JANUARY 5, 1945
NEW YORK, Thursday—This morning I visited the Metropolitan Vocational High School. An old acquaintance, Franklin J. Keller, is the principal of this school, which is pioneering in maritime education. The boys who leave this school are prepared to serve in the merchant marine, and during the war they are also acceptable to the navy.
After graduation they may go from here to the Merchant Marine Academy. But they may also go to college, and if they wish they may go immediately to work on shipboard. Many of the graduates have already made names for themselves as heroes on merchant ships in various parts of the world, and many others are working in occupations on land connected with shipping.
At 1 o'clock I reached Mrs. William Sporborg's for a lunch given in honor of Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt. To those of us interested in international affairs, Mrs. Catt is still an inspiration and a leader, and many of the women doing active work today can look back upon the first steps undertaken under her guidance.
I can remember very well how proud I was to be included with her as one of the people whom Mrs. Elizabeth Dilling considered dangerous a good many years ago, when her book, "The Red Network," first appeared! I had not yet learned in those days that one's enemies may be a great asset, but I felt quite sure that if I shared mention with Mrs. Catt, even if it was meant to be derogatory, it must be a privilege and an honor.
I am happy to have been included as one of Mrs. Catt's friends at this lunch, and just seeing her will make me go back to Washington full of the desire to work on some of the things which she still feels are important.
Last night Mrs. Morgenthau and I saw "A Bell for Adano." This is the play by Paul Osborn based on John Hersey's novel, with Frederic March as Major Joppolo and Margo as Tina, the charming daughter of the old fisherman who has to be made to believe in democracy before he will go fishing again. I thought all the parts were very well taken, and the play improved as it went along. In the first act I felt that there might not be enough in the story to tie it together and keep a sustained interest, but I was wrong. The play is good drama, and even the little speeches on democracy, which one might think would be difficult to make impressive, brought applause from the audience.
I liked the book so much that I was afraid the play would be a disappointment. I can report that it is good entertainment, and I think it is something no American can afford to miss.