MARCH 25, 1946
LOS ANGELES, Sunday—Friday we took the afternoon train to San Diego for my lecture there in the evening, and then caught the 11:40 p.m. plane back to Los Angeles. I am constantly surprised that a plane which travels all the way from New York arrives on time; but I was grateful that it did, for we were quite weary when we reached Los Angeles again at one in the morning.
Saturday in Los Angeles I attended a luncheon given by the PAC and the Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions. In the evening I gave my lecture in the Shrine Auditorium. I was rather worried when I heard that it would be in such a big hall, but apparently they had no difficulty in filling it.
Since this lecture was a report on the UNO, I was able to tell more about the actual machinery which had been set up. I am happy to find that people seem really interested to know just what this machinery is and how it functions, and particularly how they can help it to function well. They are eager to know just what are the actual conditions in the other countries of the world, and I think it is becoming clear to everyone that there is a close tie between our own conditions and those which exist elsewhere.
Perhaps our very young people are helping us to see this tie. Here in Los Angeles, Miss Corinne Seeds, principal of the elementary school of the University of California, has helped to start what seems to me a very interesting plan. The names of 3,000 school children in one little town in Holland were secured and already 2,000 have become "adopted friends" of children in the schools of Los Angeles. This project is sponsored by the county board of education; it has the support of school superintendents and the backing of the head of all the Catholic schools in town.
Once a month, the children send a friendly letter and a parcel of warm, used clothing, shoes and food. If this plan spreads, it will of course be a tremendous help to the clothing drive held under UNRRA sponsorship and the food drive which they are now going to undertake. The children's efforts may have more success than their elders have had in the past, so at least we can applaud their efforts and hope for the future.
Spring is certainly the most delightful time to see the Southern California landscape. The hills and fields are green and I know of no more beautiful beaches anywhere than those along the Pacific. When I come to California at this time of year, I always remember my first visit here. Franklin K. Lane, then Secretary of the Interior, was traveling with us. He loved this state, and early in the morning he would send us huge bunches of flowers, saying that this was the state of flowers and sunshine and he wished our first impression to be of their beauty and of the sweet odor of the orange blossoms. On this visit I've been sent a number of the very decorative paradise flowers, which one does not see as much in the East as out here. I must say that the profusion of little flower marts along the streets adds greatly to the charm of the city. On Saturday I had a chance to walk through Olvera Street, the heart of the Mexican community, and many of my old friends there spoke to me.