Recording of Sir George Williams Speech to the Jubilee Class of 1894, with introduction by Eugene Barnett and Reading by Milton Cross
Recording of a speech by Sir George Williams to the Springfield College, then known as the International YMCA Training School, Jubilee Class of 1894. The speech was recorded by George Williams on a wax cylinder and sent to Springfield College. It was played during the Jubilee celebrations held on June 6, 1894. This recording is the earliest known copy or re-recording of his speech, dating from around 1937-1946. The recording contains an introduction by American radio broadcaster Milton J. Cross, an introduction to the Williams’ address by Eugene E. Barnett, General Secretary of the National Council of the YMCAs of the United States, a complete reading of a transcript of the Williams’ address by Barnett, and an excerpt of the original Williams’ recording from the wax cylinder. This version does not contain the entire text read by Williams.
Text and images are owned, held, or licensed by Springfield College and are available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that ownership is properly cited. A credit line is required and should read: Courtesy of Springfield College, Babson Library, Archives and Special Collections. Any commercial use without written permission from Springfield College is strictly prohibited. Other individuals or entities other than, and in addition to, Springfield College may also own copyrights and other propriety rights. The publishing, exhibiting, or broadcasting party assumes all responsibility for clearing reproduction rights and for any infringement of United States copyright law.
Contact host institution for more information.
George Williams was the Founder of the YMCA. In 1844, after becoming a devout Christian, he gathered a group of young men together for prayer and reflection. This simple act developed into the worldwide YMCA movement. By 1845 the YMCA was holding public lectures in rented halls and Sunday afternoon teas at Hotel Radley in London. By 1851 the YMCA had spread to 16 other cities in England, Scotland and Ireland. The YMCA movement reached the American shores in 1851, with the first YMCA established in Montreal on November 25 and the second in Boston December 29. By the time George Williams was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1894, the 50th anniversary of the YMCA, there were 5,000 YMCAs in 24 countries with 500,000 members. He died in 1905.