MAY 22, 1947
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I went to Newburgh, N.Y., last evening to a Parent-Teachers meeting at which Mr. Olav Paus-Grunt, head of the educational section of the United Nations, spoke on the teachers' part in increasing the knowledge of our foreign relations and of the work of the U.N.. There were many questions afterwards. The audience ranged from returned soldiers, back in high school, to elderly grandmothers like myself. Men and women, old and young, all seemed to take a deep interest in the subject and to be very anxious to understand the way we function as a nation in relation to the United Nations.
Several times, questions were asked which forced Mr. Paus-Grunt to say that, as a representative of the U.N., he could not answer questions dealing primarily with internal affairs of the United States. I have a feeling that, at such meetings, there should be not only a speaker representing the U.N., but also someone who, as a citizen of the United States, is more conversant with and freer to speak about the things which concern us as a member nation with laws and customs of our own.
* * *
A most beautiful book, "Other Places" by Elizabeth O'Neill Verner, came to me yesterday. I had visited her studio in Charleston, S.C., and had associated her mainly with her charming etchings and pencil drawings of her own delightful old city. I had not realized she had so many recollections and sketches of other parts of the world. This is a really delightful book, both from the literary and artistic standpoint. And I am sure that many people glancing through its pages will be reminded of experiences and moments of beauty of their own, which could not be brought back in a pleasanter way.
I also received yesterday a book on Quaker relief work, "An Experiment in Friendship" by David Hinshaw. The Quakers of many lands have worked both in their own communities and in far-flung parts of the world. Ever since I have known about their work, I have admired it because, while they give lavishly, they never give foolishly. And they rarely work on what I call the purely "charity" basis. There is always an effort to make people feel that they are helping themselves and therefore building an independent future.
* * *
We had our first picnic yesterday but, because of the showery weather, we ate on the porch instead of in the fields as we had hoped. Afterwards I went over to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library to meet the members of the YSCA Friendship Club of New Britain, Conn. They brought me a present for the Roosevelt Memorial Foundation which I sent to Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
In addition, they gave me for use in my home some handmade work which spoke of skills brought to this country from other lands, as well as hours of time taken out of their own busy lives.
My niece with her three little boys, who have been visiting me, left yesterday evening, and the house seems strangely silent without the sound of young voices.