DECEMBER 3, 1945
NEW YORK, Sunday—Friday afternoon my son, Elliott, and his wife went with me to the ceremony on board the carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, which is getting ready for a trial cruise. We attended a simple ceremony at which the most interesting event, from my point of view, was the presentation of a certificate to the captain and all the men who had been connected with the outfitting of the ship from the very beginning. These certificates symbolize the ownership of a plank in the ship, and are called "Plank Walkers" certificates. I am sure they are much prized by everyone and handed down from generation to generation.
I was so glad of the opportunity to see some of the men who will sail on this ship. Many of them are very young and, as I looked at them, there was a great thankfulness in my heart that the youngster of this age no longer needs to go out in these great battleships to war. Nevertheless, officers and men alike carry a heavy responsibility, for this ship, like many others belonging to our navy, will visit many ports throughout the world, and the men on board can carry a message of goodwill and foster friendship between our nation and the other nations of the world. Every traveler going from one nation to another is, in a way, an ambassador of peace; but the men in uniform are really our official ambassadors almost as much as if they belonged to the diplomatic corps. I hope my husband's spirit of goodwill will go with the ship and bring her good luck!
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I received a long telegram the other day from the president of the United Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Employees of America, CIO, telling me of the strike which was made inevitable by Sewell Avery's refusal to arbitrate union proposals for the betterment of work and conditions of Montgomery Ward employees. This has been a long and almost continuous struggle between management and employees in this particular business. It seems to me that when the union is willing to accept any arbitrator appointed either by "President Truman, Secretary Wallace, Secretary Schwellenbach, the President of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce or the American Arbitration Association," the employer should be willing to accept and abide by the decision of such an arbitrator.
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The other morning I had the great pleasure of calling on Henry Morgenthau, Sr. I hope if I reach the age of 89 that I will retain the keenness of intellect and interest in the world scene that Mr. Morgenthau has today. Older people can look at the present with so much perspective if their lives have moved in interesting and wide spheres. We had a pleasant half hour which was thought-provoking for me.