AUGUST 20, 1948
HYDE PARK, Thursday—Tuesday evening we had an old-fashioned birthday party where everyone wore paper caps, read out their silly verses and altogether behaved as though they had returned to the days of their youth.
The little children had their usual good time over the birthday cake and the wishes on their candles. There were so many of us we had only one candle apiece and as a result had to light it twice to get in all the wishes.
As always at these family parties, when several of the family get together, there seems to be an endless amount of things to talk about and we talked until the wee small hours of the morning—with the result that when six-thirty came Wednesday morning and I had to get up and get started for Washington, D.C., it seemed a very undesirable trip.
Driving down to LaGuardia airfield, however, with blue skies and lovely white puffy clouds overhead, I began to think the world was very pleasant. Then gray clouds gathered and for a while I thought I was in for a thunderstorm, but fortunately we drove away from it and all was bright and sunny again when we reached the field.
We were going to take a new plane for a nonstop flight to Washington. We all got on board and I was just thinking how wonderful the new planes were when the engines started and one engine on my side was missing badly. The pilot tried it out several times. They rushed out with little repair trucks but to no avail. Shortly the stewardess asked us to get out and change to another plane. All the while my time was getting shorter and shorter. I had an appointment with the Secretary of State at 11:45 A.M. and one later with the President at one o'clock.
Both of them wanted to see me about the coming session of the United Nations assembly. I knew the Department of State would find out that we had had to change planes. But I was horrified when I did not get to Washington on the second plane until twenty minutes before one. The President, however, delayed his lunch while I spent fifteen minutes with the Secretary during which time he hurriedly told me of the things he wanted to speak about. Then I went to the White House and the President told me of some of the things that he felt we could do during this coming session in Paris. He feels as I do, that the thing most important to the daily interests of all the average people of the world is the preservation of peace. If we can't preserve peace, no one in the world whether they be Russian, Polish, German, Italian or French—or from any of the South American continents—will have a chance to make a life of security and happiness in the future.
What a responsibility the President of the United States carries if he really cares about the well being of the average people throughout our own country and in the world as a whole.