“The Olympics? What Olympics?”*


“The Olympics? What Olympics?”
Detroit’s bid to host the 1968 Olympic Games

By Martin Scott

“Detroit – The 1968 Olympic Games are yours!” declared Detroit Mayor Jerome P. Cavanagh at the conclusion of his victory statement. The address was prerecorded and distributed to all television and radio stations in Michigan, as well as northern Ohio and Indiana. It was to be played on October 19, 1963 when the International Olympic Committee [IOC] in Baden-Baden, Germany officially awarded the XIX Olympiad to Detroit.[1] It never aired. IOC delegates elected Mexico City on the first ballot.

The notion that the city of Detroit might have hosted the 1968 Olympic Games raises an intriguing hypothetical possibility.   The iconic image provided by the Mexico City Games was of American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith on the medals podium with gloved fists raised in a “black power” salute to protest racial segregation and black poverty. A little over a year earlier in July and August of 1967, Detroit suffered from a violent race riot in which 43 people lost their lives. The riot, or rebellion depending on the point of view, was the most tragic manifestation of why the sprinters were protesting. The vision of Carlos and Smith with fists raised in the newly constructed Olympic Stadium at the corner Eight Mile Road and Woodward Avenue is mesmerizing, but it of course can only exist in the imagination. Detroit’s bid for the 1968 Olympic Games, however, did symbolize very tangible economic, social and political forces.

Detroit in the 1960s was a city of friction. The processes of deindustrialization had started in the early 1950s and the previously plentiful manufacturing jobs were scarce.[2] Detroit had lost 165,000 jobs between 1955 and 1963.[3] Working class blacks and whites battled because of the persistent housing shortages and racial animosity. In this context, why did the Detroit Olympic Committee [DOC] yearn to host an amateur athletic festival? The initiative to champion a bid seems obvious. The Olympic Games, since the Second World War, have been a tool to achieve development objectives such as “place promotion, employment creation, urban regeneration, and attracting tourists and general investment.”[4] The Motor City in 1963 was in need of a boost in all of those areas. The city’s economic health had been deteriorating, as historian Thomas Sugrue starkly indicated, “The number of shops and factories constructed or modified in Detroit fell tenfold between 1951 and 1963.”[5] Were employment creation and urban regeneration some of the primary objectives of the Detroit Olympic Committee? Perhaps they were, however most of the population of the city was either unaware of or indifferent to the Olympic proposals and any supposed benefits. When news reached Detroit that Mexico City was the winner, twenty-year-old waitress Jean Prykucki was asked for her reaction. Tellingly she responded, “The Olympics? What Olympics? This is the first I’ve heard of them.”[6] The Detroit Olympic Committee [DOC] had nearly secured host city designation for the XIX Olympiad without the active support of the majority of Detroiters. This process revealed two distinct Detroits, not as defined most commonly by race but by class: working class and ruling class. The bid to host the 1968 Olympics was an initiative championed exclusively by Detroit’s ruling class. The benefits, real or imagined held little importance for working class Detroiters, either black or white.

By 1963 Detroit already had a long history bidding to be an Olympic host city. The campaign to win the 1968 Games would be the seventh consecutive. The DOC organized in 1936, according to Chairman Frederick C. Matthaei, Sr., after several Detroiters had returned from the 1932 Games in Los Angeles with the “idea in mind that Detroit could and should be the host city in the future.”[7] From that point forward Frederick C. Matthaei, Sr. was the driving force behind the Motor City’s repeated Olympic bids. Professionally, he founded the automotive parts supplier American Metal Products, where Douglas F. Roby was also an executive. Roby actively joined the movement to bring Detroit the Olympics in 1938. “I was a committee member and Fred delegated me to do the ‘legwork’,” as he described the early relationship.[8] By 1963, Roby was no longer part of the DOC officially, but was an integral part of the Detroit Olympic movement as vice-president of the United States Olympic Committee [USOC] and one of the three American members of the IOC.

The campaign for the 1968 Games began controversially in October of 1962 when Los Angeles vehemently disputed Detroit’s designation by the USOC as the sole American city authorized to submit a bid to the IOC. The vote was “rigged from the beginning,” claimed Bill Nicholas, General Manager of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, while still at the USOC meeting in Chicago.[9] By the end of the month, Los Angeles attorney Lee Combs sent a caustic letter to all members of the Board of Directors of the USOC as well as press outlets claiming that,

Detroit has no real site at all; — only a set of blueprints, about the same as presented at the Stockholm IOC meeting in 1947…The 20 members of the Board of Directors who voted for Detroit did so out of personal and political reasons and did not want the Olympic Games in the United Stated at all. If the games were awarded to Los Angeles, this would deprive them of their free trips abroad.[10]

Because of the pressure from Lee Combs and other Los Angeles boosters, the USOC reopened the bidding process. A bitter and pubic fight ensued between the two cities. Stung by the public accusations, officials of the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan mobilized. Newly elected Michigan Governor George Romney spoke to the challenge from Los Angeles during a February 1963 meeting of the DOC, “The reason the State responded to this effort to keep the Olympic Games is because it is no longer a ‘city matter.’ With the accusations made by Los Angeles, the reputation of both the City and the State as well as Michigan’s economic climate are at stake.”[11] The competition from Los Angeles invigorated the unenthusiastic Olympic movement in Detroit. Whereas previously Matthaei exclusively led the DOC, the new Olympic lobby now included the charismatic and effective politicians Governor Romney and Mayor Cavanagh[12].

Romney was particularly instrumental in strengthening the Detroit bid before the March USOC meeting in New York. The strongest argument against Detroit and in favor of Los Angeles was the lack of an appropriate stadium, or even a viable financing and construction plan. The Governor used his significant political influence with the state legislature to get passed two bills that established a building authority authorized to issue bonds and financing through an increased tax on pari-mutuel betting on horse racing designed to pay off those bonds.

With Los Angeles’ biggest advantage neutralized, and the presentation made by the two most energetic and charismatic Michigan politicians in the 1960s, Detroit won the USOC designation again by a landslide, 36 votes to four.[13] The Los Angeles challenge was critical to the Olympic movement in Detroit and Michigan. Because of the negative attacks and accusations by Los Angeles, Detroit boosters had felt that they were being ‘wronged,’ and must meet the challenge enthusiastically. Detroit would make a significantly stronger bid before the IOC in October of 1963. It was unlikely that the Michigan legislature would have passed stadium plans and financing had not Los Angles so bitterly fought Detroit for the USOC designation. Some USOC members articulated the situation best when saying, “If Detroit is picked [by the IOC], and we think it will be, then Los Angeles should be thanked for getting you all stirred up…It got Detroit up off its haunches.”[14] With Los Angeles defeated the DOC now focused on its international competitors.

How would Detroit sell itself to the IOC? The professionally produced hardbound brochures distributed to the IOC members offer some interesting clues to the group mindset of the DOC. In the official “invitation” to host the Games, on the two page spread professing the brotherly international relationship with Canada there is a one and a half page photograph looking south over the Ambassador Bridge. The prominent feature is not the bridge connecting international neighbors but the industrial haze and huge clouds of smoke emanating from Ford Motor Company’s massive Rouge complex.[15] Additionally, in the brochure that contained the response to the official IOC questionnaire the DOC answered one of the many cultural questions claiming that, “Major points of interest attractive to visitors – the home of the automobile industry with its vast assembly plants, technical centers, laboratories and testing grounds.”[16] This was a puzzling answer. While assembly plants, technical centers, laboratories and testing grounds might be immensely interesting to engineers, it should have been obvious to the DOC that these were not the types of international visitors to expect at an amateur sports festival.

The preparations for the final presentation to the IOC reveal where the DOC focused significant time and energy. For example, a key component of the presentation and a presumed selling point of the Detroit bid was the partnership with the computer company Burroughs Corporation. At an Executive Committee meeting of the DOC on April 17, 1963, Thomas Adams initially argued the importance of an affiliation with Burroughs on the grounds that, “This would be very impressive to the IOC since a major problem of hosting the games has been their inability to properly schedule construction projects, etc.”[17] A few weeks later on May 1, Burroughs Corporation made a formal presentation to the DOC. Company executives explained the new B-5000 computer and the innovative management system that they had originally developed for the Navy’s Polaris missile program and how it applied to the 1968 Olympics,

It is assumed that the use of the BEST (Burroughs Evaluation and Scheduling Technique) system and the control of the project with computer would constitute an important part of the Nairobi[18] presentation and provide Detroit with a powerful argument for being awarded the Games…Detroit would be able to present the International Committee a master plan based on the most advanced management concepts and to point to its own successful use of the system using the glamour inherent in the idea of computer control as a sales clincher.[19]

Matthaei was sold and immediately wrote to Mayor Cavanagh, “We were most impressed, and feel strongly that this contribution by Burroughs will be an important factor in our presentation.”[20] The glamorous B-5000 had a starring role in the movie prepared for the IOC meeting in Baden – Baden. Sequential access reel to reel magnetic tapes spun on screen in a stark computer laboratory setting while the narrator explained to the viewer that, “Applied to the 1968 Olympics, the B-5000 is enabling the organizers of the Games to plan with a confidence undreamed of – to eliminate human errors.”[21] It is very likely that the B-5000 and the BEST system would have been a great innovation in Olympic planning. The DOC clearly felt that they were communicating to the IOC that they were in the vanguard of management practices and technology; a computer controlled Olympics would be free of human error and run more smoothly. Unfortunately, the audience would be composed of “international sportsmen” not industrial executives. Images of computers and the accompanying technical explanations rarely invoke an emotional response. The B-5000 was not going to make anyone want to visit Detroit, valuable time and resources would have been better spent with Burroughs Corporation after the city had won the games.

In contrast to the B-5000 computer, the DOC did attempt initiatives that would have been much more attractive to the voting members of the IOC. In July, Mayor Cavanagh writing on behalf of the DOC requested funds from The Ford Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation. The purpose was to “subsidize trips around the United States for athletes and coaches for the ‘broadening of the athletes’ appreciation of the American scene.” This would have been an attractive addition to Detroit’s bid; unfortunately, for the DOC received no funding.[22]

The most interesting proposal to influence the IOC members regarded entertainment. Chairman Matthaei was vehemently against what he saw as misplaced enthusiasm as he explained to Mayor Cavanagh, “We here in Detroit are a dynamic forceful people and sometimes do not realize that others of the Old World do not appreciate the vigorous type of entertainment which we sometimes provide, namely ‘hula dancers’.”[23] While hula dancers perhaps were an overly outrageous suggestion, it was clear that Detroit’s presentation in Baden-Baden was going to be professional and formal.

This was not Detroit’s first Olympic bid it was the seventh. The DOC made sure that everyone was clear on that point. The beginning of the hardbound invitation starts with, “What follows is our seventh invitation to you to select Detroit as host to the Olympic Games…1939, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1955, 1959, 1963.” The volume ended with letters from Governor Romney, Mayor Cavanagh and a resolution by the Detroit Common Council all illustrating the same fact. Governor Romney included the common DOC refrain that they have “stood in line” patiently.[24] Beginning the formal presentation before the IOC, Matthaei explained to the members, “Detroit has presented its qualifications many times to the International Olympic Committee over the past twenty-four years. For nearly a quarter of a century we have stood in line.”[25] The attitude of the DOC was unmistakable. Detroit had patiently waited in line and now it was their turn.

The Detroit delegation executed a professional presentation and submitted a very competitive bid. It was not to be. Detroit finished second to Mexico City, 30 votes to 14. Lyons, France earned 12 votes and Buenos Aires, Argentina only two. Contrary to what historians Kevin B. Witherspoon and Michael Barke have concluded, the formal presentation by Detroit was not lackluster. IOC members enthusiastically received the superbly polished production. Many members agreed that it was the finest of the four and IOC president Avery Brundage claimed, “The city’s formal presentation was excellent. Undoubtedly the finest I ever have seen in all my years on the committee.”[26] Detroit had the best presentation. The reality was energy would have been better used in other areas.

The Detroit delegation was unable to overcome a significant hurdle that was out of their control. The geopolitical situation in 1963 was not favorable to a bid from the United States or Europe. Mexico City exploited its position as a viable alternative as host city to its Western competitors. In doing so, they were able to secure large groups of votes from Latin America as well as those controlled by the Soviets.[27] The support of Latin America was expected, but without the backing of the Soviet Union, “Mexico had no chance.”[28] Essentially, Lyons and Detroit split the vote of Western nations and Mexico City secured the rest of the world. Douglas Roby undoubtedly frustrated and somewhat bitter, explained what he saw was an anti-American bias, “They think the United States has everything. We are a ‘have’ nation. This is the era of the ‘have nots’.”[29] Observers may have perceived Detroit as the favorite to win prior to Baden-Baden; however, hindsight reveals that the city had a small chance to be selected host.

While the geopolitical situation created an environment difficult for the Motor City to win the 1968 Olympics, one addition factor contributed to the ultimate defeat, the Mexican delegation outworked and outhustled the DOC. The “dynamic forceful people” were not the Detroiters but the Mexicans. Early on in Baden-Baden, Detroit Free Press columnist Lyall Smith observed a bad harbinger. He explained that, “Detroit’s biggest problem here is the language barrier, plus the lack of representatives in their official party who know the IOC officials and the sports federation chiefs.”[30] Amazingly, the Detroit delegation was woefully unprepared to lobby for the 1968 games. Considering this was the seventh consecutive bid it was inexcusable that the DOC could not have anticipated the language requirements or have had established strong relationships with IOC members. It appeared as though the “D” that DOC Chairman Frederick Matthaei earned in French at the University of Michigan in 1912, might have been haunting him.[31]

Hula dancers may have been inappropriate; but unlike the other delegations Detroit was not prepared to offer entertainment of any kind. They were the only candidate that was not staging a lavish reception. When questioned why not a “red-faced Detroit delegate said they had been under the impression that all entertainment would be done jointly by the cities.”[32] A polished formal presentation was not going to win the Olympic bid, but diplomacy in the hallways, backrooms and reception areas would eventually secure the nomination. Detroit was unprepared to compete.[33]

Skillful diplomacy leads naturally to the final factor securing the 1968 Olympics for Mexico City, what Witherspoon called “the time-honored Olympic Committee activity: bribery.”[34] While the DOC was preparing and polishing a corporate quality presentation, the Mexicans had been handing out more than 25 all expense paid trips to Mexico City for IOC members and their wives to “inspect” the facilities. In addition to the free trips, the Mexicans gave “valuable silver dishes and trays” to every IOC member. The Detroiters did not learn of any of these activities until after the final vote. Despondent, Matthaei explained that, “We paid for no trips, handed out no valuable gifts and have done nothing unethical.”[35] They did none of those things; however, they did not win the Olympic bid either.

What was surprising in Baden-Baden was not that the supposed favorite Detroit had lost to Mexico City. What was shocking was how the seven-time veteran candidate campaigned as a neophyte and the first-time delegation performed with seasoned skill. It was astounding how the Detroiters were woefully unprepared to lobby at the convention; that for all their supposed experience in the process they had so few contacts with the IOC, and were unaware of and surprised by the need for “gratuities” for IOC members. “We always have gone on the premise that it was necessary to stand in line to be considered by the IOC,” concluded Matthaei following the final vote, “We found out that is wrong.”[36]   Matthaei and the DOC assumed that they were finally at the front of the line in 1963 and only needed to be present to be designated the host city. The Mexican candidates understood that success was more likely if you complimented and tipped the Maître’d.

The results in October of 1963 were a bitter disappointment for the DOC. The movement to bring the Olympics to Detroit began sometime in 1935 when Matthaei and fellow members of the “Beavers” decided that the city have a lot to offer the amateur athletic world. The Beavers were swimming group at the exclusive Detroit Athletic Club [DAC].[37] Officially, the DOC organized and promoted the Detroit Olympic bids but informally it was a subgroup of the DAC headed by the “eccentric millionaire named Matthaei.” The ties to the “luncheon club built around swimming and water basketball,” the Beavers, remained strong into 1963. Prior to the USOC presentations in March, Richard E. Cross the American Motors Corporation president and longtime Olympic booster spoke at a rally luncheon at the DAC before the Beavers. The gathering was reminiscent of a fraternal function at an upper-class college. When Cross concluded his remarks he “turned to Matthaei…and called upon him to lead the cheer of the Beavers…Matthaei led the group in the short yell – ‘Hey!’ and the long yell – two short ‘Heys!’ and one long.”[38] Matthaei was more than simply a cheerleader for the Beavers, DAC or DOC. Nearly single-handed, he had made Detroit’s earlier bids for the Olympics, while investing over $150,000 of his own money.[39] Matthaei’s drive to obtain the Olympics was admirable. Nevertheless, it always was a movement championed by very wealthy of Detroit.

Similar to other exclusive upper-class organizations, most of the political operations and rewards of the DOC were informal and invisible to the public. Good examples were the gestures between Matthaei and Mayor Cavanagh immediately following the USOC meetings in New York. Cavanagh wrote to Governor Romney, with blind copies to Matthaei and Richard Cross, that it was appropriate to pay tribute to the DOC chairman since “Mr. Matthaei has led the small group of men who have worked so diligently over the years to bring the Olympics to Detroit and Michigan. I suggest that no finer gesture could be made than to name the new stadium facility the Matthaei Olympic Stadium.”[40] Nine days later, Matthaei sent Cavanagh a handwritten note on stationary from the resort The Lookout in Cat Cay, Bahamas thanking him for his efforts to defeat Los Angeles before the USOC. He concluded the letter with the generous offer, “P.S. If you & your bride are in the mood to catch sunshine – rest – fishing – golf – etc. give consideration to this paradise of the south and advise. You’ll be put up in a jiffy.”[41] One gesture was not an implicit reward for the other; however, it is clear that the decisions and workings of the DOC were outside of the awareness of the lower classes.

Membership to the DOC was limited to the upper class Detroiters. Gaining a seat on the Executive Committee required substantial political or financial connections. Edwin Anderson representing the Detroit Lions NFL football team contacted Mayor Cavanagh in early May 1963. He explained that the Lions were greatly offended, “We have just secured a copy of your so-called Olympic Committee and are shocked to find the Detroit Lions have no representation on your committee whatsoever.” The DOC responded quickly, eight days later William Clay Ford, then part owner of the Lions, Vice-president of Ford Motor Company and Grandson of Henry Ford, was added to the Executive Committee. [42]

Inclusion on one of the many DOC subcommittees followed the same pattern of exercising political influence. For example, Circuit Court Judge Carl M. Weidem followed up a conversation in writing to Mayor Cavanagh to reaffirm his “request” to the DOC to appoint Kenneth and Gordon Adler to a subcommittee. “When I saw you and Judges Piggins and Moynihan at the D.A.C., I mentioned that fact that I thought the two Adler boys should be on your Olympic Committee,” the judge continued gracefully but firmly making his expectations clear, “I thought possibly they would have heard from you by now, but your letter appointing them has evidently been mislaid.”[43] The makeup of the DOC was a construct of and subject to the elite politics of Detroit. While the DOC was the formal organization promoting the Olympic drive in the city, the conversations, agreements and functions at the DAC were influencing the movement to the greatest degree.

The DAC was the hub of essential DOC activity.   The Governor’s office required a meeting between the DOC and the Michigan State Fair Authority to address “1. To what extent must plans be developed for the stadium in order to satisfy the requirements of the Nairobi Presentation Committee? 2. Where is the money coming from for this development?” The Governor’s assistant R. H. McManus did not schedule this meeting in Lansing, the State Fair Grounds, or even the City-County building. The most convenient and appropriate location was room 7 – 3rd floor of the Detroit Athletic Club.[44]

While they certainly were not interchangeable, the DOC and the DAC were closely tied. The DOC most certainly would not have existed without the DAC. Both were exclusive organizations of wealthy men. The following caption describing Detroit’s skyline from the official invitation to the IOC could have as easily been applied to the DAC as to the DOC, “Skyscrapers towering above the waters of the Detroit River…house the men of vision and acumen who set the pace of commerce and in some ways mold the future of the Detroit area’s 4,000,000 citizens.”[45] In the minds of the DOC members, these men would bring the Olympics to Detroit.

The reality was that without the small group of “men of vision and acumen,” as they saw themselves, the effort to host the Olympics would likely never have happened in Detroit. Social scientists Matthew Burbank, Gregory Andranovich and Charles Heying summarized an appropriate model to illustrate a movement leading to a campaign to host the Olympic Games. They described that two elements were necessary for an Olympic bid: the existence of a growth regime in the city and the desire to change the city’s image. The former, a ruling class construct, they defined as,

A growth regime is essentially a network of public and private leaders that function as an informal government within a city. Its goal is to encourage growth within the city, and its existence is vital to an Olympic bid. Without an established government-business network in place to provide authority and resources, an Olympic bid would simply not occur.[46]

This summary described the DOC in 1963. Matthaei may have nearly single-handedly submitted previous bids to the IOC, but the formal and informal construct of the DOC that was bidding for the 1968 Games was without question an initiative of a ‘growth regime.’ Matthaei, Douglas Roby, Richard Cross and others exemplified the private leaders, but in 1963, Mayor Cavanagh and Governor Romney recognized the growth potential of a successful bid and enthusiastically joined the campaign. Detroit’s manufacturing and population base had been shrinking for a decade. A new source of growth was needed and the Olympics would have provided an opportunity for the city to compete with others as a center of “cultural and leisure consumption.”[47] Romney and Cavanagh did not want to miss this opportunity. The actions of this “growth regime” slowly changed the outlook of some business interests within the city in the spring and summer of 1963. H. S. Greenwalt of the Michigan Bank National Association identified the regime as the agent of change that year; he said in a letter to the mayor, “It gives one a great lift of spirit to see a group of interested and hard-hitting businessmen support this town which in everyone’s mind is on the move again.”[48] Greenwalt captured the essence of the growth regime, and DOC, when he wrote to a public official to congratulate him on the progress of a group of businessmen.

The second element necessary in a city to pursue an Olympic bid was the desire to create or change the city’s image. The yearning to change the image of the Motor City was an obvious goal. Upper class Detroiters had an inferiority complex, desiring to prove that their city was more than a “dirty factory town”. [49] Wayne State University law student Lawrence Weiss captured upper class Detroit’s self-perception and the desire to change it when he wrote to Mayor Cavanagh, “I am sure that you are aware of our distasteful reputation in many parts of the world as the U. S. ‘machine shop for war.’ How easily the publicity from an Olympics could dispel these falsities.”[50] The construction and motivations of the DOC were consistent with the growth regime model, in the abstract.

The test to establish whether the DOC fit the profile of a growth regime in practice is to deconstruct the tangible accomplishments of the organization. Burbank, Andranovich and Heying proposed that the informal government composed of business and government leaders would “use the idea of hosting the games to justify encouraging a variety of development projects that might not be politically feasible if attempted in the context of everyday politics.”[51] The best example of this principle was the passing of two laws through the Michigan Legislature, under significant political pressure from Governor Romney, that insured financing for the proposed Olympic Stadium project. In March of 1963, the Michigan Legislature fast-tracked two bills through the State Senate and State House of Representatives. The first created the State Recreation Authority authorized to issue up to $30 million in bonds to build Olympic Stadium at the State Fairgrounds in Detroit. The second was an increase in the “take” on pari-mutuel betting at horseracing tracks. The state’s general fund would receive an additional $1.6 million in revenue and the track operators would receive an additional $700,000 annually. It is important to note that the bills were independent of each other; revenue from pari-mutuel betting was not dedicated to paying off the bond issues; however, Governor Romney insisted that the bills must “walk together.”[52] The walk was not without obstacles.

Democratic members of the legislature did resist the Republican proposals. They protested that they were being “stampeded” with this legislation. State Senator Charles S. Blondy, Democrat from Detroit, was the most vocal of the resistors, “We’ve been trying to raise money for mental health, crippled children, and education, but all we get is another study or another report. How can we get $25 million for the Olympics overnight when we can’t get these other things?”[53] Blondy and others may have protested but when it came to a vote, they supported the measures. The bills passed by wide margins. When confronted as to why they eventually supported the bills despite vocally resisting, they “explained that they were for everything the State could do to attract the Olympics.”[54] Many legislators did not wholeheartedly support the increased burden on Michigan taxpayers for an Olympic Stadium project; however, they found it to be politically difficult to oppose the measure. Burbank, Andranovich, and Heying explained this political phenomenon,

Playing host to a high-profile event such as the Olympic Games provides an ideal platform for a local development agenda because it allows growth proponents access to the popular symbolism of international sports and makes opposition to development projects associated with those symbols more difficult.[55]

This was exactly what happened in the Michigan Legislature. Resistance was considerable on not only fiscal but also moral grounds; many found the financing of an Olympic project with gambling revenues difficult to stomach. However, it was seen as a “’necessary evil’ to get the Olympic games,” State Representative William Romano, Democrat from Warren, said when explaining his reasoning, “’I will hold my nose and vote for it.’”[56] Personal distaste for the bill might not have been the only cost for one’s opposition; significant resistance would bring the wrath of the then popular Governor. When the pari-mutuel betting bill encountered entanglements in the State House of Representatives, Romney was unforgiving in his public chastisement of the offending party, “We’re trying to get some action. We get everybody together and some little guy down the line tries to upset the whole thing.”[57] Shortly after the resistance to the bill dissolved, opposition to the powerful symbols of the Olympic Games was a political risk that few were willing to take in Michigan in 1963.[58]

The legislators who promoted the two bills argued that the economic benefits would in the long run outweigh the costs. Republican State Senator Stanley G. Thayer of Ann Arbor claimed, “The Olympics would give Michigan a shot in the arm which would improve its economy and create higher tax returns to pay for mental health and education projects.”[59] This was the prevailing assumption by boosters, that the Olympics would improve the economy and everyone would benefit. Interestingly, no significant study of the economic impact of the games was done until after the stadium financing bills had passed and Detroit had been reconfirmed by the USOC.

The General Manager of the Michigan State Fair Authority, Walter A. Goodman, requested a study of the economic impact of the 1968 Games to the state’s economy from the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Michigan. Bureau Director Alfred W. Swinyard and associate James N. Veder used data collected from the 1956 Melbourne and 1960 Rome Games to estimate that economic value of the 1968 Games would be $140 Million to Michigan. They concluded that capital outlays such as Olympic Stadium and other facilities would total $40.1 million; persons attending the games would spend $47 million. The researchers used a multiplier of 1.6 to convert the $87.1 million of spending to a total economic effect of $139.4 million.[60] The Olympic Games would have a great impact on the metropolitan Detroit area economically. Understandably, the results of this report only appeared in the Detroit Free Press one time when it was news. Shockingly, the DOC or any of its representatives never used the report or any of the conclusions to generate broad based support for the games or to communicate any of the tangible benefits.

In the early 1960s, the practice of using the Games as an instrument of urban regeneration began in force. Preparations for the 1964 Games in Tokyo defined this pattern, “The Japanese government saw the Games as much an opportunity to invest in public transport and utility infrastructures designed to modernize Tokyo as to provide sporting facilities.”[61] Evidence of the effect of Olympic preparations on urban renewal was beginning to seep out of Tokyo by 1963. Frederick Matthaei had met the Governor of Tokyo in June and wrote to Mayor Cavanagh of his findings,

Governor Azuma is enthusiastic about the many projects underway in Tokyo which will greatly modernize and improve his city, and which were stimulated by the award of the 1964 Games to Tokyo…I am confident Detroit will receive the same stimulus when we are awarded the Games in 1968.[62]

Undoubtedly, the members of the DOC believed that the city would realize similar urban improvements should they win the Games. However, in typical DOC fashion, the correspondence was not publicized; the Committee did not use the great benefits that the Japanese were realizing as an instrument to cultivated the support of the population. Instead, the DOC would engage in pep rallies. However, these pep rallies would not include the working class but would be exclusive upper class events similar to a luncheon in October 1963 at the Statler Hilton Hotel attended by Governor Romney, Mayor Cavanagh and Matthaei as well as other business, labor and civic leaders held to “go over the final preparations for Detroit’s bid for the Games.”[63] The DOC had been an exclusive upper-class organization with little if any contact with the working class. In 1963, Mayor Cavanagh and Governor Romney joined the elite DOC; it then took on the characteristics defined by a growth regime. This informal association of business and government leaders was effective in accomplishing tasks that would have been politically difficult in normal circumstances. Throughout this process there was relatively little direct contact or communication with the working class to gain support for the Games.

There was some popular interest in the Olympic bid in 1963 and the DOC did make some efforts to cultivate the enthusiasm of working class Detroiters. Following the reconfirmation as USOC host city designee in March, United Auto Workers [UAW] president Walter Reuther said that the UAW “pledged its full co-operation and effort to bringing the 1968 Games to Detroit.”[64] The DOC appointed UAW vice-president Leonard Woodcock to the Executive Committee, but there is no evidence that he contributed significantly to the bid. Financially the union supported the effort; one month prior to the Baden-Baden presentation, the UAW contributed $10,000 to the DOC.[65] The UAW, the most important and powerful labor organization in Detroit supported the Olympic effort officially, however, the union played a marginal role in the Olympic effort. The UAW had tremendous resources and had they been leveraged working class support would have been cultivated more effectively. Unfortunately, the DOC was composed primarily of wealthy executives from the automobile industry. Co-operation might have been the official position, but even the powerful symbols of the Olympics were not going to overcome decades of friction between labor and management.[66]

Labor support was more enthusiastic in other industries. Local 575 of the Riggers and Machine Erectors Union publically contributed $1000 to the DOC to “help bring the Olympic Games to Detroit.”[67] The motivation this labor organization was obvious, unlike automobile workers for example, riggers and machine erectors were working class Detroiters who would have benefitted directly from the new construction projects connected to a successful Olympic bid.

The Detroit Olympic effort was not without grass roots contributions. There were many small and local efforts to generated interest as well as revenue for the bid. Prior to the March USOC meeting in New York, several Wayne State University fraternities staged a symbolic torch relay from the State Fair grounds to the City-County building and delivered a petition of support with 6000 student signatures.[68] The Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League played a fundraising exhibition game against an all-star team of players from Indianapolis and Pittsburgh; the Michigan High School Coaches Association sold tickets for the event throughout the state.[69] At the end of August, the proceeds of a local AAU track meet went to “build Detroit’s 1968 Olympic fund.”[70] Additionally, the Michigan-Ontario Soccer League promoted an “Olympic Soccer Preview” at the University of Detroit Stadium between the United States Olympic team and the Denmark champions A.G.F. Club of Copenhagen. All profits from this event would go to the Detroit Olympic fund. Following the event, league president Geoffrey Coombes wrote apologetically to Mayor Cavanagh, “Unfortunately, the event was not as successful as we had anticipated, either from the competitive angle or in being able to turn the profits over to the Olympic Committee.”[71] These modest efforts symbolized the support that some Detroiters exercised for the Olympic effort. They were largely unsuccessful in generating additional interest or significant financial contributions for the 1968 Games.

The DOC initiatives to generate popular support were largely symbolic in nature with little real effect. At the presentation at Baden-Baden, Governor Romney claimed that, “Over 400,000 petitions by citizens from all over the state rolled in…There has never been anything like this ground-swell of support – one of the most gratifying examples of the ‘voice of the people’ that we have ever witnessed.”[72] What this “ground-swell” of support included in Romney’s claim was an exhibit at the Michigan State Fair where individuals had their signatures collected electronically for the petition.[73] The most visible DOC promotion to generate popular support was the non-stop torch run from Los Angeles to Detroit to symbolize the “passing of torch” from the last American Olympic host city to the next. To working class Detroiters the promotion was little more than an interesting oddity in the local newspapers.[74]

There were local groups that not only were supportive of the Olympic push but expressed a willingness to make personal sacrifices as well. Frederick Kendall Morris, Jr., the president of the Grayling Homeowners Association, wrote to Mayor Cavanagh explaining that,

While our group would have been the most drastically affected by the coming of the 1968 Games to Detroit, we felt that both the tangible and the intangible benefits of holding such a significant worldwide event in Detroit would far outweigh any of the adversities which would have been brought upon our group and its individual members.[75]

The Grayling Homeowners Association was located near to the proposed site of the new Olympic Stadium and the members would have had to endure the construction traffic. While this offer of sacrifice implied as strong desire to support the Olympic bid, the true level of commitment was questionable since Morris wrote the letter one month after Detroit had lost to Mexico City.

Individual responses from working class Detroiters suggest that support for the 1968 Olympics was strongest with young adults. Young people were most interest in the spectacle of the Olympiad. A daughter of Italian immigrants who was newly married in 1963 explained her desire to see the Olympics come to Detroit, she said she was,

Hoping we would win the bid, not only for the Detroit economy, but for the exciting time it would be to have the opportunity to personally attend the Olympic Games in our own backyard. I was excited at the thought of having the Olympics in Detroit. My husband and I were both very athletic, enjoyed most sports, and would have loved to experience the Games in person. Being of limited means, we would not be able to travel to another state/country to enjoy this venue.[76]

The chance to see the Olympics in person drew the support of many Detroiters under 40 years of age. Mrs. Bernice Wardlow, a 37 year-old homemaker, exemplified the moderate disappointment of working class boosters when she responded to the news of Detroit’s loss, “No kidding, it would really have been a nice thing to see. You mean, this is it? It’s all over? That’s really a shame.”[77] There was individual popular support for Detroit’s bid for the 1968 Games however, the interest emanated more from a desire to attend Olympics events than the belief that Detroit would realize any significant economic benefit from the Games.

While working class support of the DOC efforts to win the 1968 Games centered not on the perceived economic benefits, the opposition did. The cost to the Michigan taxpayers would have to be justified. Social Scientist Paul Kitchin explained that, “Without acceptance of the principle that associated indirect revenue flows to the host city from this initial expenditure, it might well be difficult to gain public support for this scale of a project.”[78] Detroiter’s acceptance of this principle was questionable. The DOC had spent little energy to communicate to the citizens of the city and the state the direct and indirect benefits of the Games. Few specifics accompanied the general claims that the Games would be a “good thing” for Detroit. A young Detroit man of Polish descent, 26 years-old and working at Chrysler Corporation as a suspension engineer in 1963 explained his resistance to the Olympic proposals as,

While there would have been some obvious goodwill and attention to the city with hosting the Olympics, on balance I was more concerned with the long list of negatives. What would be the cost? Who would pay? How would we look if we screwed them up? What would construction traffic disruption do to my life? We would be building a new home in 1963 and 1964. Would there be any construction labor to build our house if it was all on the Olympics…Detroit’s track record on doing innovative things was not good and it was long ago in the past the city had the dynamic leadership to pull off one that big.[79]

Simply for this person the benefits of hosting the Olympics did not outweigh the costs. Additionally it appears as though confidence in the capabilities of Detroit’s “growth regime” was lacking; feeling that resources devoted to the Olympic effort would not be adequately utilized. The DOC had not resolved with the populace that the event would be worth the substantial expenditures. Detroit’s effort however was not unique. “Opportunity cost…is rarely considered by those proposing to stage the Olympics,” explained Kitchin, “Some sense of opportunity cost is essential in order to increase public accountability if and when problems arise.”[80] The opportunity cost of the proposed Olympic venture was central in the minds of the majority of resistors. Leonard W. Moss in a letter-to-the-editor captured many Detroiters objections to the opportunity cost of the city’s Olympic aspirations,

The determination of Fred Matthaei must be admired. Over the years, he spent some $250,000 in the futile attempt to bring the Olympics to Detroit. This amount of money might have paid for 200 full-time, four-year scholarships to Wayne State University. Other hundreds of thousands of public and private funds were thrown away in the flight of fancy to bring the five-ring circus to Detroit.


How many underprivileged children might have become physicians, teachers, engineers, social workers, or researchers had these monies been used for funding scholarships? How many ills of our community might we have cured through the use of talented trained individuals.


It is always difficult to face reality. The tumult and shouting are always more exciting than the long pull. It’s simply a matter of values. Some people like circuses; others would rather use limited funds for more enduring purposes.[81]

For Moss, the Olympic question was whether to spend money on “circuses” or use the funds to support education. He did not perceive the expenditures to bid for and host the Olympics Games as an investment that would yield tangible economic returns for the city. It is unknown whether the opinions of individuals such as Leonard Moss would have changed had the DOC aggressively promoted the economic benefits of hosting an Olympiad. What is known is that the DOC did not see a need to really try.

While the thesis of this study centers on class differences, no look at twentieth century Detroit is credible without considering the question of race. The African-American community was barely aware of the Olympic effort. In the issue of The Michigan Chronicle, the black community’s newspaper, following the Detroit’s original designation by the USOC as the sole American city to bid for the 1968 Olympics there was no mention of the award. In contrast, what was news in that issue was that, “Helen Vinson of Allen’s Super Market in the Les Estralitas women’s league rolled a 272 game, the second highest in the 20 Grand Lanes’ history recently. A 279 is the best compiled in a league night.”[82] When the USOC reconfirmed Detroit as the United States designee, again there was no record in The Michigan Chronicle. Only when Mayor Cavanagh named “18 negroes to the expanded 15 committees of the Detroit Olympic Committee” was there any acknowledgment of the DOC’s bid for the 1968 Games until immediately before the IOC meeting in Baden-Baden.[83] Even at that point, the Sports Editor of The Michigan Chronicle explained that, “Detroit’s chief rivals in the bid for the ’68 Games will be Mexico City, Mexico, Berlin and Lyons, France. Of these three, the latter two are considered Detroit’s biggest hurdles.”[84] It was understandable the Sports Editor of the black community’s largest newspaper would incorrectly assume that one of Detroit’s rivals was a city that was not submitting a bid. The DOC had largely ignored the African-American demographic in the city. In all of the proposals, the DOC professed Detroit’s ethnic diversity. However, the DOC always disregarded the black ethnic component. For example in the presentation film The Detroit You’ve Never Met the narrator explained the Detroit’s collective resolve to host the games, “We’ve made up our Italian – Scandinavian – Polish – Irish – Canadian – American mind about this.”[85] The DOC was not openly hostile to blacks in Detroit; they simply omitted any significant acknowledgement of the African-American community. In return, nearly a third of Detroit’s population did not attach any relevance to DOC efforts.

Suddenly in October of 1963, immediately prior to the final presentation, the aspirations of the DOC became important to African-Americans. Several black civil rights organizations ranging from the moderate NAACP to the ultra-militant UHURU, a small organization of Wayne State University students, used Detroit’s bid for the Games as an opportunity to protest the Detroit Common Council’s failure to pass the proposed Open Occupancy ordinance. This measure would have prohibited discriminatory practices in real estate transactions in the city.   The ceremony held at the conclusion of the Los Angeles to Detroit torch relay in front of the City-County building was the venue chosen for the protest. The NAACP organized approximately fifty pickets to protest peacefully. Others, including some members of UHURU were more adamant; they booed and jeered during the playing of the National Anthem. Authorities charged six of the protesters with disturbing the peace. Detroiter’s, both black and white, were disgusted with the booing of the National Anthem even initiating a three day fast by a Madam Vickerstaff.[86]

The uproar against the protest prompted explanations by the groups implicated. The Board of Directors of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP clarified their position,

We insist that Detroit needs the Olympic Games and we are therefore supporting its bid in the hope that the Olympic opportunities and Detroit’s housing will be equally open to all without regard to race, creed or color…NAACP pickets at the Olympic relay ceremonies last Friday have the full support of this board in raising for consideration and answer the valid issue of our community’s practice in the housing field. That problem must be faced and Detroit’s bid for the Olympic Games would be so much stronger and would have greater prospects for success if Detroit were and Open Occupancy city. This was the point of our picketing.”[87]

The NAACP official position supported the overall Olympic effort, even if it contained flaws or needed improvement by the passage of the Open Occupancy ordinance. UHURU leader Luke Tripp was substantially more aggressive in explaining the reasoning for his group’s participation in the protest, “I think white society owes the Negro something. If we can’t get what the whites have I think we should enjoy the psychological satisfaction of destroying what they, the whites, have.”[88] Moderate or militant, the African-American protesters did not confine themselves to DOC sponsored events.   The IOC members before the meeting in Baden-Baden received letters from individual black Detroiters. Those letters urged the IOC members not to vote for Detroit as host city because the Olympics represented fair play and Detroit did not “play fair” with many of its citizens. Charles F. Adams of the Detroit delegation described the situation in Germany, “In the interlude before the Lyons and Mexican presentations, word reached us that IOC voting members had received letters from Detroit…We were sure that the members would realize this for what it was and not take it too seriously. But it was discouraging news – and it allayed our enthusiasm considerably.”[89] The DOC ignored the black community in Detroit for most of the bidding process. The civil rights organizations in the city reminded them in the last ten days of the campaign of a primary concern of nearly a third of Detroit’s population. The presumed economic gains of the Olympics meant nothing to Detroit’s blacks. Changing the city’s image from a “dirty factory town” meant nothing to Detroit’s blacks. The Olympic bid created a visible opportunity for Detroit’s blacks to protest discrimination in real estate transactions.

Most likely, instead of seeing an opportunity to protest, resisting the opportunity cost or wanting to attend the spectacle, the majority of Detroit’s working class viewed the bid to host the 1968 Games with indifference. The news that Detroit had lost the bid was marginally disappointing to most. “I was kind of sorry to hear the news,” commented Emil Zieblo, 30, of Warren, “But I really hadn’t followed it that closely.”[90] Mrs. Hazel Lostutter of Dearbon Heights captured the attitude of the majority of metropolitan Detroiters when she explained that she thought that the Games would be “a pretty good thing, but I don’t think it’s going to make much difference one way or the other.”[91] Most Detroiters had marginal interest or were indifferent to the prospect of hosting the XIX Olympiad, if they were aware of the campaign at all. “The decisive aspect and, it can be argued the thing that sometimes differentiate the winners and losers,” claimed StephenWard about a successful Olympic bid “is the presence in the marketing message of a compelling ‘big idea’.”[92] The DOC had no big idea. Nothing captured the interest or mobilized the masses. Tellingly, Michael Pascoe wrote to Mayor Cavanagh two weeks after the IOC decision asking, “Approximately how much would it have cost Detroit if we had won them? Would Detroit have been better or worse off as a result of them? How much better or worse off?”[93] An individual with enough interest to sit down and write a letter to the Mayor had no idea what the benefits or costs might have been after the full campaign to secure the 1968 Games. The DOC did not see cultivating working class support as a critical element to a successful Olympic bid.

The DOC campaign in 1963 to win host city designation for the XIX Olympiad symbolized the economic and social structure of the city. Changing Detroit’s image was one of the primary goals. Private boosters and government officials wished to shed the perception that the Motor City was a “dirty factory town.”   Hosting an Olympiad would change that. Unfortunately, the DOC could not avoid their industrial legacy. They relied on their experience and worked very hard to produce a professional corporate quality presentation for the IOC. The leaders of the DOC had been groomed in industrial Detroit and Michigan; they simply did not have the skill set to appreciate the nuances necessary to influence “international sportsmen.”

The characteristics of the DOC itself changed in 1963, reflecting larger phenomena. Frederick Matthaei, Sr. and a small contingent of others, such as the “Beavers”, from the DAC had executed the previous six bids. These efforts had the traits of an exclusive club or fraternal activity. However, in 1963 with the addition of Cavanagh and Romney the club became a “growth regime.” The goal of the bid changed from having “a lot to offer the amateur athletic world” to using the XIX Olympiad as an instrument to promote urban growth.

Most importantly, the campaign to win the 1968 Olympics for Detroit exemplified the stark separation of the classes. The DOC was an organization composed of and limited to the elite. These elite initiated and executed the bids before the USOC and IOC with minimal contact with the working classes. As a result, the predominant attitude and reaction by the masses was one of indifference.

The DOC was not effective in articulating the many positives associated with hosting an Olympiad, but the fifth grade class from McGregor School was. Class secretary Miss Gayle Pedrie wrote to Mayor Cavanagh the reasons why the class felt Detroit should host the Olympics,

  1. The Olympics will bring more people into the city of Detroit.
  2. The Olympics will bring many people from around the world and will make international friendships.
  3. If Detroit is picked not only our state but our country will be famous.
  4. It will make Detroit the most popular vacationing spot in the world.
  5. The Olympics will be a good example of physical fitness.
  6. It will boost Detroit’s mass production and manufacturing.
  7. There will be more employment during the Olympics.
  8. We think you have enough space and enough money to support the Olympics.
  9. It will give a boost to our transportation, land, sea, and air.
  10. We think Detroit has the best chance of having the Olympics.[94]

It is tantalizing to speculate what might have been if McGregor School’s fifth grade class had had the starring role in Baden-Baden instead of the B-5000.

Works Cited

The Michigan Chronicle. Detroit: Michigan Chronicle Pub. Co., 1962-1963.

The Detroit News. Detroit: Evening News Association, 1962-1963.

Detroit Free Press. Detroit, 1962-1963.

The New York Times. New York: New York Times Co., 1963.

Andranovich, Gregory D., Matthew J. Burbank, and Charles H. Heying. Olympic Dreams: The Impact of Mega-Events on Local Politics. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001.

Barke, Michael. “Mexico City 1968.” Chap. 11 in Olympic Cities: City Agendas, Planning and the World’s Games, 1896-2012, edited by John R. Gold and Margaret M. Gold, 183-196. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2007.

Coaffee, Jon. “Urban Regeneration and Renewal.” Chap. 9 in Olympic Cities: City Agendas, Planning and the World’s Games, 1896-2012, edited by John R. Gold and Margaret M. Gold, 150-164. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2007.

Detroit Olympic Committee. An Invitation to the International Olympic Committee to Celebrate the XIX Olympiad at Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. Detroit: Detroit Olympic Committee, 1963.

Detroit Olympic Committee. Detroit’s Reply. McManus, John and Adams, Inc., 1963.

“Douglas F. Roby Papers.” Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

“Frederick C. Matthaei Papers, 1910-1914, and 1940s.” Bently Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

“Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection.” Detroit, Michigan: Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, 1963.

Kanin, David B. A Political History of the Olympic Games. Boulder: Westview Press, 1981.

Kitchin, Paul. “Financing the Games.” Chap. 6 in Olympic Cities: City Agendas, Planning , and the World Games, 1896-2012, edited by John R. Gold and Margaret M. Gold, 103-119. New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2007.

The Detroit You’ve Never Met. Produced by Detroit Olympic Committee. 1963.

Ward, Stephen V. “Promoting the Olympic City.” Chap. 7 in Olympic Cities: City Agendas, Planning and the World’s Games, 1896-2012, edited by John R. Gold and Margaret M. Gold, 120-137. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2007.

Witherspoon, Kevin B. Before the Eyes of the World: Mexico and the 1968 Olympic Games. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University, 2008.


[1] (Prerecorded victory speech, Box 103, Folder 12, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[2] Historian B. J. Widick identified five cause for the persistent unemployment crisis in postwar Detroit, “Chronic unemployment plagued many auto workers, particularly in Detroit, due to: (1) the effects of four postwar recessions, (2) the elimination of small manufacturers and the loss of defense jobs, (3) the impact of automation and technological changes, (4) the decentralization of the auto industry, and (5) the disastrous years at Chrysler, whose plants were concentrated mostly in the city.” (Widick 1989, 137)

[3] (Fine 1989, 71)

[4] (Kitchin 2007, 116)

[5] (Sugrue 1996, 149)

[6] (Detroit Free Press, October 19, 1963)

[7] (Detroit Olympic Committee Minutes, February, 25 1963, Box 103, Folder 15, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[8] (Newspaper clipping, Box 1, Douglas F. Roby Papers)

[9] (Detroit Free Press, October, 19 1962)

[10] (Letter from Lee Combs to USOC Board of Directors, October, 29 1962, Box 1, Douglas F. Roby Papers)

[11] (Detroit Olympic Committee Minutes, February, 25 1963, Box 105, Folder 15, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[12] Cavanagh was at the height of his popularity and in effectiveness in 1963; his first term as mayor. Widick described the infusion of energy in Detroit when was elected, “Suddenly it appeared as if a new day had dawned in for Detroit. Almost overnight the city gained a new image under the direction of the talented, articulate, and personable mayor, who soon became a favorite of the nation’s press and television.” (Widick 1989, 155)

[13] (Witherspoon 2008, 35-37)

[14] (Detroit Free Press, March, 19 1963)

[15] (Detroit Olympic Committee, An Invitation, 1963, 25)

[16] (Detroit Olympic Committee, Detroit’s Response, 1963, 11)

[17] (DOC Executive Committee meeting minutes, April, 17 1963, Box 103, Folder 15, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[18] Because of VISA complications for the members, the IOC changed the venue of the meeting from Nairobi to Baden-Baden.

[19] (Burroughs Computers presentation to the DOC, May, 1 1963, Box 103, Folder 11, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[20] (Frederick Matthaei, Sr. letter to Jerome Cavanagh, Box 103, Folder 11, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[21] (DOC presentation outline for the IOC, October, 18 1963, Box 103, Folder 9, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[22] (Jerome Cavanagh letters to Henry T. Heald of the Ford Foundation, Stanley S. Kresge of the Kresge Foundation, and Dr. George Harrar of the Rockefeller Foundation, Box 104, Folder 8, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[23] (Frederick Matthaei, Sr. to Jerome Cavanagh, September, 30 1963, Box 104, Folder 13,Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[24] (Detroit Olympic Committee, An Invitation, 1963, 1,38-39)

[25] (Frederick Matthaei, Sr. presentation speech before the IOC, October, 18 1963, Box 103, Folder 9,Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[26] (Detroit Free Press, October, 19 1963)

[27] (Barke 2007, 186)

[28] (Witherspoon 2008, 30)

[29] (Detroit Free Press, October, 19 1963)

[30] (Detroit Free Press, October, 17 1963)

[31] (First Semester Report Card, 1912-1913, Box 1, Frederick C. Matthaei Papers)

[32] (Detroit Free Press October 15, 1963) (New York Times October 17, 1963)

[33] (Witherspoon 2008, 31)

[34] (Witherspoon 2008, 45)

[35] (Detroit Free Press October, 20 1963)

[36] (Detroit Free Press October, 20 1963)

[37] (The Detroit News February, 17 2002)

[38] (Detroit Free Press March, 1 1963)

[39] (Detroit Free Press March 17, 1963; October 5,1963)

[40] (Jerome Cavanagh to George Romney, 20 March 1963, Box 103, Folder 26, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[41] ( Frederick Matthaei, Sr. to Jerome Cavanagh, 29 March 1963, Box 104, Folder 1, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[42] (Edwin Anderson to Jerome Cavanagh, 2 May 1963, Box 104, Folder 5, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[43] (Carl M. Weidem to Jerome Cavanagh, 29 April 1963, Box 104, Folder 4, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[44] (R. H. McManus to DOC, Box 104, Folder 4, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[45] (Detroit Olympic Committee 1963, 7)

[46] (Andranovich, Burbank and Heying 2001, 7)

[47] (Ward 2007, 120-121)

[48] (H. S. Greenwalt to Jerome Cavanagh, 2 April 1963, Box 104, Folder 1, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[49] (Douglas F. Roby to USOC Board of Directors, Box 1, Douglas F. Roby Papers)

[50] (Lawrence Weiss to Jerome Cavanagh, 14 January 1963, Box 103, Folder 23, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[51] (Andranovich, Burbank and Heying 2001, 34)

[52] (Detroit Free Press, March 1, 13 and 15 1963)

[53] (Detroit Free Press , March, 5 1963)

[54] (Detroit Free Press, March, 5 1963)

[55] (Andranovich, Burbank and Heying 2001, 28)

[56] (Detroit Free Press, March, 15 1963)

[57] (Detroit Free Press, March, 13 1963)

[58] The bill raising the “take” on pari-mutuel betting was important even after Detroit lost the bid for the Olympics. Because the bills were not tied together the pari-mutuel tax continued to go into the state’s general fund. Romney responded after returning from Baden-Baden that, “The money was not earmarked. What will happen I don’t know.” The state was able to yield three fourths of the revenue from the bill because of the Olympic symbolism. Speaker of the House Allison Green explained, “That’s a better deal that you could get from the racetracks if it weren’t for the Olympics. I’ve tried to increase in the past and got nowhere unless you give the racetracks half, let’s face it, they have a powerful lobby.” (Detroit Free Press, October, 23 1963; March, 15 1963)

[59] (Detroit Free Press, March, 3 1963)

[60] The researchers further estimated that the 1968 Olympics would bring at total of 1,720,000 visitor days for the duration of the Games and that total spending at the State Fair complex alone might total $75 million (Detroit Free Press, March, 21 1963)

[61] (Coaffee 2007, 153)

[62] (Frederick Matthaei, Sr. to Jerome Cavanagh, 20 June 1963, Box 104, Folder 7,Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[63] (Detroit Free Press, October, 5 1963)

[64] (Detroit Free Press, March, 20 1963)

[65] (UAW Secretary Tresurer Emil Mazey letter to Assistant to the Mayor Richard Strichartz, September, 16 1963, Box 104, Folder 12, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[66] The strong position of the UAW was one of the root causes for the automobile manufacturers’ decision to limit new investment in Detroit. Sugrue explained, “Labor relations were especially important in motivating firms to relocate outside of Detroit, or to expand facilities outside of the city. Employers left industrial centers with high labor costs for regions where they could exploit cheap, nonunion labor.” (Sugrue 1996, 1938)

[67] (News release from the Mayors office, August, 7 1963, Box 103, Folder 12,Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[68] (Detroit Free Press, March, 14 1963)

[69] (News release, Box 104, Folder 13, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[70] (The Michigan Chronicle, August, 13 1963)

[71] (Promotional flyer, Box 104, Folder 26, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963) (Geoffrey Coombes letter to Jermoe Cavanagh, April, 3 1963, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[72] (DOC presentation to IOC, October, 18 1963, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[73] (News Release, August, 22 1963, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[74] (Detroit Free Press, September, 14 1963)

[75] (Frederick Kendal Morris, Jr. letter to Jerome Cavanagh, November, 12 1963, Box 104, Folder 20, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[76] (Response to questionnaire, March, 29 2009)

[77] (Detroit Free Press, October, 19 1963)

[78] (Kitchin 2007, 116)

[79] (Response to questionnaire, March, 17 1963

[80] (Kitchin 2007, 118)

[81] (Detroit Free Press, October, 23 1963)

[82] (The Michigan Chronicle, October 20, 1962)

[83] (The Michigan Chronicle, March, 2 1963)

[84] (The Michigan Chronicle, October, 12 1963)

[85] (Detroit Olympic Committee, The Detroit You’ve Never Met, 1963)

[86] (The Michigan Chronicle, October, 19 1963)

[87] (The Michigan Chronicle, October, 19 1963)

[88] (The Michigan Chronicle, October, 19 1963)

[89] (Charles F. Adams, The View from Baden-Baden: One Man’s Account of Detroit’s Olympic Bid, Box 103, Folder 18, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[90] (Detroit Free Press, October, 19 1963)

[91] (Detroit Free Press, October, 19 1963)

[92] (Ward 2007, 134)

[93] (Michael Pascoe letter to Jerome Cavanagh, November 5, 1963, Box 104, Folder 20, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)

[94] (Letter from fifth grade class, McGregor School to Jerome Cavanagh, September, 23 1963, Box 104, Folder 14, Jerome P. Cavanagh Collection 1963)


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