William C. Bacon, in The Annals of the Bohemian Club for the years 1907-1972 (Vol V., Centennial Edition: Bohemian Club, 1972)
It is thought that one rather interesting period in Bohemia’s history merits a little space in these annals. Preliminarily let’s record that in 1944 a then young man, after twelve years of membership, was selected by the nominating committee as the next president of the Club. It is reported that Palmer Fuller, Jr., the chairman of that committee, called on the selected candidate and said to him, “Bill, it becomes my duty to tell you that our committee has, after long consideration, decided we must reach into the bottom of the barrel for our next president. And guess what we came up with your name!” He then tempered that with the statement that the candidate having served on all club committees, as chairman of the Jinks committee, as secretary and as director several times of the Board of Directors appeared to be prepared for the job.
The manager of the Club at that time was a man named Crabb. When the report of the nominating committee with the name of the nominee for president on it was posted, the manager immediately resigned for reasons known to him and the nominee. In his Thanksgiving dinner talk that year Fred Thompson said, “I shall always think of this administration as the “blue ointment regime”.
The period from 1944 to 1946 made up part of the time our country was engaged in the second world war. They were difficult years with many restrictions imposed upon the way of life of our people. Among them was the rationing of certain foods and gasoline which was felt by Bohemians like all other citizens and the limitations made operations a real problem, particularly in the dining rooms and bars, and whenever transportation was required. This was aggravated by the discovery of the new administration that the former manager left it short some 16,000 ration points. Fortunately, the Office of Price Administration was understanding and made it possible for the Club to carry on satisfactorily.
It was during this administration that San Francisco was selected for the meeting of The United Nations Conference on International Organization, which brought to our city delegations from fifty nations of the world headed by their foremost diplomats. The purpose of that conference was to prepare and adopt a charter of a World Organization to maintain peace for all nations and to promote the welfare of all men. After two months of serious effort the conference completed, approved and unanimously adopted the United Nations Charter. President Harry S. Truman came to the closing plenary session of the Conference on June 26, 1945 to express the thanks of our nation to the visiting delegations for their significant achievement.
Our little principality of Bohemia, while not a member of the conference, played an important part in getting it under way and entertaining the representatives of the member nations during their stay in our city. At the opening session Bohemian Earl Warren, then Governor of California, on behalf of our State, welcomed the visitors to California, and Bohemian Roger Lapham, then Mayor of San Francisco, extended the traditional hospitality of our city to them.