JANUARY 20, 1947
NEW YORK, Sunday—In the past few days I have had a number of visitors who brought me information about various parts of the world. Last Thursday I saw, first, two gentlemen from Trieste and then a gentleman from China. Later I saw two ladies, one of whom talked about radio programs and the other about the needs of a great woman's college. Finally I talked to a young American woman who, with her four children, has just returned from Germany, where she lived through the years of the war even though she was divorced from her husband in 1942 and he has remarried.
At luncheon I was joined by Jan Struther, who wrote "Mrs. Miniver" and who is back in the United States, Mrs. Genevieve Forbes Herrick, who is just back from Germany with a very interesting report on Wac activities, and Miss Helen Ferris, editor of the Junior Literary Guild.
In the afternoon I went to the Town Hall for a half hour of wonderful music by three singers who are just starting out on concert tours in this country. One of them was the Danish baritone, Frank Wennerholm, who has already made his reputation in opera in Stockholm; a very charming young soprano, Miss Lucy Kelston, sang two duets with him; and I was also impressed by Kenneth Spencer, a young Negro baritone who has sung in "Show Boat" and who is now starting to give concerts. To be privileged to listen to them was a pleasant break in a busy day and gave me a sense of exhilaration, because you felt new talent was going out to give inspiration to the people of our country.
To finish up a busy day, I attended the American Veterans Committee's foreign correspondents' dinner. These young foreign correspondents spoke on the theme of "The Search for World Order." Eric Sevareid, who was chairman of the sponsoring committee, made a deep impression upon me because of his very evident sincerity. Speaking on "Prospects for Peace," he pointed out that the war had come about not because of any one thing, but because of many things; and achieving the peace therefore was not going to be simple, but complicated.
Oliver Harrington spoke on colonies and the colored races. He dealt, of course, with one of the subjects which will affect peace very greatly in the future, for if we cannot learn to live on a basis of mutual understanding and respect with the colored races of the world, the white race, being far less numerous, has a rather serious problem before it.
Unfortunately, I had to leave before the last four speeches were made. But I have a feeling that as the evening developed there were certainly different points of view among these "men of thought," and I am sorry that I could not hear them all. A dinner of this kind is a contribution to the thinking of the country, and I hope the AVC will sponsor others.