People, Feb. 12, 1940

Staid, stolid Herbert Hoover, national chairman of the Finnish Relief Fund, Inc., posed in Manhattan, gun in hand, with noted Finnish Runners Paavo Nurmi and Taisto Maid, to symbolize the start of a new drive (see cut}. The former President welcomed the athletes as "ambassadors of the greatest sporting nation in the world," alluded rhapsodically but tactlessly to Thermopylae (where Leonidas and his 300 Spartans put up a stout fight against the Persian hordes, were massacred to a man). "Flying Finn" Nurmi, once world's champion distance runner, and his protege Maki, breaker of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!