July 17, 2007
year after industrialist Andrew Carnegie established the Endowment for International Peace, Riverside was host to the Conference for Peace and Arbitration. Among those attending were naturalist John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt’s Vice President Charles W. Fairbanks and Frank Miller’s good friend, former Stanford University President David Starr Jordan.
Three years after the first Riverside conference, war erupted in Europe. In the spring of 1917 the United States entered World War I, the “war to end all wars.” The war affected Miller and the Mission Inn. His good friend, Roycroft founder Elbert Hubbard and his wife, lost their lives in Germany’s sinking of the ocean liner, the Lusitania, in 1915. Several Mission Inn employees would serve in the war. Miller involved himself in the efforts, as a member of the National War Work Council Committee, an organization formed to look after the needs of those in the military. The Armistice of November 1918 held promise of world peace.
In 1925 Miller, his wife Marion, sister, Alice Richardson, and daughter and son-in-law DeWitt and Allis Hutchings, traveled to Asia. In their absence, the citizens of Riverside erected the Peace Tower and Friendship Bridge on Mt. Rubidoux. A dedication ceremony was held on December 13, 1925 following the Millers’ return. A plaque was unveiled that day with the following,
Peace with Justice for all men. Anno Domini 1925. This bridge
was built by neighbors and friends of Frank Augustus Miller in
recognition of his constant labor in the promotion of civic beauty,
community righteousness and world peace.
DeWitt Hutchings, Miller’s son-in-law wrote (Hutchings, n.d.),
The statement was made that the Peace Tower was the first monument
The peace effort in Riverside and Miller’s involvement continued. That first conference in 1911 evolved into an annual event held at the Mission Inn. According to author Esther Klotz (Klotz, 1982), the Institute of World Affairs was formed, for “the study and discussion of problems affecting the entire world, hoping that understanding would lead to world peace.” (p. 89). Future United States president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, attended the conference 1940 while a student at Stanford University. Today, the World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California can trace its origins to the 1911 conference.
to be dedicated to the “Ideal of International Peace.” This tower will
point the way to much new and vital thought and work seeking to
find some better way than war (p.18).
Miller believed that the issue of peace was an important part of a student’s education. He organized an International Relations Institute to help teachers. Several identical United States flags that Miller provided the schools are included in the Mission Inn collections. According to his biographer Zona Gale, he paid for making and mounting literally hundreds of United States flags with the white peace-time border “Peace Among All Nations.” The flags were distributed (Gale, 1938) to many of the schools in California. (p. 113).