JULY 10, 1947
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—The weather seems to be treating us somewhat unkindly in this part of the world. Yesterday my picnic grounds were to have served 150 young people from 28 States, who are the second group which has come to the summer encampment of the Ethical Culture Schools. When the hour arrived, there was a downpour of rain. Fortunately, some friends secured the Fall-Kill Grange Hall a few miles farther north, so the group could at least eat their picnic lunch in a dry spot!
I met with them and discussed the work of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. I answered questions for about an hour, and then took them over to the library.
These young people approach life with great seriousness and a sense of real obligation. They had worked for a week in preparation for the discussion with me on the subject of the Commission on Human Rights. They produced a draft of an international bill of rights which had many of the same concepts that are in the great majority of bills which have been presented to the commission for consideration. Naturally, they based their bill very largely on our American Bill of Rights and Constitution, but it was valuable to have 150 young people make so careful a study of those documents.
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I am looking forward with interest to the Freedom Train's tour of the country next fall and winter. I have always felt it was a pity that some of our priceless historical treasures, housed in Washington and in other cities, could not be viewed by people in different parts of the country. It never occurred to me that they might be put on a train for a tour.
I think the idea is valuable, for in this way we can bring many things to a much wider audience than they have ever had before. By exhibiting documents of historical interest, we can give people a sense of their own background which previously could only be attained by those who visited Washington or who happened to live near some of the historical points of the country.
Last winter a friend gave me a book called "Barabbas" by Emery Bekessy. It is an extraordinarily interesting tale, with applications which can be made to recent history. Here you see the two opposing philosophies, hate and violence versus love and humility, made vivid by the lives of two great figures in the history of their day. Only when the latter philosophy is accepted in the world, can we really live in peace. Otherwise, we will destroy one another and perhaps, in the process, destroy our world.