MAY 31, 1940
NEW YORK, Thursday—All day yesterday we journeyed by train through the familiar scenery of New York State. Usually I motor through this part of the country, but the Erie Railroad takes one through some lovely places. The light green of the hillsides, darkened here and there by evergreen trees, with the full and swiftly flowing brooks and rivers, makes the trip very delightful. Mountain laurel brightens the hills, and the lilacs and many of the flowering shrubs and spring bulbs are out in people's gardens. I wonder if my own lilacs will be gone when I next go home.
The familiar names which I have never attached to any railroad station before, and the parts of towns and villages which lie near the railroad tracks, but which you do not often see when motoring, were very interesting—Hancock, Owego, Elmira, Hornell, Corning went by like an unfolding panorama. I liked the name "Friendship" for a town. It would be reassuring if you were a stranger.
Finally, we came to Olean. I had not been in Olean for a good many years, and then I was organizing for the Democratic State Committee. Coming back to give a nonpartisan lecture seemed odd, but I must say I found it easier to talk about things which do not center around a political party.
I had the pleasure of seeing Judge Dowd and his two daughters. He is an old and loyal friend and it is always good to see him. We had supper with him after the lecture, while we waited for our train back to New York City. He is coming to Washington Tuesday, so I'll see him there.
Today I saw two gentlemen before going to my broadcast. I left immediately after that for Westchester County, where I am giving a Memorial Day address at Ferncliff Cemetery. In the evening a few friends dined with me in New York City.
Tomorrow the members of the Good Neighbor Tour of the General Federation of Women's Clubs will sail for a visit to the South American Republics. I think it is very significant that they are going at this time to cement friendship between us and our sister nations to the south of us when the countries across the Atlantic Ocean are engaged in a life and death struggle which cannot fail to bring untold suffering to many, no matter which way it turns.
I hope these women will take my good wishes to all those whom they visit and that they will have a safe and pleasant journey. On their return they will have the satisfaction of knowing they have made new contacts and new friendships between peoples who desire to remain at peace.