MARCH 16, 1942
NEW YORK, Sunday—I left Washington Friday night by train and arrived in Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday morning. After breakfasting with Mrs. Mildred Jaster, Democratic National Committee Woman, and Dr. Howell, I took the bus to Oberlin, Ohio. There I was the guest of President and Mrs. Ernest H. Wilkins, and spoke in the afternoon at Oberlin College.
The intercollegiate conference being held there was sponsored by the International Student Service and the Oberlin Committee for Democratic Action. I was asked to talk on youth's stake in the reconstruction.
We reached New York City by train on Tuesday morning. It was foggy all day in Ohio. No weather for flying and even our train was an hour and a half late.
I decided that, on this trip, I would try to catch up on all kinds of pamphlets and manuscripts which I have been carrying back and forth in my brief case for months. I had crammed my knitting bag with as much as I could carry.
I am sure that people who think I never will pay any attention to the things they have sent me, will be surprised in the course of the next few days to find that I have finally done some reading.
The President has a friend who is deeply interested in the sea and every type of vessel that sails upon it. For years he has been making models until his collection has become one that will someday, I imagine, be the best historical record of ships built to scale that we have in this country. The other day he sent me the story of a Swedish ship, which many Americans have known as the "Kungsholm."
She was famous as a transatlantic liner and cruise ship of the Swedish-American Line. She has now been purchased by the United States Maritime Commission and renamed the "John Ericsson." and will be operated in our service.
Russel Crouse is the author of a short article which pays the ship a tribute, and which is printed in the American-Swedish Monthly. Like so many men of the sea, he feels that the "Kungsholm" has a personality and she knows and rejoices in having a share in the fight for freedom.
He closes with an interesting paragraph: "She couldn't have gone on being light-hearted in a world where hearts are heavy. But I am sure too, that she sees bright days and smooth seas—free seas again beyond the storms. We who know her are proud of her. God guide her safely to port."