From N. Y. Herald Tribune, 1961 (exact date unknown)
Teaneck, N.J., Called Model of Democracy
It's the people-who make a model town.
Building, roads, government and, most important, its way of life - these are but products of their aspirations, and their work.
Chosen 12 years ago by the Army as "Model United States Town," after 10,000. were considered, Teaneck, N.J., serves as a prototype for the rebuilding of Germany and Japan. The Army made a film of life in Teaneck, to show democracy in action.
But Teaneck has not been content to "freeze" its progress as of 1949. While holding to its basic principles, the community, has pushed its development to meet the needs of a growing population whose horizons, too, were broadening.
To back up its proud story, "Know Your Town Week," was proclaimed last week by Mayor Matthew Feldman and his Council. The League of Women Voters joined in the celebration by mailing to all 43,085 residents its 64-page illustrated book, "This Is Teaneck."
Townspeople differ widely in economic circumstances and in the value of their homes, but jointly they have given Teaneck a single pleasant aspect of a trim, colonial, tailored town on the Hackensack River's east bank. Democracy is inherent in the community's major public shaper of the pleasant life. Its public Recreation Department, headed for 18 years by Richard Rodda, for example, in its vast program it sponsors a Retired Men's Club. Members include a couple of millionaires and some retired railroad workers.
It holds the popular teenage dances, and until he moved a few years ago, writer Jim Bishop dropped in regularly. This longtime Teanecker was active in many local events and it was at his home there that he wrote his popular books, "The Day Lincoln Died," "The Day Christ Died" and "The Glass Crutch."
When he gets home to Mildred St., singer Pat Boone spends a lot of time with his Little League ball team. Residents are high in the ranks of the arts, sports and industry. They are pretty proud of such other taxpayers as novelist Robert Molloy, songwriter Moe Jaffe, blind singer Al Hibbler, Eddie Ames of the Ames Brothers, jazz trombonist J. J. Johson, Yankee catcher Elston Howard, N.Y. Giants tackle "Rosy" Brown and Mrs. W. W. Rindlaub, a top ad executive in Manhattan.
Said Township Manager Warner Schmid: "If anyone checked, he'd see we still have the same characteristics and community spirit that earned us the 'model' honor in 1949."
As an individual of its school is perhaps proudest of its school system, on which it spent an astonishing 53.9 percent of its 1960 budget of $8,160,526. Its high schools were first in the state teach aviation back in 1932.
Juvenile misconduct is at a minimum, local government is largely harmonious and intergroup relations are devoid of racial or religious bias. All public services are modem and efficient.
With a foundation of old Dutch, Huguenot and Quaker families -- now blended with former New York apartment dwellers--Teaneck has kept itself residential. Except for a few garden-type apartments, homes are largely one-family and there are no factories. Route 4 runs through the community and the town owns the rights-of-way on both sides. Hence, no gaudy billboards, no road-stands.
Parks and playgrounds take up 20 percent of total area. The big park, Municipal Plaza, is the site of Summer songfests and concerts by the community symphonic orchestra and chorus; in the Winter they are given in the Community Center or Armory. The 81-piece orchestra, founded 20 years ago by Donald Mairs, is conducted by Saul Schectman.
No isolated Shangri-La is this "model town." It is only four miles west of the George Washington Bridge.