JANUARY 20, 1948
HYDE PARK, Monday—Mrs. Woodrow Wilson and I were together in Raleigh, N. C., the other day for the funeral of Josephus Daniels, and I could not help thinking how extraordinary it was that the man to whom we were paying our last respects had served two Presidents of the United States in times of crisis. He was well able also to keep in close touch with his own community and to be one of the hardest-fighting liberals in the South. He was looked up to and respected by liberals and conservatives alike. And he was loved by all because of his irresistible friendliness.
There is no tragedy in the passing of such a man, and even his children and grandchildren, who will miss him sadly, would agree with that feeling. I only hope that when I shuffle off this mortal coil, my own grandchildren—those whom I have a chance to know well in the years to come—will feel that they have lost a real companion in the same way that Mr. Daniels' grandchildren feel. That companionship between youth and age is a difficult achievement but rewarding for both when achieved.
I flew to Raleigh early in the morning and back again in the late afternoon and was very lucky to land at Newark in spite of the light fall of snow which had begun.
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Yesterday afternoon John Gunther, the author, came up to Hyde Park for an overnight visit. He is working on his next book, but we talked about so many projects that I feel he has not one book but several in the making. And I shall be most anxious to read all of them.
Today I am meeting Alfred G. Vanderbilt, II, and taking him to Wiltwyck School so that he will begin to know the boys for whom he is undertaking to do some rather difficult tasks. Raising money in these days and heading a drive for any charity which is not well known is no easy matter.
Incidentally, the Salvation Army is having its annual drive and I hope that all of us feel a real responsibility to help in any way we can, for the Salvation Army reaches people in a way that no other charitable group can achieve.
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The other evening I went to a meeting which was held as a memorial to my husband and as a benefit for the March of Dimes campaign. This annual drive for funds to fight infantile paralysis is extremely important this year, particularly in New York City and State. Eleven percent of the polio cases of the nation had to be taken care of in this state last year but only 5 percent of the money was raised in the state. So it is essential that all of us in New York contribute more, for we cannot call upon the nation as a whole to pay for the cases of polio which occur in our own area.
Also, the research work must go on with redoubled energy. I read in the paper the other day that some new successes have been achieved, but each step forward must be proved and this takes considerable time and experimentation.