FEBRUARY 4, 1949
NEW YORK, Thursday—I spent Tuesday afternoon and evening in Philadelphia, attending a dinner given to raise funds for the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission. This group is attempting in the City of Brotherly Love the very things which we need to do in every community in the country. It is trying to bring all the people together and see that they have opportunities to work and to play together, so they will grow to better understanding and mutual liking.
In one way it is a clearing house because there are many different agencies working on special features of cooperation. But in another way it is doing a specific job as a fellowship, with a house of its own and groups constantly meeting there. Everyone at the dinner either gave a $25 membership or brought in enough memberships to equal $25, so that the dinner itself brought in a considerable sum of money as there were well over a thousand people there.
The group is putting on a drive during the month of February and it hopes to gain 100,000 members or more. And it has a broad plan of what it might do if it could move from its present location to an even better spot in the city.
I had a feeling that this was a group that could make its dreams come true. If this pattern of creating better human relations in the city of Philadelphia works out successfully, I hope it will be carried out in many other places.
Yesterday morning I had the privilege of seeing a movie, called "The Quiet One," which is to be shown at the Little Carnegie Theatre here beginning February 12. Not a documentary, this is a very moving story, told with skill and produced by people who know their business as professionals. It is profoundly moving, for in the brief years of a child's life it shows us some of the failures of our democracy. It also is a tremendously encouraging picture and gives one a lift, because it shows what can be done to help a child meet his difficulties and grow into a better citizen than his parents were. You'll find it deeply interesting.
The suspension of the New York Star means the elimination of a liberal newspaper that tried hard to stay alive. Marshall Field did a great deal to make the original PM possible and when it was taken over from him by Joseph Barnes and Bartley Crum and renamed The Star, everyone hoped it would be successful and continue to express the liberal thinking of a number of its contributors.
This it did, and we are going to miss many of the articles which we counted on reading in the Star. I still hope that there will come a day when there will be a large enough audience to keep a liberal paper going.