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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.

November 22, 1954

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. That’s the way we regarded it in Nashville; and we’re 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 group.

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 men’s business Club. During the time that he was here he talked a lot about his home town. Maybe he doesn’t 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 Nashville’s City Hall enjoyed working with him. I believe you will do the same.

With kindest personal regards, I am sincerely yours, Ben West, Mayor.

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