MAY 20, 1941
WASHINGTON, Monday—My brother, Major Henry Hooker and I enjoyed the Dean Dixon concert last night very much. It was remarkable that a group, largely made up of amateurs, could be brought together through the conductor's ability and achieve such a good performance.
A small group of women have been able to finance the purchase of instruments. About forty people drawn from the community, of every race, color and creed, come together in this orchestra without compensation either to the young conductor, Dean Dixon, who is about 26 years old, or to any one of the musicians.
Last night 30 of Mr. Dixon's pupils at the Julliard School played with the orchestra. They told me that they give one public performance a year and, in between times, a few benefit performances. They hope to get more opportunities to appear and, of course, as they obtain gifts for the purchase of instruments, they can draw in more people and do better work.
On my way back to Washington this morning, I read Secretary of State Hull's speech. I must say that I swelled with pride because of the great restraint of expression and firmness of humanitarian interest Secretary Hull so ably expressed. I about thought some of the speeches which I have heard from Germany over the radio, and compared the sentiments expressed by Secretary Hull with those of Mr. Hitler and his subordinates. Our Secretary of State offers freedom and cooperation in a joint program for world betterment, and I feel sure that our own people will heartily endorse everything he says.
I also read two speeches, one of them delivered by John Brophy before the Pennsylvania State Industrial Union Council Convention at Harrisburg, Pa., on April 30th. The other was a speech delivered before the convention of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, in Philadelphia, Pa., on January 29th, by Charles E. Wilson, President of the General Electric Company.
Both speeches approach the same problem from different angles. But the spirit that lies back of the approach is so similar that one cannot believe that men of this calibre, if they could be multiplied, would not solve our difficulties in the general field of economic conditions, not only as they face us, but as they face the world. In travelling around the country, I felt more and more keenly the need for something which is presented in the Philip Murray plan mentioned by Mr. Brophy and which is suggested by Mr. Wilson in his general survey of future cooperation.
Miss Grace Reavy, President of the New York State Civil Service, lunched with me today, and also a group of students brought by Miss Julia Parker, who comes from Hyde Park and who is teaching school in Baltimore, Maryland.