APRIL 16, 1946
HYDE PARK, Monday—The memorial dinner given in New York City on the anniversary of my husband's death, and attended by his friends, was a great success. As we were all rather weary, I think perhaps the list of speakers was a little long, but I nevertheless had a very warm feeling, as though many people there were glad to see each other again and to draw from each other the sense of consolidated strength to go forward with the unfinished business that lies before us.
One of the things that is sometimes hard to realize is that no one, no matter how devoted they were to a man or a leader, can carry on any program by simply doing what they think that man would have done. It is impossible to tell how any man would have changed his plans or his objectives because of the changes occurring in the world around him. So in drawing strength from the past, one is obliged to think for oneself, to contemplate simply the characteristics that one found in individuals and the manner in which they approached a question, thus making it possible to approach our own questions in the same spirit, but doing it as completely independent people.
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On Saturday morning, in New York, I attended a meeting of the committee, which Dr. Channing Tobias and I are heading, in defense of the men arrested in Columbia, Tenn.
Then I had the opportunity of listening to two very good speeches at the Herald Tribune Forum for high school students. Bill Mauldin, the cartoonist, spoke very well, and he looks so young that I am sure the audience felt he was one of themselves. They could, therefore, take his advice and point of view with the feeling that it was given by one of their own age, in spite of the fact that he actually is older and has had wide, and deep experience through participation in the war.
I always renew my confidence in the future when I come in contact with a big group of young people like the youngsters I saw before me on Saturday morning. They have not had time to experience many disappointments and therefore their confidence in life and in human beings is far greater than that of their elders. I think that is why they are able to dream better dreams and have the enthusiasm to try to carry them out.
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In the afternoon, I motored up to Hyde Park with some friends and, in the evening, I went to the Jewish Community Center in Poughkeepsie and spoke on the United Nations. I found the audience interested and prepared to ask very good questions.
We had a very pleasant weekend. Sunday was a glorious spring day with the bluest of blue skies. Walking in the woods, seeing the little spring flowers, and feeling the warm sunshine and the soft wind made one rejoice in living. I return regretfully to town today.