MAY 6, 1948
NEW YORK, Wednesday—It is fitting, I think, that those of us who live in New York City—even those who, like myself, live here only occasionally—should extend a warm welcome to Gen. and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower now that they have come to live among us. It may seem strange to some people that a General of the Army should become the president of a great university but, as a matter of fact, some of the qualities required for these two different positions are very similar. In both cases, one must be a good administrator and one must know how to deal with young people. It is not required that the heads of great universities should actually teach academic subjects—their teaching is largely done by example and by the general standards they set.
One of the most important things for our young people to realize today is that, important as knowledge is in itself, the scholar would be of little value unless he lived in an environment where his scholarly achievements have recognition and where he is given security from war and want. These ends must be brought about through government action; and the head of a great university is in a position to inspire the oncoming generation to accept their responsibilities as citizens in a democracy and to shape their government. Their approach to these responsibilities and to the problems of the day can perhaps best be made real to youth by an individual whom they admire because he has magnificently fulfilled his own obligations as a citizen in wartime and is now attempting to do the same thing in peacetime.
For these reasons, we must wish Gen. Eisenhower, who has now become president of Columbia University, as much success in training citizens of our democracy for work in a peaceful world as he had in training an army which won a war, but which by its victory alone could not win the peace.
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I understand that at last the New York City division of the United Nations Appeal for Children has got under way. It began on April 23rd, when the campaign in other places was already in full swing. This campaign is twenty-six appeals rolled into one. It is American Overseas Aid and the UN Appeal for Children. The country is being asked to contribute $60,000,000, and New York City is being asked to contribute $6,600,000 as its share. The portion allocated to the children's fund will go to the International Children's Emergency Fund, which is conducting similar campaigns in fifty countries and which hopes thereby to save the children of many nations from near-starvation.
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I was extremely glad to see that both Gen. Mark W. Clark and John J. McCloy, head of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, have recommended the passage of House Resolution 5004. This bill would enable the parents of Nisei to become American citizens.
Nisei are American-born Japanese, and they formed some of the most valiant and courageous regiments serving in our armies during the war. One of them even won the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military honor any man can receive from our Government. The last sentence in Gen. Clark's statement puts the case very simply: "The parents of these heroic Nisei should have the privileges of the democracy their sons helped to preserve."