MARCH 2, 1944
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Yesterday afternoon I went to an exhibit prepared by the United Nations Committee for Greater New York. In an empty store, they have set up a model which anyone who looks it over will be interested in. The map on the wall with the lights going on and off is the first thing that catches your eye.
The object of the committee is to reach the man in the street by visual education, and with as few words as possible to show the need of world cooperation. The committee has succeeded.
I think if we could set up little peace centers with a model of this kind in every district of our big cities and in all small communities, it would keep constantly before us the things that are necessary if the world is to remain at peace, both from the military and economic standpoints. Then we could have a section for changing exhibits where controversial subjects, either foreign or domestic, could be presented for the periods of time when they are under discussion with the arguments on both sides clearly shown, but no conclusions drawn. That would be a way of making people think about public questions, and would, I hope, increase our efficiency as citizens.
Chelsea is the first place in the Borough of Manhattan to have this exhibit, at 420 West 23rd Street. It will be sent to other parts of the city, but it seems to me that it might be an interesting project for schools and agencies in different sections to get together and make similar exhibits for themselves which could remain permanently in each area. Then the current events classes might be constantly making and changing exhibits on contemporary subjects with the help of outside agencies. It is an interesting idea in citizenship education which may prove useful.
In the evening I interviewed Miss Mary K. Browne of tennis fame at the Red Cross rally in Madison Square Garden. She is now even better known to thousands of men as one of the best Red Cross club and canteen directors in the South and Southwest Pacific. Mr. John Golden and Mr. G. S. Eyssell, with the aid of the facilities of Radio City Music Hall, put on a wonderful show and managed to give the public a fine dramatic evening, making the moments when various serious speeches were made more enjoyable for the audience.
Governor Dewey made a fine address. To me, the most moving story was told by a field director about a colored sergeant who died in Italy doing his job. The mayor presented the heroes of the evening with a warmth of feeling subscribed to by everyone in the audience. Our servicemen stood there looking so young, and so typically American that I doubt if there were many hearts that did not beat faster or many eyes that did not fill with tears.