MAY 27, 1949
NEW YORK, Thursday—I was shocked yesterday to read of the shooting of Victor Reuther, United Auto Workers educational director and brother of Walter P. Reuther, UAW president. I cannot imagine how anyone belonging to the union could think that it would be of any value to them if the Reuther brothers were no longer there. It seems unthinkable that the police have/never been able to discover who shot Walter Reuther and because of that, in all probability, the same person perhaps has felt he could get away with shooting another brother. This time I hope there will be no letup until the assailant is found.
Whether these attacks are simply a one-man grudge or whether they are inspired from some outside source, we have a right to know and to protect men who are working in the interests of their fellow men, as these men are.
There seems to be a wave of violence sweeping this country, judging from the newspapers. I hardly ever open a paper without reading of some terrible accident or act of violence. I sometimes think it might be better not to print these tales because they may just start unbalanced people thinking along similar lines.
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I forgot to mention that I revisited my friends of the Henry Street Settlement neighborhood on Monday evening. Miss Helen Hall held a meeting to interest the downtown East Side in donating to the Red Cross blood bank, and invited me to come and tell them something about the work of the Human Rights Commission. I talked to a most attentive audience, which seemed greatly interested. I was happy to be with them all again, and was very much impressed by the way they were offering to start giving blood on a regular basis. It only points up the fact that where people really believe they should do something, and understand why they are being asked to do it, they always respond generously.
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I have been reading in one of our newspapers a series of articles about Puerto Rico. Much that is written is absolutely true.
I have felt for a long time that we have ignored tourist possibilities in that island. If they make their hotels really good and clean and serve good food; if they have some beaches that are guarded from sharks and are safe for everyone to enjoy, I think it should become one of our most popular resorts all the year 'round. Something will have to be done about the Puerto Rican soil, however, because once upon a time it was not very safe to picnic anywhere on the island. If you happened to have a cut you might find you had acquired an illness, which you could get rid of, of course, but still it might not make you feel particularly happy while it lasted.
There is no doubt that Puerto Rico can be made a rich island if it develops some industries that would pay the people a decent level of wages. In addition, the island could become a tourist paradise. And it need not be a very expensive holiday place, for it is not far away, and no passports are required.