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FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND

MONTH LY
REVIEW
Educational TV
Fewer but Larger Farms
Bonnie and Clyde in the 1960’s
The Fifth D istrict




DUCA IOh |AL
T
s
,
Educational television or E T V is the broad term
given the wide range of television programs that are
specifically designed for instructional purposes or
for cultural enrichment. Some educators use IT V
or instructional television as a more specific desig­
nation for programs used directly in the classroom.
Recently, because of the dullness that some attach
to the term “ educational,” an effort has been made
to substitute the term “ public television.” W hat­
ever the name ascribed to it, E T V is a widely ac­
cepted and expanding medium of teaching.
Television has great potential for educational
purposes. It enables the smallest school system to
enjoy the advantages of highly qualified teachers and
of an expanding curriculum. Classes with appeal
for only small segments of the population, such as
the mentally retarded, become not only possible but
also practical. Since all classes receive essentially
the same instruction, quality control is simplified.
The classroom teacher complements the studio
teacher’s presentation, providing individuality and
adapting the course to her own students’ needs and
capabilities.
It is natural that the “ telelesson” should be en­
thusiastically received by students who are familiar
with television’s attraction in their homes. E T V
enables everyone to have a front row seat and al­
lows trips around the world in a matter of minutes.
The studio teacher has the assistance and sugges­

2



tions of an entire production staff in the preparation
of a telelesson and has the best of visual aids to
make her lessons realistic.
Financing E T V Operations T h e lim ited funds
of most educational stations have hindered their de­
velopment. From the beginning, the Ford Founda­
tion has played a large part in the financing of E T V .
N ow Federal funds are available to the various
states through the Educational Television Facilities
A ct of 1962, which was extended by the Public
Broadcasting A ct in November 1967. In addition
there are several other Federal acts that pertain in
some way to E T V . These include the National De­
fense Education A ct of 1958, the Elementary and
Secondary Education A ct of 1965, and the Higher
Education A ct of 1965. Various state legislatures
have provided funds for E T V , but many stations are
still largely dependent on public donations. T o sup­
plement contributions, some stations charge a perpupil fee for each course they provide.
Types of E T V Systems There are tw o types of
educational television systems: closed circuit tele­
vision (C C T V ), and open circuit or broadcasting
television.
A closed circuit system predetermines the viewing
audience since only those sets connected directly to
the circuit can receive the programs. When the
viewing area extends no farther than 30 miles from

A TYPICAL CLOSED CIRCUIT ETV SYSTEM
USING MICROWAVE FACILITIES

INPU T
ST U D IO

SOURCE:

the studio, a coaxial cable can be used for trans­
mission purposes. This cable, usually provided by
a local telephone company though available from
other sources, is typically an underground one with
an amplifier every 4,000 feet to maintain a strong
signal. For transmission distances greater than 30
miles, the coaxial cable may be used in conjunction
with microwave relay stations. In this situation, the
program is carried to the microwave station via a
cable, transmitted over the air to another station
nearest the viewing area, and carried from there to
the schools by coaxial cable. The signals reach the
T V ’s through interior building wires running to each
outlet. The diagram shows a typical closed circuit
system using microwave facilities.
Open circuit television is the conventional type of
commercial television broadcasting. W hile using
the same transmission method as commercial sta­
tions, E T V open circuit stations are nonprofit and
noncommercial. O f those stations now in opera­
tion, about a third are licensed to community groups,
one-third to colleges or universities, one-fourth to
state organizations such as boards of education or
commissions, and the remainder to public school
systems.
There are two major types of E T V open circuit
channels: V H F (very high frequency— Channels
2-13) and U H F (ultra high frequency— Channels
14-83). Frequencies may be thought of as com ­



CHESAPEAKE AND POTOMAC TELEPHONE COMPANY OF VIRGINIA,

munications highways. Their use is authorized by
the Federal Communications Commission, and only
closed circuit systems that do not use microwave
relay escape FCC control.
A typical closed circuit system schedules class­
room series during school hours. There may be
in-service teacher training in the late afternoon with
adult education classes or technical classes for special
groups at night. A n open circuit system varies the
schedule by providing programs for general cultural
enrichment in the evening.
Both closed and open circuit television have in­
herent advantages and disadvantages. C C T V can
transmit several programs simultaneously and, there­
fore, provides more flexibility in scheduling. More
local control over program scheduling and content
is possible, too, since the owners and operators and
the viewing audience are generally all part of the
same immediate community. The main disadvantage
of closed circuit transmission is that it limits the
viewing audience and, therefore, the type of program
presentation. Only classroom series are offered, since
there is no demand for educational programs of a
general nature. Open circuit E T V has the advantage
of being able to reach everyone in the privacy of his
own home. In addition, these stations usually have
a greater availability of technical personnel and
capital. T h e main disadvantages of open circuit
T V are its higher installation costs and its

3

ability to broadcast on ly one program at a time.
In July 1963, the Federal Communications Com­
mission, through Instructional Television Fixed
Service (I T F S ) or 2500 megacycles service, added
31 channels to those broadcasting frequencies re­
served for E T V . IT F S is unique among the broad­
casting stations for, while the signals are trans­
mitted openly, they may be received only at loca­
tions where a more expensive special antenna and
converter are provided. Therefore, though the gen­
eral public can in theory receive the broadcasts, in
effect it is a closed system. IT F S transmitting
equipment is much cheaper than conventional open
circuit equipment. In addition it has the advantage
of being able to carry four programs at once. Today,
the use of Instructional Television Fixed Service is
not widespread, but it is gaining in popularity as
E T V channel designations are becoming scarce in
some localities.
H istory of E T V
Open circuit educational tele­
vision dates back to April 1952, when the Federal
Communications Commission reserved 242 television
channels across the nation (80 V H F and 162 U H F )
to be used solely for instructional purposes. Since
then the total reservations have been brought to 116
V H F and 516 U H F . The first open circuit E T V
station began broadcasting in May 1953 in Houston,
Texas, and by the end of 1967, 150 E T V stations
were in operation. Estimates are that by 1980, 94%
of the population will be reached by 377 stations.
According to The National Compendium of Tele­
vised Education, in the 1951-52 school year, “ two
schools were using televised education for systematic
instruction.” In 1967, 1,826 schools or school
systems reported using E T V , with 19,232,584
students enrolled.
Higher education enrollments
were reported at 461,431, and 99,107 teachers were
involved in in-service training through E T V . Even
allowing for double counting (some students are en­
rolled in more than one course) these growth records
are phenomenal. Furthermore, since all units did
not report to The Compendium, the statistics are
considered “ very conservative.”
Also, as reported in the 1967 Compendium, 578
closed circuit systems are in operation. IT F S is used
by 36 institutions and 15 other units are in the
planning stages.
A development of the 1960’s has been the banding
together of E T V facilities, both open and closed
circuit, into state and regional networks. Formation
of a national E T V network is now in process.
E T V in the Fifth D istrict Fifth D istrict states
boast many milestones in educational television.

4



South Carolina had the first and now has the largest,
most comprehensive E T V network in the nation.
The state system combines the use of closed and
open circuit facilities. The coaxial cable hookup
can transmit six programs simultaneously and
reaches every county in the State. Though all six
channels are not completely activated, there is a po­
tential for 84 programs to be telecast every school
day. There are five open circuit stations. During
school hours, the closed system serves secondary
schools and the open circuit stations provide ele­
mentary school programs. There is an E T V en­
rollment of 207,345 pupils in the elementary schools
and 87,351 in the secondary schools. A t each level
2 1 series of classes are offered in the curriculum.
There is also an extensive in-service E T V teacher
training program in the State. Professional educa­
tional programming now includes series for doctors,
nurses, dentists, pharmacists, lawyers, bankers, social
workers, and policem en; and a series for food service
personnel is now in preparation. There is also ex­
tensive programming in business and industrial edu­
cation and plans for in-service training of state em­
ployees. Telecasts are scheduled through the use of
the University of South Carolina computer.
W hile South Carolina, with its state legislature
recognizing the potential of E T V in 1957, had a
head start on the other Fifth District states, all the
states are making great strides toward eventual state­
wide networks.
Virginia has three E T V open
circuit stations, with two more under construction.
Roanoke station W B R A is one of the first E T V
stations in the nation with full color capability. In
addition W C V E -W C V W in Richmond is the eighth
station in the country to transmit on two U H F
channels. In Virginia E T V has been developed on
a regional basis, giving careful consideration to
geographical and population factors. One area has
proved a problem in the development of E T V . Por­
tions of the Shenandoah Valley in Northern Virginia
lie in the “ national radio quiet zone.” A facility in
this area that is consistent with National Defense re­
quirements of the Radio Observatory at Sugar Grove,
W est Virginia, requires a “ unique, especially-de­
signed highly-directional antenna.” Construction of
such a facility is still in progress, and temporarily
the commercial station in Harrisonburg is carrying
some educational courses. The other facility still
being built is in Northern Virginia where, in addi­
tion, an IT F S system is planned. N ow Northern
Virginia schools receive programming from WrE T A
in Washington, D. C. In the public schools of V ir­
ginia, more than 500,000 students receive some
portion of their instruction through television. There

is limited use of closed circuit coverage in the State.
The Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences
Division of Virginia Commonwealth University in
Richmond has an advanced system, however, and
six other institutions of higher learning use closed
circuit facilities.
North Carolina now has five E T V open circuit
stations in operation with plans to activate four more,
bringing 90% of the State within reach of one of
these stations by 1970. Though present to a limited
degree, in-school television is not as advanced in
North Carolina as in South Carolina and Virginia.
Instead, the State has centered its E T V efforts on
specialized instruction. Series have been prepared
for in-service teacher training, school food service
personnel, and adult farmer education.
Though
other units are planned, only one school system now
uses closed circuit T V . One IT F S two-county
system is scheduled to be built when funds become
available.
In the Fifth District, only West Virginia and
Maryland have no E T V open circuit stations in
operation, though some areas of both states are
within range of nearby stations. Both states, how­
ever, do have plans for statewide E T V networks.
In W est Virginia educators see in E T V a chance
to overcome many of the problems caused by the
mountainous terrain. Remote schools, hampered by
small teaching staffs and limited resources, will be
able to receive quality instruction at a minimum
cost. Overcrowded city schools will be able to make
optimum use of space and teacher skills. Morris
Harvey College in Charleston has been offering col­
lege credit courses by television since 1954 and is
considered a pioneer in E T V . Presently, the State
is receiving generous cooperation from commercial
stations in the broadcasting of educational programs
and also has plans for three E T V open circuit fa­
cilities, with the first to begin operation in the fall
of 1968. After these stations have been activated,
a survey will be taken to see what areas cannot re­
ceive any E T V programs, and appropriate steps will
be made to cover these localities.

Considerable

progress has been made in W est Virginia in closed
circuit

television.

Several

institutions

of

higher

learning use C C TV , and one inter-county system
exists in the northern part of the State, with plans
for another in the eight-county Eastern panhandle
region.
the

This Eastern area, portions of which are in

“ national

radio

quiet

zone,”

decided

closed

circuit T V would be the most feasible and the least
expensive form of coverage.

No IT F S units are in

use now or are scheduled to begin operations in West



Virginia, though a committee has been set up to
study the possibilities.
Maryland network plans include seven U H F
stations, all broadcasting in color. Schools will re­
ceive programs on a voluntary basis, with no perpupil charge involved. Funds will be provided by
the State and from Federal sources. The first
station is expected to begin operation in 1969, with
the entire network completed by 1973. A pilot
project in closed circuit E T V was conducted in the
public schools of Washington County, Maryland,
during the years of 1956-61. The Electronic In­
dustries Association and the Fund for the Advance­
ment of Education of the Ford Foundation sponsored
the program, and the Chesapeake and Potomac Tele­
phone Company of Maryland assisted in the effort.
Though financial assistance has now been terminated,
the County has continued the program with great
success. The use of television affords a substantial
saving over and above the annual operating costs of
the system. The circuit now links 45 public schools
in the County, and there is an E T V enrollment of
21,269 pupils.
W hile there is no formal plan for the utilization
of educational television in the public schools of
Washington, D. C., the City does have one E T V
station within its boundaries. The use of closed
circuit T V is being evaluated as a communications
medium between schools, to be available in the event
of an emergency. When not in use as an emergency
facility, the circuit would be used for instruction and
teacher training.
T h e Future of E T V
E ducational T V has a
bright future, not only in the Fifth District but also
in the nation. In 1966 the Ford Foundation sub­
mitted to the FCC a suggestion that a nonprofit
corporation be formed for the purpose of connecting
all television stations in a nationwide network
through the use of communications satellites. In
January of 1967, the Carnegie Commission on Edu­
cational Television recommended to Congress similar
objectives, calling for interconnection of stations and
a corporation to receive and allocate funds from
public and private sources to E T V organizations.
Accordingly, in November the Public Broadcasting
Act of 1967 was passed establishing the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting. Though many questions
were left unanswered, such as the permanent financ­
ing, leadership, and role of the Corporation, the Act
and the prospect of a national E T V network have
opened up an entirely new era in educational
television.
Charlotte B. Carmichael

5

The t r e n d t o w a r d f e w e r b u t la r g e r f a r m s c o n ­
tin u e s ,

a cc o rd in g

to e s tim a te s

p a rtm e n t o f A g ric u ltu re .

o f th e

The n u m b e r o f f a r m s

e x p e c t e d to be in o p e r a t i o n d u r i n g
m a t e d to be a r o u n d

FEWER
BUT
LARGER
FARMS




in

and

1 9 6 8 is e s ti­

3% b e l o w t h e

b o th

th e

average

D istrict

size

of

farm s

s lig h tly

m ore th a n

Since

1 9 5 9 , th e

U. S. D e­

th e

1967 fig u re

n a t io n ,

w ill

w h ile

p ro b a b ly

the

in c re a s e

2% .
n u m b e r o f D is trict f a r m s

has

d e c lin e d 3 1 % , c o m p a r e d w i t h a 2 5 % d e c re a s e in
the

n a t io n .

th e la n d

D u r in g

in f a r m s

th e

same

has a ls o d e c r e a s e d

m u c h s l o w e r pace, d r o p p i n g
a n d 5% n a t i o n a l l y .
w ith

an

te n -ye a r

These c h a n g e s a r e a s s o c ia te d

f o r th e District, f r o m

size o f f a r m s :

1 0 5 acres in

1968, a g a in

1 9 5 9 to

states,

Sou th

131

of 25% ; n a tio n a lly , fro m

2 8 8 acres to 3 6 9 acres, a 2 8 % in c re a s e .
D is trict

but at a

14% in th e D istrict

in c re a s e in t h e a v e r a g e

a cre s in

p e r io d ,

C a ro lin a

has

Am ong

shown

the

b i g g e s t p e r c e n t a g e c h a n g e s since 1 9 5 9 , w i t h f a r m
n u m b e r s d r o p p i n g 4 0 % a n d t h e a v e r a g e size o f
f a r m s in c r e a s in g 3 9 % .
curred

in

N o rth

S m a lle s t c h a n g e s h a v e oc­

C a ro lin a

w here

the

num ber of

f a r m s has f a l l e n 2 5 % a n d t h e a v e r a g e size has
ris e n o n l y 2 0 % .

T h r o u g h o u t t h e n a t io n , t h e i m ­

p o r t a n t in flu e n c e s in th e d e c lin e in f a r m n u m b e r s
c o n t in u e

to

be

l a r g e r un its a n d

the

co n s o lid a tio n

of

fa rm s

th e c o n v e r s i o n o f f a r m l a n d

in to
to

T h e re a r e 1 9 , 5 0 0 f a r m s in M a r y l a n d in 19 68
c o m p a r e d w i t h 2 8 , 0 0 0 in 1 9 5 9 , a d e c lin e o f 3 0 % .
The a v e r a g e size o f f a r m s is 16 9 acres, 33 acres
o r 2 4 % la r g e r t h a n in 1959.

1959

1961

•^ V irg in ia

1963

c u rre n tly

has

f e w e r t h a n in 1 9 59 .
acres,

31

acres

or

1965

1967

75 ,000

farm s,

31%

The a v e r a g e f a r m has 15 7
25%

m ore

tha n

ten

years

e a r lie r .

1959

1961

1963

The 3 1 , 0 0 0 f a r m s

1965

1967

in W e s t V i r g i n i a

in

r e p r e s e n t a d e cre a se o f 3 8 % f r o m 1 9 59 .
acres,

th e

average

la rg e r tha n

in

fa rm

is

38

acres

19 6 8
A t 17 4
or

28%

1959.

is
NORTH CAROLINA

N o rth
number

C a r o li n a 's
in

any

f e w e r t h a n in
98 acre s,

16 5,000

s tate

1 9 59 .

p e r io d

the

the

District,

are

o n ly
and

is b y f a r

The
39%

40%

less

tha n

average

farm

has

15 6

m ore tha n

in

a

decade

acres,

44

e a r lie r .
acres

or

1959.




1959

So u rce :

1961

1963

U . S . D e p a r tm e n t o f A g r ic u lt u r e .

1965

in

th e s m a lle s t

The n u m b e r o f f a r m s in S ou th C a r o l i n a n o w
55,000,

25%

16 acres o r 2 0 %

a m o n g a ll D istrict states.

to ta l

la r g e s t

The a v e r a g e size f a r m , a t

has g a i n e d

th is t e n - y e a r

in

farm s,

1967

On April 10, 1968, the Academy of Motion Picture A rts and Sciences nominated for its famed
and coveted “ Oscar” a movie based on the rise and fall of two of the country’s most notorious bank
robbers — B o n n i e a n d C l y d e . If the production of this motion picture in 1967 were merely a
coincidence, it was a most timely one, for that year zvas a golden period for bank robbers. N ot since
the post-Civil W ar raids of Jesse James and the John Dillinger escapades of the Depression have
American financial institutions been as severely threatened by armed desperados. The
resurgence of robberies of commercial banks and savings and loan associations has prompted
bankers, police, security experts, and laymen alike to re-examine this phase of American crime.

BONNIE

AND

CLYDE

In order to appreciate the threat posed by modernday Bonnies and Clydes it is necessary only to cite
the increase in the occurrence of robberies (armed
attacks), larcenies (sneak thefts), and burglaries
(breaking and entering) over the past several years.
In 1957 there were 278 bank robberies, but only
ten years later the number had risen to 1,730— a
startling six-fold jump. Last year’s historic tally
averages to an astonishing seven robberies each
banking day. Although larcenies have been di­
minishing since 1963, their total is almost 40%
higher than in 1961. Burglaries too have kept pace
by more than doubling in the last seven years.
As bandits become more daring, the “ take” gets
larger. Bank losses more than doubled between
1961 and 1966, climbing from $2.0 million to $4.8
million, and then came close to doubling again in
a single year, skyrocketing to $8.7 million in 1967.
One encouraging aspect of the situation is that as
robberies and losses go up, so do convictions. As
shown in the chart, Federal convictions under the
Federal Bank Robbery and Incidental Crimes Statute
have more than doubled over the last seven years.
A true comparison of total violations and convic­
tions cannot be made for several reasons: a number
of the cases are tried in state courts for other viola­
tions such as assault or m urder; a man responsible
for several violations may be tried and convicted for
only one of them ; or persons arrested during one
year frequently are not brought to trial until the
following year.

8



I N THE

1960' s

T he C hanging Portrait W h a t type o f person is
responsible for the new abundance of bank rob­
beries? Is the thief of the 1960’s a professional
criminal skilled in the art of stealing, or is he merely
an amateur who is a little short of cash? Does he
operate alone or as part of a gang using tactics
reminiscent of the Capone era? Does our modern
bandit rely on the tried and true techniques of safe­
cracking, or has he perfected new systems compatible
with our atomic age? The statistics suggest that
the contemporary crook is changing to keep up with
the times. By doing so he has proved to be just as
effective as his spectacular counterpart of yesteryear.
One very evident change is in the techniques of
safecracking. Today’s professionals have turned to
modern science and radioactive materials. The new
system works by placing a radium source behind the
safe and holding an X -ray plate against the lock.
The lock’s tumbler arrangement is revealed, thus
giving the crook the desired combination.
Contemporary bank robbers have an array of other
up-to-date tools to use in their quest for instant
wealth. They can equip themselves with short-wave
radios for monitoring police calls and use magnetic
drill presses for breaking into the bank or vault.
Burglars are taking advantage of these modern de­
vices and are constantly looking for new ways to
be more effective. Some are said to be searching
for lasers small enough to be portable yet strong
enough to penetrate vault steel.
The methods, as well as the instruments, of the

robber’s trade have changed considerably in recent
years, with the lone operator replacing the gangs of
bygone days. During the first six months of 1967
single robbers accounted for 70% of the reported
holdups. The professional bank robber is also on
the wane. Statistics indicate that the loner nowadays
is generally an amateur looking for an easy way to
get out of debt. In some instances the impoverished
amateur is so unlike the stereotyped, greedy profes­
sional that he attracts the public’s sympathy rather
than its wrath. A case of this sort occurred recently
in Norfolk, Virginia, when a young man walked into
a bank and handed a teller a note which read: “ This
is a holdup. I want $90. No more if you please.”
The teller put the money on the counter while the
young man asked if he might borrow the money
instead. After being told that such a small loan was
impossible he departed— leaving the $90 lying on the
bank counter. When arrested and charged with at­
tempted robbery 45 minutes later, the “ thief” dis­
closed that he was a dishwasher earning only $30
a week.
Not all amateur “ heisters” are this pathetic; some
can be quite ludicrous. It is not uncommon for the
first-time robber to be unarmed or virtually s o ;
some have been known to threaten a teller with a
loaded water pistol or an “ acid” bottle filled with
weak tea. Usually the single robber is a “ note
passer” intent on being as inconspicuous as possible.
This is not always the case, how ever; in one instance
a nervous amateur ordered a teller to fill his bag,
then discovered he had forgotten to bring one. The
excitement was too much for him, and he finally
fainted, attracting considerable attention from con­
cerned bystanders as well as police. Unfortunately,
the novice is not always this inept, and the chance
that he will endanger both property and life is very
great. The FB I notes that the amateur is some­
times more dangerous than the professional since he
is more unpredictable.
The frightening possibility that a bandit may not
hesitate to use his weapon is inherent in every bank
robbery. Many times the public’s initial reaction is
concern over the financial loss to the community.

There is a tendency on the part of most persons to
overlook the danger involved. J. Edgar Hoover,
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
explains the real seriousness of the crime this w a y :
“ W e must not forget the potential for physical
danger to employees, customers and even to in­
nocent bystanders during the commission of the
crime or along the getaway route.” The chances of
robbery being accompanied by homicide are high,
and no matter how clumsy or pathetic he is, the
robber presents an acute danger to society.
The lone bandit is by no means the only menace
facing banking institutions in the 1960’s. The re­
maining 30% of the robberies committed in the
first six months of last year resulted from attacks
executed by an effectively functioning criminal or­
ganization : the gang. Bank holdups committed by
bandits working in teams of two or more invariably
pose greater hazards to human life than those per­
petrated by single robbers. A n assault by a highly
organized band of robbers usually involves a bold
display of firearms, combined with a ruthlessness
not typical of the lone criminal. The gang is a
structured association depending on the demands
and instructions of a dominant leader. Its strategy
is well planned, skillfully executed, and almost al­
ways characterized by overt threats of violence. The
gang’s success is illustrated by its responsibility for
a disproportionately large share of total bank losses.
During the first half of 1967 when multiple-bandit
units committed only 30% of the reported holdups,
they accounted for 55% of the total bank loot ob­
tained by all robbers. Statistics for the same timespan also indicate that robberies instituted by gangs
are seldom thwarted. In the first six months of last
year approximately 92% of the gang attempts were
successful, compared to 74% of the one-man holdups.
T he T ypica l R obb er U sin g inform ation gathered
from a survey on bank bandits, the FBI has pro­
duced a composite picture of the typical bank robber.
The criminal who is causing the trouble for so many
banking communities is a male in his middle thirties
who works alone and is an amateur.

This does

Calendar
Year

Robberies

Burglaries

Larcenies

Total

Convictions

Loss in
$ Millions

1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967

540
678
919
1030
1154
1164
1730

298
352
393
416
395
551
660

117
220
236
222
200
156
161

955
1250
1548
1668
1749
1871
2551

474
471
687
803
793
834
1018

2.0
2.2
3.8
4.5
4.5
4.8
8.7

Source:

Federal Bureau of Investigation;




Loss:

American Bankers Association.

9

not mean, however, that robbery is limited to the
masculine gender, only that men outnumber women.
The man who robs banks is typically a fellow of
normal height and weight who seldom uses a dis­
guise. He looks like everyone else and makes this
one of his greatest assets. His attack will be staged
at the bank’s busiest time: on Friday between
10 a.m. and 2 p.m. W hen he enters the banking
establishment he will have an 86% chance of carry­
ing away the booty which will average $5,951.11.
The modus operandi of robbers varies, but the
typical bank bandit usually hands the teller a note
with his instructions. In this way he becomes just
another “ customer.” A s quietly as possible he will
threaten to use a revolver, bomb, grenade, or bottle
of acid.
T h e Cause Mounting concern over the resurgence
of bank robberies has prompted serious attempts to
determine the basic cause or causes of the crime.
The growth in population and the subsequent de­
velopment of suburbia seem to take most of the
blame. Rapid expansion of suburban areas has
greatly increased the number of branch banks,
savings and loan associations, and credit unions. The
very nature of the location of these branches makes
them more vulnerable to attack. Suburbia is rel­
atively uncrowded, there is less police protection,
and escape routes are generally more accessible and
better concealed. Suburban informality has left its
mark on bank architecture, making the temptation
for the robber even more tantalizing. Generally the
new branches have few security features and lack
the structural safeguards of downtown banks. The
extensive use of glass makes them look light, open,
and inviting. Most all of them have low, open
service counters and drive-in teller windows. But
the growth of branch banking is not the only cause
for the increase in bank robberies. A partial ex­
planation must be the rise in crime in general and
the modern, effective tools of the robber.
The Cure Bankers have m any protective devices
for combating both the vulnerability of branch bank­
ing and the new equipment of the robber. One of
the oldest and, according to statistical data, one of
the most effective is the armed guard. There is also
an increasing array of structural and procedural pre­
cautions that bankers can take to enhance their
business’ safety. Luckily for the banker, they are
all relatively inexpensive.
The building can be
equipped with burglar alarms, bulletproof glass, and
silent foot alarms at each teller’s window. On an
extra busy day only a minimum amount of cash can
be left at each ca g e; the excess can be kept under

10



time lock. “ Bait,” “ hot,” or “ decoy” money—
currency that is marked or has serial numbers listed
— can be included with the loot given to the robber.
This is especially helpful in obtaining convictions.
Cameras and microphones— concealed or uncon­
cealed— are strong deterrents to the robber. They
aid in the quick apprehension of the criminal and in
his later conviction. A hidden microphone with a
direct circuit to police headquarters or to the home of
an officer costs approximately $125. Another pro­
tective gadget consists of small rubber mats which
are concealed by throw rugs. They are used after
business hours and are electrically wired to set off
an alarm when stepped on. The whole set can be
obtained for a total cost of around $40. Considering
the amount of money lost each year from robberies,
the expense of these materials is a small price to
pay for safety.
In the event of a robbery banks are protected by
insurance, but when heavy losses occur, insurance
rates go up steeply since they are figured on the
basis of the individual bank’s loss rate. Due to the
recent upswing in losses, banks are facing either
higher premiums or increased deductible features.
The small expense of equipping institutions with
preventive devices is in the long run probably cheaper
than increased insurance costs. Also, with the new
equipment there is more chance of catching the
thief with the loot. Because security precautions
tend to reduce the number of robbery attempts, Con­
gress was asked to formulate legislation dealing with
minimum security requirements for financial insti­
tutions. The Bank Protection A ct of 1968, which
was signed by President Johnson on July 9, directs
the Board of Governors, the FD IC , the Comptroller
of the Currency, and the Federal Home Loan Bank
Board to promulgate rules establishing minimum
standards with respect to the installation, main­
tenance, and operation of security devices and pro­
cedures by insured banks and savings and loan
associations.
Bonnie’s and Clyde’s professional descendants have
made effective use of their legacy. The present
decade has thus far been an extremely profitable one
for the bank robber, but, as in the case of his
predecessors, his temporary success will bring about
his ultimate downfall. Both bankers and law en­
forcement agencies are making robberies more dif­
ficult and risky. They are fighting the robber’s new
techniques with modern methods of their own.
Their’s is a fascinating contest, and one that should
offer historians as interesting a chronicle as Bonnie’s
and Clyde’s.
Carla W . Russell

The

Fifth

Some national economic indicators have begun to
show signs of moderation since the passage of the
Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968 in
late June. The moderation in most cases takes the
form of a decline in previously rapid rates of growth
of the indicators. Though many economists have
forecasted the effect of the recent fiscal move, it is
somewhat early to determine with sufficient precision
its impact upon the various facets of national eco­
nomic activity and much too soon to perceive the
effects upon particular regions. The economy of
the Fifth District, at the time of this writing, re­
mains buoyant.
Personal Income Estim ates of personal incom e
for the first four months of 1968 indicate a 9.0%
increase over the similar 1967 period for Fifth Dis­
trict states, while for the U. S. this increase is 7.9% .
These estimates, prepared by Business W eek, also
indicate a 9.3% increase in personal income for April
in Fifth District states over April of 1967, compared
to an increase of 8.1% for the U. S. for the same
period.
Employment and Unemployment Seasonally ad­
justed District nonagricultural employment is esti­
mated to have dropped 0.2% in May to a point 2.7%
above that of May 1967. Total District nonagri­
cultural employment grew at an annual rate of 1.6%
in the first five months of 1968, compared to an
annual rate of 0.4% in the comparable period in
1967. On the national scene total employment rose
at an annual rate of 1.9% over the first five months
of 1968.
A clearer picture of economic conditions develops
when employment statistics are considered in rela­
tion to unemployment and labor force figures. The
unemployment rate nationally has moved from the
14-year low of 3.5% of the labor force in January
1968, up to 3.7% in February, and down again to
3.5% in both April and May. Though it has risen
again to 3.8% in June, this is partly attributable to
a greater than seasonal increase in the labor force
at the end of the school year. In the Fifth District,
the rates of unemployment in May were 3.0% in
Maryland, 2.7% in Virginia, 6.0% in W est V ir­
ginia, 3.2% in North Carolina, and 4.4% in South
Carolina. The weighted average for the District,



District
excluding D. C. for which May figures are not
available, was 3.7% , slightly above the May U. S.
rate. In all District states except Maryland, how­
ever, May unemployment rates were lower than May
1967 rates; the Maryland rate was 0.1% above a
year ago. June unemployment figures for the Dis­
trict are not available, but are expected to reflect
the increase in the labor force, shown by the national
figures, resulting from younger persons leaving school
and looking for jobs.
Business Inventories
M ost observers expect a
decline in inventory building throughout the re­
mainder of 1968, following the strong accumulation
which occurred during the second quarter. Some
of the accumulation may have been involuntary, but
steel stockpiling as a hedge against a strike in August
was a major contributor. For this reason, subse­
quent declines in inventory accumulation are likely
to be more pronounced in the durable manufacturing
sector. In the Fifth District a decline in inventory in­
vestment also seems plausible. Manufacturing re­
spondents to our surveys of business conditions in
the District have indicated some declines in inventory
accumulation in June following several months of
gradual increases. The impact of this kind of ad­
justment can be expected to be somewhat more sig­
nificant in terms of the national economy than in
the District due to the greater importance of heavy
manufacturing in other parts of the country.
Retail Sales O ne of the areas of econ om ic ac­
tivity in which a tax increase is ordinarily expected
to bite quickly is retail sales. The current situation
following the June tax hike, however, is more un­
certain than might be expected. The extent to which
consumers had anticipated the tax rise is unclear,
and a reported second quarter rise in the savings
rate may cushion the impact of taxes on future spend­
ing to some degree. Moreover, the extent to which
individuals will meet increased tax payments out of
reduced saving is unknown. June figures are the
latest monthly figures available, and they indicate an
almost negligible increase nationally, on a seasonally
adjusted basis. Durables were up about 0.8% from
May and nondurables were down very slightly in the
U. S. figures, though both categories were con­
siderably above a year ago. Automobiles were re­

11

portedly a major factor in the June durables increase.
In the Fifth District all categories of retail sales in­
creased in June, according to our survey respondents.
But the June responses indicated a considerable
slackening in the rate of advance from that reported
in previous months of this year.
Construction T h e sector of the econ om y about
which most concern has been voiced in recent months
is construction. Many have feared a substantial
choking off of construction activity in the face of
rapidly advancing construction costs and the rising
cost of mortgage money. However, there is little
doubt that a large pent-up demand for housing exists,
to some extent remaining from the sharply curtailed
construction activity of 1966. Now, with the tax
and spending law a reality and with prospects for
increased flows of funds to mortgage lenders, certain
aspects of the clouded construction picture have
started to clear. Other elements of uncertainty have
entered the picture, however, since the Federal ex­
penditure cut will affect public construction and the
tax rise will have some impact upon the building plans
of individuals and firms. On balance, many ob­
servers seem to feel that while public construction
may suffer, more favorable conditions will prevail
for private builders as a result of the tax and
spending law.
A partially complete picture of national construc­
tion activity is available through May and a frag­
mentary picture through June, at the time of this
writing. For the U. S. as a whole, construction
contracts were sluggish in the first quarter, rose in
the second, and are believed by some observers to
have reached their peak for the year.

Building per­

mits began to decline in April and the decline con­
tinued

through

May

and June.

Housing

starts

dropped sharply in May, and slightly further in June.
This has been interpreted by some as indicating that
expenditures entering the national income accounts

12


for housing may be off for some months to come.
New construction outlays declined in May and June
for both commercial and industrial building and began
to decline in June on private housing. Public con­
struction spending continued to advance through May
and June. On balance, expenditures for all kinds of
construction put in place increased in May. The
final June balance is not yet available. In the past
year some 40% of the increase in expenditures can
be attributed to price rises.
For the Fifth District, on a seasonally adjusted
basis, building permits were 34.1% higher in May
than in May 1967. For the first five months of
the year they were 14.1% ahead of the comparable
1967 period. May construction contracts, also sea­
sonally adjusted, were 26.7% above May 1967. The
residential component increase was 9.4% , and the
nonresidential increase, 45.8% . Preliminary figures
on building permits for June indicate a continued ad­
vance, contrary to the national picture. June con­
struction contracts are not available. Respondents
to our business conditions survey indicate moderate
continued increases in residential construction ac­
tivity and substantial continued advances in both
commercial and industrial building in June, all con­
trary to the national indications. Inferences are
difficult to draw from these comparisons, but it is
apparent that Fifth District construction is stronger
than in the nation as a whole.
William H . Wallace
ERRATUM
In the July 1968 issue of the Monthly Review, the
article titled “ The Federal National Mortgage
Association” reported incorrectly the number of
Fannie Mae common stockholders. The error is
contained in the next to the last sentence of the
first full paragraph of the left-hand column on
page 4. This sentence, corrected, should read:
Stockholders number about 9,500.