MARCH 8, 1948
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Friday evening I attended the Ulster-Irish Society dinner in New York. When I was first asked to be the recipient of the society's annual medal, I thought it probably had something to do with my visit to Belfast in 1942. But then I saw in the paper that I was being honored because of a great-grandfather who was born in Ulster.
This was news to me, for while my husband always knew everything there was to know about his family tree and mine, I am very remiss about such things. All I knew was that my great-grandfather, on my mother's side, and his brother had come over from Ireland and that his brother had been the first Mayor of Brooklyn. I had never even verified this, but it had come down as an oft-repeated tale in my mother's family. What part of Ireland my ancestor came from was a complete mystery to me.
When I reached the dinner I also discovered that my uncle, Theodore Roosevelt, had once told some of the gentlemen present that he had an Ulster-Irish grandmother or great-grandmother on his mother's side. So I evidently have two claims to Irish ancestry.
It was a delightful dinner, and I was further overwhelmed by the presentation of some real Irish linen, sent by the Irish Linen Society of Belfast. I have not seen such beautiful linen in a long time, and my one desire now is to find out where one acquires such fine linen locally in New York.
One of the things that interested me most at the dinner was a very short speech made by a young girl, a high school student, who had been brought over from Belfast for the Herald-Tribune Youth Forum. She told us that her first days in New York City were completely bewildering, but she would take away a memory of the great kindness shown to her by all the Ulster Irish-American citizens, and by the plain American citizens as well.
Yesterday morning I went to the Herald-Tribune Youth Forum, which closed the visit paid for six weeks by these 29 young people from across the seas. They came from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and several other countries, and spent their time here living with American families. They looked interested and happy, and it was a wonderful thing to give this opportunity for an exchange of impressions to our young people as well as to those from overseas.
Back at Hyde Park in the afternoon, I found a real welcome from my two little dogs. They seemed so glad to see us, I think they missed us during the week that we were gone.