JULY 10, 1946
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Leaving the country at 8 o'clock yesterday morning, we reached New York in ample time for me to do an errand before going to the closing ceremonies at 99 Park Avenue, headquarters of the New York City Defense Recreation Committee. I went to the opening five years ago, and I remember well when Mrs. Anna Rosenberg, founder of the committee, started getting the organization together, interesting the Mayor and talking to all the people who eventually made it a success.
The people who worked at this recreation center for the servicemen who came into the city did a tremendous job, but I think they must have been repaid a thousand times over by the enjoyment which they brought into so many young men's lives. However, the staff at headquarters could have done little without the cooperation of innumerable other people, primarily people in the entertainment world.
Mrs. Rosenberg knew this, and so John Golden, the theatrical producer, who had done a similar job in World War I, was urged to get into harness again. Under his leadership, every type of entertainment in the city extended hospitality to the men of the services, either as they went out to distant parts of the world or as they returned. Many a boy will never forget this center, which gave him information which he needed and made it possible for him to enjoy his last day or two in his own country.
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Mayor O'Dwyer must have been glad to get this building back, since buildings are scarce, and I think everybody present yesterday was glad that it was possible to turn it back to him for peacetime purposes. A pledge was given by Mrs. Rosenberg and Mrs. Julius Ochs Adler, chairman of the committee, that the organizations that had worked so hard together during the war would continue to serve the men in the armed forces during peacetime. Secretary of War Patterson, who gave a very fine address, said that these services were still much needed, as there are 1,500,000 men in the Army at present and there will be 1,000,000 still in the Army a year from now.
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My niece and a young friend of hers, who have been staying with me for a week, came to town with us and spent the afternoon window-shopping. They assured me that they had been into the Public Library at 42nd Street and into every shop on Fifth Avenue in that neighborhood!
In the evening we went to the Radio City Music Hall, which is really an exciting place to visit for the first time. I enjoyed the movie, "Anna and the King of Siam," very much indeed. I think Irene Dunne makes it seem quite reasonable that Anna could "get away" with her outrageous behavior toward the King and finally win his regard, admiration and affection.
As for the rest of the show, it seemed to me that "The Strange Interlude," as done by the Arnaut Brothers, was one of the most amusing things I had ever seen. I had never heard either a cock or a hen converse in quite such eloquent tones, but they were completely understandable and I was quite sure I could translate what they were saying to each other.
Altogether, yesterday was a full and busy day, and now, after another early start, we are back in the country awaiting a small and cozy party of 160 young people!
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1946, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.; REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR PART PROHIBITED.)