SEPTEMBER 29, 1945
NEW YORK, Friday—Last night, in New York, I spoke at the closing session of a two-day forum held in Christ Church. Dr. Ralph Sockman, the rector, presided and the subject last evening was "The Challenge of the Future."
There were a good many speeches and I admired the fortitude of the audience, but I must say I have never heard such a high level attained by a group of speakers—beginning with Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson and ending with Grove Patterson of the Toledo Blade. Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce preached a fine sermon; but she managed to weave into it allusions to Republicanism, and she looked beautiful!
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Earlier in the afternoon I went with John Golden down to City Hall, where the Mayor paid his tribute again to the producers and members of the entertainment world who have made New York City such an exceptionally pleasant place for servicemen to visit. They have donated tickets for movies, theatres and all other types of entertainment. I am always very glad to add my mite of praise not only for those who provide the tickets, but for those who, like Mr. Golden, Mrs. Adler and Mr. Donovan, do the hard work of organization that permits distribution of these donated tickets to go on so smoothly, and who create at 99 Park Avenue such a pleasant atmosphere.
Yesterday's celebration was for the passing of the 10,000,000 mark in donated tickets. The four men who received the tickets yesterday all had very fine records, and in my heart I wished for them not only a very happy evening, but a future more peaceful than they have yet known and with the same opportunities for service in their civilian lives.
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The drive for the National War Fund must now come to everyone's attention. It is very important this year, because it includes the aid which we give to many of our Allies as well as the things we do for our own. The activities for servicemen are centered largely in the USO Camp Shows program; and since the monotony of occupation is well known, I think our men need more entertainment than they did during the war period. I hope therefore that contributions to the fund will allow us to do more than we have done before. USO Camp Shows has a group of special V-J Day units, which is an addition to its usual program. These programs will include a total cast of 1206 artists and will consist of 62 variety shows, 12 musical shows and 12 dramatic productions.
The War Fund has always been able to carry out satisfactorily all of its activities, and it could not do this without the backing of the public. I hope that this backing will again be forthcoming.