JUNE 3, 1946
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Last week I went out one evening to a meeting sponsored by a number of organizations, but really inspired by the young, democratic mayor of the town in Princeton, New Jersey. The audience was a good cross section, I thought, of this small place of some 10,000 population; and there were, of course, a number of men from the university, some of them veterans back on research jobs, some of them undergraduates. The newly-formed American Veterans Committee was one of the sponsors of the meeting.
The town of Princeton has organized to do its share in preventing starvation throughout the world. At first they collected and shipped a large number of tins of food. But then Director La Guardia pointed out that this was not the most economical or effective way to get food to Europe, because if UNRRA were given the money he could buy more food for the same amount of cash spent by individuals, and it would be the kind of food that was best to ship. In consequence, the town has set itself the goal of $10,000, which is now being raised.
In addition, Mr. La Guardia called together all the interested groups in the town—representing grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and individuals—and they are voluntarily rationing themselves on grains and fats. One day a week is to be a fatless day—no one will buy fat or use it on that day. Four meals a week will be breadless meals, whether you eat at home or in a public place. They are getting great cooperation, and a spirit apparently is growing in the community which, I am sure, will bring them success.
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On Wednesday night I spoke at the opening of the Convention of the American Jewish Congress, and was most interested to listen to the record of help which they have been able to give. Mrs. Stephen Wise told me that she had reopened the houses which had once sheltered refugees and then army and navy personnel. Now again they will receive and shelter refugees on their first arrival in this country. That must be a most rewarding task, for to the people who arrive from the European area it must mean a warm welcome and a rest before they start to rebuild their lives.
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I have just received a children's book called "My Dog Rinty," by Ellen Tarry Patton and Marie Hall Ets. Written to improve race relations, it is also a very delightful story, with charming illustrations by Alexander and Alexandra Alland, and any child would enjoy it regardless of what his feelings might be about the differences which exist among human beings.