FEBRUARY 23, 1948
PHILADELPHIA, Sunday—It was interesting to see the results of the poll taken recently in the South on the various candidates for the Presidency. In spite of the revolt among the politicians, rank and file Democrats in the South still seem to be Democrats, President Truman apparently has a very comfortable margin of Southern voters over all Republican contenders, and Mr. Wallace's vote seems to be almost too small to be reported.
The rank and file Democrats in the South will be hard to dislodge without long education there, though many people have been telling us for a long time that it would be very good for the Democratic party if the South became a two-party area in this country. The gains resulting from the revolt of the leaders may give some comfort to the opposition, but I am sure there will still be enough of a margin to make any Democratic candidate feel fairly secure of his electoral votes in the South.
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If you want to feel what life was like among the boys who served on some of the cargo ships in the Pacific, or in different positions on some of the other smaller ships in the last war, go and see the new play, "Mister Roberts," with Henry Fonda. The acting of Mr. Fonda and the entire cast is remarkably vivid, and the scenery is so realistic that I could hardly believe it was all illusion.
This play may not mean so much to the men who served on the big ships. But I can hardly wait to see it again with my son, who served as an executive on destroyers in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean areas and later was in command of a destroyer escort in the Pacific. I remember so well when that last little ship of his was getting into commission in Brooklyn and he came over one day, looking rather weary, and announced that it was quite a problem having a crew whose average age was seventeen and a half, most of whom came from country areas or small towns and were seeing New York City for the first time in their lives.
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There are always some war plays which stand out and I can still remember "What Price Glory" and "Bury the Dead," which were written after the first World War. The object of the plays is nearly always to make people like myself, a civilian, understand what war is like and to keep us plugging to prevent another war.
We now have the machinery of the United Nations, and I think if we can keep it going and growing stronger for the next ten years, we will have measurably decreased the danger of World War III. But we will have to work very hard not only in this country, but in all the other countries where the people are free to make their citizenship count in the forming of their policies.