FEBRUARY 28, 1949
CHICAGO, Sunday—Friday was a rather busy day in Chicago. A press conference here really means a lot of questions, and it took them over an hour to finish talking and taking photographs. I then did a short interview for the radio, after which it was time to go to the Executives Club luncheon.
The Executives Club here occasionally includes wives at these luncheons, and I think there must have been well over 1,000 people present on Friday. This group seems to be a cross section of young businessmen, with a number of representatives from the older groups and professions included. The present Mayor, Mr. Kennelly, ex-Mayor Kelly, and the Governor of the state, Adlai Stevenson, were on the dais.
Talking about the United Nations with Governor Stevenson present was rather difficult, for he served as head of the Preparatory Commission and knew more of the individuals concerned in setting up the organization, and of the difficulties solved, than anyone else. When we went to London in January 1946, the basis of our work was all laid down before our arrival by Mr. Stevenson and the group that worked with him. He has since served on the delegation, and I am sure will never lose his interest in the efforts made through this organization to achieve an atmosphere in the world in which peace may grow.
I was very happy to see the Governor again, since during the campaign I was extremely interested in his election and in that of Paul Douglas as Senator. Both of them are justifying the confidence of the voters by their performance in office.
In the evening the national Phi Beta Kappa Association gave me its Distinguished Service Medal, their annual award for achievement in some particular field. The award was given to me in the field of human relations, for our successful work in the Human Rights Commission. I never feel that these awards are really earned by one person, since no one could accomplish anything alone. But I accepted it gratefully since it does draw to the attention of all those present the work which is being done in the field of human rights throughout the world.
The Universal Bill of Human Rights is not yet complete, but the Declaration passed by the last General Assembly of the United Nations does set world standards and aspirations. It also paves the way for the next step in accepting the whole bill, the ratification by the different countries of a first convention, which may be followed later by other conventions as they seem necessary. This universal bill, of course, points out the need for every nation to examine its own practices and its own achievements in the field; and we are no exception to this rule, since we are the leading democracy and other nations will pattern themselves after us.