OCTOBER 10, 1944
NEW YORK, Monday—I merely mentioned the fact yesterday that Ethel Barrymore had come to tea the other day. I want to say that it was a joy to see her again, and that her charm and beauty have grown with the years.
I went to Hyde Park Saturday afternoon, taking a friend and two small boys with me. It was a busy, but very pleasant weekend. Dr. and Mrs. David Levy came to luncheon on Sunday, and we visited the Wiltwyck School at Esopus, N.Y. Otherwise, our time was spent in walking through the woods and rejoicing in this opportunity to be in the country.
Today I am back in New York City to keep several engagements and to see a number of people, which is what usually happens whenever it is rumored that I am to be here. Both in New York and in Washington, I can always fill up an hour or two listening to interesting problems that are brought to me.
A friend of mine has been sending me editorials written by Miss Ruth Taylor. They are largely on questions of tolerance and understanding between different groups of people. They are extremely well written, and since they go, I understand, to various labor papers and to the newspapers of various racial groups, I think they must be an influence for good.
A new radio series, known as "Eternal Light," and sponsored by the Jewish Theological Seminary in cooperation with the National Broadcasting Company, was inaugurated on Sunday. It is unique in that it is the first broadcast religious program which is not a religious service. The premiere revolved around the story of the famous Touro Synagogue founded in pre-Revolutionary days. It was to this synagogue that George Washington wrote his famous letter, in 1790, promising religious freedom to the Hebrew congregation of Newport, R.I. I can quote only a little of that letter here, but it is one which I think we should all reread.
"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of," wrote Washington, "as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."
One other significant line in the letter should be spread abroad to the world. Washington said: "There shall be none to make him afraid." Let us hope that will be true in the future for every man as regards his religion.