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The World and Everything in It: July 8, 2024

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WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: July 8, 2024

On Legal Docket, challenging regulations for small businesses; on Moneybeat, the jobs report and the Phillips Curve; and on the World History Book, Eric Liddell runs for gold. Plus, the Monday morning news


The New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday Associated Press/Photo by Peter Morgan

PREROLL: The World and Everything in It is made possible by listeners like us. My name is Jason Hollinger. I live with my beautiful wife and five children in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I've been a fan of the World News Group most of my life. And now our whole family enjoys the podcast and our follow up discussions at the dinner table. I hope you enjoy today's program.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning! Business owners are fighting state requirements to stay in business:

KNOTT:  Well, it would be jumping through a lot of hoops and learning a bunch of things that don't apply to my business.

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket. Also, today the Monday Moneybeat: unemployment rises. We’ll talk about what that means. David Bahnsen is standing by.

Later on, the WORLD History Book, 100 years ago this week, a famous Scottish athlete won a gold medal. You’ll hear from the daughter of Eric Liddell.

PATRICIA LIDDELL: He loved winning that race. And for him to give up the 100—my mother said to me—it was no big deal.

REICHARD: It’s Monday, July 8th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.


KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Hurricane » Hurricane Beryl is hammering the Texas Gulf Coast this morning.

John Brennan with the National Hurricane Center warned Texans.

BRENNAN:  We have a storm surge warning in effect for much of the coast of Texas from the north entrance of the South Padre Island National Seashore, now all the way over to Sabine Pass, which is the border of Texas and Louisiana. 

The eye of the storm was initially expected to make landfall just south of the Texas-Mexico border. But then it made an unexpected turn over the Gulf and took aim at the ever flood-prone Houston area.

Mayor John Whitmire:

WHITMIRE: Serious rain could  reach up to levels to 12 or more inches, certainly beginning with six to 12 inches. So we will have street flooding. So my request, based on the best information, is stay off the roads.

Forecasters expect the storm to pass swiftly through Texas today and into Arkansas tomorrow, eventually carrying rain all the way into the Midwest.

Biden interview » President Biden is still trying to repair the damage from the presidential debate late last month in which he appeared to show severe cognitive decline.

He sat down for a pre-recorded interview over the weekend with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you ever watch the debate afterwards? 

(long pause)

BIDEN: I don't think I did, no.

Stephanopoulos echoed a question framed last week by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Was this a bad episode or the sign of a more serious condition? 

BIDEN: It was a bad episode. Uh, no indication of any serious condition. I was exhausted. I didn't listen to my instincts in terms of preparing, and it was a bad night.

He said he was exhausted because he had a cold.

When asked about taking a neurological cognitive test, he brushed aside the question, saying that being president tests his cognitive abilities every day.

And the president once again said no one is going to pressure him out of the race.

Washington Biden reaction » Biden also said party leaders have encouraged him to stay in.

But according to some media reports, numerous top Democrats are saying exactly the opposite. California Congressman Adam Schiff:

SCHIFF: The decision’s going to come down to what Joe Biden thinks is best.

President Biden recently said that the difference between winning or losing could be whether he gave his all. But Shiff told NBC’s Meet the Press:

SCHIFF: This is not just about whether he gave it the best college try, but rather whether he made the right decision to run or to pass the torch.

Fox News reports that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries just held a virtual meeting with top-ranking Democrats on all House committees about whether to formally call on Biden to step aside.

And reporters will be hounding Democrats returning to Washington today from the July 4th recess about where they stand on the matter.

Electoral map expanding » Meantime, the poll numbers are looking better by the day for Donald Trump.

Some states that were once considered toss-ups now lean toward Trump. And some states that leaned toward Biden are now toss-ups.

The latest New Hampshire poll had Trump leading for the first time. Gov. Chris Sununu:

SUNUNU: This will be a nail biter. It will be within 1 to 2 percent either way. The latest poll had him up a couple percent here.

And other states that have been reliably blue in recent years like Colorado, Minnesota, and Virginia, are now in play for the former president.

Attorney General contempt » Some House Republicans are planning another move to try and force Attorney General Merrick Garland to hand over recordings of President Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

Those recordings would reveal Hur’s questioning of Biden over mishandling of classified documents.

LUNA: We need to hear the tapes. They’re interfering with a congressional investigation.

After that recorded conversation, Hur found that Biden did wilfully retain classified documents as a civilian. But he chose not to recommend prosecution because he believed a jury would see him as an elderly man with a poor memory.

Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna is planning to force a vote this week to invoke what’s known as “inherent contempt.”

LUNA: With the speaker supporting this, I do believe that it will pass. And so how this will work is Garland will be required, out of his own pocket, to pay a $10,000-dollar-a-day fine for every day that he holds out on those tapes.

GOP lawmakers held the attorney general in contempt of Congress last month for not complying with a subpoena for those recordings. It recommended criminal charges against Garland, but the Justice Department said it would not pursue them.

NATO summit » Washington D.C. will host this week’s NATO summit, marking the 75th anniversary of the alliance. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says topping the agenda …

STOLTENBERG: Deterrence, defense on Ukraine, and also the threats and challenges posed by China.

NATO leaders plan to pledge to keep backing Ukraine’s military at current levels for at least another year. Stolenberg says allowing Putin to succeed would have serious consequences for the entire free world.

He also says NATO members are doing a lot more to pull their own weight.

STOLTENBERG: Twenty-three allies are spending more than 2 percent, which is the NATO guideline on defense. That is huge progress to demonstrate that the United States is not carrying the burden alone.

That’s a case Stoltenberg will look to make this week with the growing prospect of another Trump presidency. Trump has suggested the United States might not defend NATO members that don’t meet their defense obligations.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: when government licensing restricts First Amendment rights. Plus, life after winning gold at the 1924 Olympics.

This is The World and Everything in It.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s The World and Everything in It for this 8th day of July, 2024. So glad you’ve joined us today. Good morning! I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. It’s time for Legal Docket.

Well, the Supreme Court term is over and so begins our summer series on disputes brewing in the lower courts.

Today, government credentialing.

There’s a sense in which the government’s requiring service providers to obtain certification before offering them to the public places an undue burden on a person’s right to earn a living. There’s another sense where such credentialing could be thought of as consumer protection: shielding the unsuspecting public from unscrupulous vendors.

REICHARD: Yea, I’ve had experience with that. I hired a personal trainer who loaded me up with so much weight right off the bat, that I got four bulging discs. Very painful, and my life’s never been the same since. Wish I could go back to the day before I ever set foot in that place!

So I’m all for credentialing when bodily health is at stake. And this guy was credentialed, just not in the field I’d been led to believe he was.

EICHER: But as we are about to learn, there’s a downside when credentialing requirements aren’t closely related to the business being regulated.

Take, for example, this woman from Minnesota.

LEDA MOX: I am Leda Mox, and I’m an equine massage therapist.

Or, a man from California, David Knott.

Both run small businesses.

Mox is known in her part of the world as “The Horse Lady.”

MOX: Well, I have had horses of my own for the last 35 years, and horses have just been my life. I grew up doing rodeo. I am certified in equine massage, back in 1997. I graduated from the University of Minnesota- Crookston with my equine science bachelor's degree in 2007. I have my equine Kinesiology Tape practitioners certificate.

REICHARD: And in Knott’s part of the world, he’s known as the go-to guy to recover unclaimed money held by states. Individuals or corporations sometimes lose track of assets like bank accounts and uncashed checks. Knott earns a commission based on how much he recovers for clients.

DAVID KNOTT: I've been working since 2005 in this industry. I started the business in late '05, and then, you know, never a dull moment and been working hard ever since.

EICHER: For her part, Leda Mox taught horse handling for decades. She started a certification program in equine massage more than a decade ago.

MOX: The biggest thing that they learn is the hands on part of the massage. So learning how much pressure to use, how to listen to the horses, how to determine where the horse is sore by palpating the muscles, and you also learn anatomy.

REICHARD: So far, more than 400 students have completed the course. No complaints.

So what’s the problem? Well, Minnesota has licensing requirements for what they deem “private postsecondary education.” Think community college and online schools.

But little schools like Mox’s get swept up in those requirements. Noncompliance comes with fines.

Her lawyer is Jeff Redfern with the Institute for Justice:

JEFF REDFERN: In most states, the way this works is even if the law is written so that it applies to everyone, including people like Leda, they don't actually enforce against tiny little schools like that, because the burdens are pretty substantial. There's extensive record keeping burdens. Leda would have to create this big course catalog and submit her curriculum for advanced review by the state regulators. She'd have to submit to inspections, she'd have to have a plan in place to make sure that all student documents are kept in a fire safe repository for over 50 years. So this is not just like checking a few boxes and you get your piece of paper. It’s really quite burdensome.

EICHER: Over in California, David Knott got some news about his line of work from the state of Illinois:

KNOTT: Well, they sent me a letter in 2021 and basically said that I cannot continue providing my services to three of my corporate clients that I was working for and had been working for for years without a private detective license…

So what does Illinois want him to do?

KNOTT: Well, it would be jumping through a lot of hoops and learning a bunch of things that don't apply to my business. So, alarm systems, you know, being an armed guard, working on security systems, just a whole bunch of things that don't apply to what I do.

Knott faces civil and criminal penalties if he doesn’t jump through those hoops. He’s represented by another Institute for Justice lawyer James Knight.

JAMES KNIGHT: Everything that David wants to do, and has been doing on behalf of his clients is speech. He's reading public documents, he's communicating with the government. He's reading, analyzing and speaking on behalf of his clients, and that's all speech protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has made clear your speech is protected by the First Amendment whether you are speaking as part of your job professional speech or you are speaking in your private life. And the government can't require an irrelevant license in order for you to speak.

Up in Minnesota, Mox advances a similar argument. Free speech. Lawyer Redfern:

REDFERN: And the problem with that is that teaching is speech. It's protected by the First Amendment, and when the government wants to burden speech, even if it's not trying to ban it outright, anything that's a burden triggered by your speech triggers constitutional scrutiny, and the government has a burden of proving that its regulations are narrowly tailored to a really compelling interest, and I don't think there's any way they're going to be able to do that in this case.

REICHARD: I contacted appropriate officials in each state to get their side of the story. Minnesota doesn’t comment on pending litigation, and Illinois didn’t bother to say that much.

What I can gather from available resources is that Minnesota takes the position it isn’t regulating speech; instead, it is regulating commercial conduct. If Mox tells students they can earn money by becoming certified, the state says, that’s really conduct.

REDFERN: The problem, though, is that that's all speech, also. She's allowed to tell people the truth, that you can make money doing this, and she's allowed to write on a piece of paper that she thinks that her student has done a good job and is perfectly qualified to do this.

EICHER: And in the case of Illinois, its incentives don’t run in Knott’s favor:

KNIGHT: They hold an incredibly large amount of property. They hold billions of dollars. And in one of their recent filings, in response to our complaint, they talked about how in 2022 alone, they transferred $234 million from the Unclaimed Property fund into the state revenue. Because while they hold on to that property, they can use it to spend on other state expenses to help patch holes in the budget.

REICHARD: So the common denominator in each of these cases is freedom of speech and that’s the basis of each lawsuit.

Back in 2018, the Supreme Court decided a case not factually on point, but on point with legal principle.

EICHER: It involved the crisis pregnancy center organization National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and the current secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra. The high court found in NIFLA v Becerra in favor of the crisis pregnancy centers that sued when California required they hand out information on abortion.

The court found that requirement was likely a First Amendment violation on the grounds of compelled speech. The case was remanded and the rule never enforced.

REICHARD: So, how does that inform these cases?

REDFERN: Prior to the NIFLA case, there were courts around the country that had basically said that so -called “professional speech” is a different category of speech, and it gets less protection. And basically what they meant by professional speech was anyone who speaks for a living. Now, the Supreme Court said that's just wrong, that states don't get to reduce this protection that speech gets by imposing a licensing requirement. So that's been huge. Unfortunately, not all courts have gotten the message.

EICHER: Redfern says the states try to get around First Amendment conflicts by redefining terms.

REDFERN: They're calling speech conduct, you know, and you can, you can always redefine speech as conduct. It's kind of a verbal game. It's not speaking, it's conveying information about something. It's trying to persuade. It's requesting something. But of course, we're always, every time we speak, we're trying to achieve something. It's not speech for its own purpose. It's speech towards some end. So, I think that unfortunately, the Supreme Court is going to have to take one of these cases sooner rather than later, because there's been resistance in a lot of courts to following its rulings.

REICHARD: Still, my mind goes back to what happened to me with my personal trainer. What about those jobs that do involve the health or safety of people … or animals like Mox’s horses? Isn’t licensure for at least physicians and veterinarians crucial?

EICHER: Redfern says the trigger for First Amendment protection is when you are just trying to convey information. It would be different if the state said you need a license to do hands-on horse massage.

REDFERN: Now we would not approve of that kind of regulation at all, because horse massage is unregulated in most states, and there's never been any issue. But it wouldn't be a First Amendment issue in that case. It would be, you know, a due process issue or something like that. The same thing is true with doctors. Like there are regulations that say doctors have to have certain conversations before they can do surgical procedures. But courts have held over and over again that doctors have First Amendment rights when all they're doing is conveying information. I mean, that's essentially what NIFLA was about, and that's what this case is about. It's about regulation that is targeted expressly at conveying information. And that's just, that's at the core of the First Amendment. This is about pure speech. It's not about regulating conduct.

REICHARD: These lawsuits are still in early stages.

Meanwhile, Knott and Mox plug away every day earning a living, and battle it out with states to remove what they insist are onerous and irrelevant obstacles to their work.

PS: I checked for myself and found money I’d left unclaimed in Illinois from years ago. This job has its perks!

EICHER: Ah, the benefits of journalistic research!

REICHARD: And that’s this week’s Legal Docket!


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: the Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s time to talk business, markets, and the economy with financial analyst and adviser David Bahnsen. He’s head of the wealth management firm The Bahnsen Group and he’s here now. David, good morning!

DAVID BAHNSEN: Good morning, Nick. Good to be with you.

EICHER: All right, so the jobs report came in last week. It beat expectations with a jobs-added figure of 200,000+. But also previous reports from April and May had to be revised down. And the unemployment rate ticked up over the four percent mark. Those are the headlines. You’re better at reading these, David, what did June tell you?

BAHNSEN: Yeah, it was an okay report. It wasn't great, it wasn't terrible. Average hourly earnings have cooled a bit. They were up 3.9% versus a year ago. We had been averaging a little over 4% versus a year ago. The main issue was that the April and May numbers had downward revisions of 111,000 and the labor participation rate sticking in there at 62-1/2, you just were kind of looking for certain offsets to some of the more negative numbers, and they weren't really there. 

Nobody would say it was a terrible report, but it certainly didn't do anything to those “Phillips Curvers” out there that are so worried about a too-hot jobs market—those that believe wages are growing too much and too many jobs are being created, and all these things are inflationary and need the Fed to keep rates really high. There's nothing in the data suggesting that. I think that there are signs of the labor market slowing, but they're not slowing in any kind of disastrous way. And I continue to believe that the optics the Fed needs are there to begin cutting rates after the election. 

EICHER: So, it’s interesting, David, we talk a lot about this, that the Fed needs certain “optics” in order to move consistent with publicly available data. But you’ve said many times that the so-called Phillips Curve model—which is the predicate for interest rate increases as the policy tool to fight inflation—you’ve said the Phillips Curve is a discredited theory, maybe outdated or maybe never should’ve been considered credible in the first place. What’s the chance that the Fed would abandon the notion of the Phillips Curve as a driver of policy on interest rates?

BAHNSEN: Well, yes, bad ideas eventually get priced away over time, all the time. The answer to your question about whether or not it is outdated now, or maybe it was always outdated, is that it was always outdated. It was never true. There's never been a time where the existence of full employment or good employment is inflationary. There are times when, coincidentally, a lot of people might have jobs, and inflation may be high, but that's because inflation is always and forever a monetary phenomena, as Milton Friedman taught us. So you can have times in which money supply growth outpacing production of goods and services, and that could be inflationary regardless of how many people have jobs. What is not true is that there is an embedded tension between employment and inflation, which is what Phillips Curve advocates believe. 

Now Jay Powell said with me just feet away from him at a New York luncheon in October of last year that for whatever reason, the Phillips Curve model does not seem to be applicable right now to current conditions. So even though I don't believe you'd get Jay Powell or some of the other Federal Reserve governors to agree with my permanent evergreen rejection of the theory, even the Fed themselves are saying that right now their model is not working with a Phillips Curve approach. 

My answer to that, of course, is that any model that works sometimes and not other times is not a model. It's a theory. It is a conjecture, but it's not a model. And so either way, when I refer to the Fed needing cover, looking for optics, it simply has to do with the premise I've had for a very long time now, that the Fed believed they could get away with higher rates and help purge some of the excesses out of the system without a lot of collateral damage. That was a big risk. Most economists didn't believe it in ’22-’23 they expected it would create a recession, because that kind of tightening almost always does. We now have answers as to why it didn't. And I have believed for some time that the Fed would be perfectly happy to take a victory lap, to have gotten a lot of excesses purged, to have tightened monetary policy to some degree, and have not provoked a recession. But to tempt fate by staying unnaturally high unnecessarily, I simply don't believe they will do that, because the Fed is well aware of the consequences of overstaying their welcome with unnaturally high rates.

EICHER: I realize it was a short market week with the holiday. Anything worth noting in the markets or other economic data we should know about?

BAHNSEN: You know, Nick, I thought that the ISM non-manufacturing, the ISM services, was interesting. And as I talk a lot on the show about certain data points that come monthly, and even more so, certain data points that come weekly, when something is a big enough outlier. I always do feel it is useful to allow a little series of data to come to start gaging three or four week rolling averages. 

In this case, three or four monthly data points might be useful. Because nobody would have expected that you'd have services contracting two of the last three months. It was supposed to be up last month, and it was down, and in both cases, significantly so relative to expectations. 

The business activity component of their measurement here was really quite down. Now, it was very anomalous, and that means I want more data. But that's another issue the Fed will be looking at, Nick. If ISM manufacturing has been down something like 18 of the last 19 months, and ISM services are now down two of the last three months, when they've basically been up most of the last year and a half, that could indicate weakening economic activity and a lack of business activity materializing, that could be very concerning to the Fed as far as the supply side of the economy goes. So, I'm watching that, and we'll have to have a little more to say about it next month.

EICHER: For defining terms, I’d like to go back to the jobs report. This is one of many regular reports the federal government generates. These are all dutifully reported on the business wires. The jobs report, of course, is from the Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The government employs economists to monitor and measure and report, but how do they gather this info. and why is tracking these things important?

BAHNSEN: Well, I think that there's a lot of reasons, whether you're looking at various factors in the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Commerce Department, the Labor Department, there is a need for data. And in an economy of 335 million people, there's a lot of complexity, and some of the data may be of interest to policymakers that are doing policy in an arena I don't think they should do policy. 

I wouldn't legitimize across the board, all of the functions government is taking on, but I would legitimize the need for data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is but one example. But the amount of economic data that is available from various governmental agencies and bureaus is vast, from trade to prices to labor to wages to imports/exports. 

You know, I mean that we got the trade deficit number last week as well. So, all of these things are basically done with surveys and the various statistical rules, formulas, and methodologies that get applied to survey data and over the years have proven to be reasonably reliable. There's outliers, there's adjustments, there's seasonality factors. It's not perfect. It couldn't be perfect from any source, but the vast majority of private actors that have significant skin in the game have been reasonably content over the years. 

The fact that some are always looking for a kind of partisan conspiracy theory are somewhat chastened by the fact that the different political parties are in charge at different times, and so the data and the methodology doesn't change from one administration to the next. And so that tends to neutralize some of those concerns. 

When it comes specifically, Nick, to BLS the monthly jobs report is an attempt to look at this percentage of people that got a new job the month before, divided by the pool of people looking for a job. The labor participation force is measuring the amount of people who have a job or want a job, divided by the addressable population. So, they're measuring two different things. 

And then the weekly jobless claims is measuring new unemployment claims, and it is not a federal number. It is reported by 50 different states into a federal registry, and so the provider of the data are 50 independent states. So there's a number of different studies, a number of different surveys, and I look at all of them all the time as any serious data analyst ought to do.

EICHER: Ok, David Bahnsen is founder, managing partner, and chief investment officer of The Bahnsen Group.

Check out David’s latest book, Full Time: Work and the Meaning of Life, at fulltimebook.com.

Have a great week, David!

BAHNSEN: Thanks so much, Nick.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, July 8, 2024. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

SOUND: [GUN FIRE AND RACE]

On July 11th, 1924, a humble Scott faced five of the world’s fastest runners in the 400 meter dash during the Paris Olympics. The moment is the climax of the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire, but what happened after that famous race? WORLD’s Paul Butler has the story.

MOVIE CLIP: I won't run on the Sabbath. And that's final.

PAUL BUTLER: When Eric Liddell refused to run the 100 meter dash for his country because of his Christian convictions it was a crisis for the English Olympic committee. They pressured him to reconsider, but he stood on principle. Ian Charleson played Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire

MOVIE CLIP: God makes kings and the rules by which they govern, and those rules say that the Sabbath is his, and I, for one, intend to keep it that way.

JOHN MACMILLAN: He was an absolute winner. But winning was not everything to him at the same time…

John MacMillan is Chief Executive of the Eric Liddell Community…

MACMILLAN: His Christianity was at the center of his being, at the center of who he was, what he stood for.

Many people applauded Liddell as a man of conviction. But others believed when it came to the Olympics, personal beliefs should take a back seat to national honor.

PATRICIA: He was not a Bible thumper. He lived a joyous life.

88-year old Patricia Liddell Russell is Eric Liddell’s daughter.

PATRICIA: Oh, the press and people had been quite, “How could you do this? It's just a running of a race.” And He came under great criticism.

Eventually the team decided Liddell could run the 200 meter and 400 meter events and give his 100 meter spot to a teammate.

PATRICIA: For him to give up the 100, my mother said to me, it was no big deal. That was just his way.

On July 9th, Liddell won a bronze medal in the 200 meter race. Just two days later he ran two qualifying heats before the final 400 meter race a few hours after. As a sprinter, no one expected him to do well in that third race. Not only did he win, but he set a world record.

PATRICIA: He loved winning that race. He loved winning that race, but I think it was his faith that made the man.

That faith began at an early age. Eric Liddell was the second-born son of missionaries to China. He began attending boarding school for missionary sons in South London at age six. Patricia tells one story that foreshadows Eric’s principles.

PATRICIA: There was a quad there, like an area, no bicycles allowed. So anyway, one day, one of the professors was going through the quad on his bicycle, and young Eric leaned out the window and said, “No bicycles are allowed there.” Cheeky little devil, you know…[laughter]

After the 1924 Olympics, Liddell came home to a hero’s welcome. Everywhere he went, people flocked to hear him speak. He traveled across the United Kingdom headlining evangelistic meetings while continuing to run for the next year. He was dominant on the track.

MACMILLAN: He wanted to test himself against the best. He wanted to do everything he could to win, but he did that in a very sort of considerate and compassionate manner.

Yet just one year after his 400-meter victory on the world stage, he arrived in China to finish his studies before becoming a missionary like his parents. When he set off to complete his training, he was asked why, as such a promising athlete, he was leaving it all behind. He said simply: “Christ for the world, for the world needs Christ.”

In 1934, Liddell married Florence Mackenzie, a nurse whose Canadian parents were also missionaries. They soon had two daughters. It was a happy home. But it wasn’t long before international conflicts turned their world upside down. Once again, John MacMillan:

MACMILLAN: China was becoming very dangerous. Understandably, Eric wanted his wife, his pregnant wife, and two young children, not to be caught in the middle of that. So, he ensured their passage home to his wife's parents home in Canada.

In 1943, Japan controlled Northern China and began rounding up thousands of Westerners, sending them to an internment camp. Liddell was one of 1800 prisoners squeezed into a city-block sized compound. It was his home for two years. He took turns leading religious services and as an educator and athlete he worked with the children.

MACMILLAN: Eric shone like a beacon of hope and enthusiasm, and he made sure that children and young people were kept active, that they had things to do.

The last time Eric Liddell saw his own daughter Patricia, she was just six years old. She admits it was a struggle.

PATRICIA: As a child, I used to say, why aren't you with us? And then I met some of them, and I thought, well, maybe that's what's meant to be. You know, he saved a lot of children, survived mentally and spiritually. 

Just five months before the Allies liberated the internment camp, Eric Liddell lay on his deathbed. In a shaky hand he wrote: “Be Still My Soul, the Lord is on Your Side.” A Salvation Army band also interred in the camp played the song at his funeral.

PATRICIA: Be still, my soul; the hour is hast'ning on when we shall be forever with the Lord, when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored. Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

The life of Eric Liddell ended without earthly fanfare. But John MacMillan and others believe his legacy is important to preserve.

MACMILLAN: There is a danger that Eric Liddell, and who he was, what he stood for, his achievements might become a forgotten iconic figure.

The Eric Liddell 100 is a year-long commemoration launched in an effort to reintroduce a new generation to the life and legacy of Eric Liddell, 100 years after his Olympic win. It’s a great blessing for his daughter Patricia:

PATRICIA: It's changed our lives, not having him, but there were thousands and thousands of women who’s husbands did not return, you know. So how could we say we're special? Because we're not. And I mean, for me now, it is a huge gift, to have this remembrance of him.

That’s this week’s WORLD History Book. I’m Paul Butler.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: recent European elections appear to signal a general move to the right, yet last week’s U.K. election moves Britain in the opposite direction. We’ll talk about what’s behind the political shift. And, it’s growing season at Fenway Park. We’ll find out why some people know the park by the name Fenway Farms. That and more tomorrow.

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio. WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says: “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” —Matthew 9:36-38

Go now in grace and peace.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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