, Living was the forerunner of the Journal of Marriage and the Family (now Journal of Marriage and Family), which has become the premier research journal of the family field. Despite the momentous tasks of organizing this association and coordinating a national meeting, four issues of Living were published in 1939. The first issue was circulated in January 1939. It included the following articles, written by a variety of professionals: “Predictive […]

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Awards in 1938

NCFR has presented awards of merit from the very first year of its existence. At the first annual meeting in 1938, an Award of Merit was presented to Frederick Osborn, with the following citation: “Administrator, Scientist, Able Worker for Human Betterment.”

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Membership in 1938

The membership dues established in 1938 were $2.00 per individual who could vouch for sincere interest in the study of families and their relationships. Organizations were invited as members with the vote of the executive committee of NCFR. During the first year of its existence, and largely through the efforts of Ernest Burgess, secretary, over 500 members were recruited. They in turn were instrumental in coordinating the state and regional groups. Among the very first members of NCFR were lawyers, federal agency personnel, nonprofit associations, sociologists, religious leaders, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, home economists, physicians, and university professors from several […]

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Structure and Governance in 1938

The first officers of NCFR were as follows: President: Paul Sayre, Professor of Law, University of Iowa Vice President: Huntington Cairns, Baltimore (Maryland) Bar Secretary–Treasurer: Ernest Burgess, Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago As secretary, Professor Burgess set about immediately to recruit state and regional leaders to form the first state and regional councils. Paul Sayre worked with a 10-member advisory council to plan the first annual conference of NCFR and edit the first journal. Members of the first advisory council of 1938 included Anne D. Blitz, Dean of Women, University of Minnesota; Harriett S. Daggett, Professor of Law, Louisiana […]

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1938 Conference: The Contribution of the Family to the Cultural Wealth of the Nation

The first annual conference was held at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City on Saturday, September 17, 1938. The theme was “The Contribution of the Family to the Cultural Wealth of the Nation.” At the conference, the first Constitution was adopted, which stated that the purpose of NCFR “shall be to advance the cultural values that are now principally secured through family relations, for the advantage of the individual and the strength of the nation.” From the very beginning, NCFR was an interdisciplinary and interprofessional organization composed of members from a variety of backgrounds and professional fields, including sociology, home economics, […]

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Leadership in 1938

The founding of NCFR in 1938 reflected the climate of the preceding years. Nineteenth- and 20th-century social and cultural upheavals (e.g., changing social institutions, changing women’s roles, and changing divorce and desertion rates) directed attention to the quality of family life in the United States. During the 1880s, family life educators organized parent groups. In 1908, the American Home Economics Association (AHEA) began initial work in behalf of family welfare. The sex education boom of World War I and the postwar progressive education movement both served as early forces in the formation of the family discipline. During the early decades of the 20th century, sociologists became […]

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