NOVEMBER 28, 1941
NEW YORK—There were more young people at the meeting at New York University yesterday than the auditorium would hold and I was sorry that Chancellor Chase, Mr. Rex Stout and I could not talk to those outside, as well as those inside, at the same time.
I saw several persons in the morning, had one other appointment in the afternoon, did some Christmas shopping, and then attended the Night of Stars entertainment in Madison Square Garden. That is an extraordinary outpouring of talent of every kind. There was not a vacant seat in the whole Garden, as far as I could see. One committee had collected the money to pay for 1,000 seats, which were filled by servicemen who seemed most enthusiastic when their favorites came to the stage. Mayor La Guardia led a unique band in a unique way and as he was leaving, they burst forth with, "For he's a jolly good fellow," which certainly represented the feeling of everybody in that vast audience.
As I thought of the people all over the world rendered homeless by war's upheaval and starting their lives all over again, I was thankful for the spirit of generosity shown there. I thought also of the women representing many of the South American countries, who came to the White House on Tuesday to see me, after their meeting in Baltimore where they had been consulting together as to the best way of giving aid to refugees in their countries. We are not the only generous people in the world. There are many also in the neighboring republics who are bending every effort to alleviate suffering.
We are making great preparations just now, in the Office of Civilian Defense, for the celebration on December 15, of the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. The additions to our Constitution known as the Bill of Rights were put there by the fathers of our country to guard our liberties. They were promised before the Constitution could be ratified. We are, however, not always as careful as we should be to do more than give lip service to this Bill of Rights of ours, as the following story illustrates:
"To the newest recruit on the OEM publicity staff, one day last week, capital life seemed rosy. His chief, Robert Horton, had entrusted him with an important assignment; a rental agency had found him a comfortable apartment. An evening call to sign his lease altered the outlook. 'Religious affiliation?' the landlord inquired. 'Jewish,' he replied. Still apartment hunting, the aide this week put new fervor into his assignment—promoting the nationwide observances, December 15, of the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights."
I pray that we will take this celebration to heart.