MAY 31, 1947
HYDE PARK, Friday—While traveling around the country, these past few days, I ran into a number of young men who identified themselves as having met me before in various far-off places. One was an ex-marine who had been in Hawaii when I visited certain groups there in the summer of 1943. Another young man reminded me we had met in Trinidad and the porter on our train, a fine-looking young man said: "I saw you last, Mrs. Roosevelt, in Townsend, Australia."
One rather elderly gentleman insisted that I was trying to hide my identity. He told me he was a general who had met me in 1942 in Great Britain. He said: "What do you mean by traveling in surreptitious fashion? I recognized you and I am going to get into the taxi with you,"—which he promptly did. After a little conversation, I think I convinced him that I was not trying to hide my identity, but that I was just not as "important" as in the days gone by. Since we were going to quite different parts of the city he was finally prevailed upon to get out and take another taxi!
In one hotel, Miss Thompson had an amusing experience with a gentleman who was apparently having a very gay time at a convention. He phoned my room and told her that he had just got out of Alcatraz, where he had once seen me. He needed immediate assistance, he added, which he thought I could give. Never having been to Alcatraz, I felt no responsibility; but in any case, I think his friends eventually persuaded him to retire for the night!
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After a very busy day in Milwaukee, we took the night train to Duluth, Minnesota, where we arrived in time for a luncheon under the auspices of the Round Table of Christians and Jews. There I was reminded again that on June 10, in Chicago, the American Brotherhood of the National Conference of Christians and Jews will confer their 1947 arts and science awards, in recognition of women who have made positive contributions to improving human relations and welfare. Last year the two people chosen were Miss Katharine Corneil and Dr. Lise Meitner. This year the award will go to Miss Kate Smith for the influence she has exerted through her radio program to unify America and build better understanding among all peoples. The science award will go to Dr. Florence Sabin. At 75, this remarkable woman, who has been awarded honorary degrees by at least 12 of our fore-most institutions, is still leading an active and useful life. It would seem that these awards should draw attention to the value of work done in national causes which draw people together and, by doing so, enhance our chances of creating a peaceful world.
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We arrived home again last night after a particularly bumpy flight from St. Paul, which made a number of our passengers rather unhappy. The first part of the trip was very smooth, but later we ran into thunderstorms. Some little boys who were taking their first flight, and who had been extremely happy and interested, discovered quickly that flying is not all they had previously thought it to be, and they decided that there were advantages in being on firm ground.