SEPTEMBER 22, 1949
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Coming down from the country on Sunday night was one of the slowest drives I have ever experienced! Repairs are being made in a few places on the parkway and instead of being here in two hours and 20 minutes it took us three hours and 20 minutes. However, we settled ourselves and I was up bright and early Monday morning and on my way to the United States delegation office at 2 Park Avenue. I have my same office and was greeted by a very nice secretary who had the inevitable papers all ready for me.
I am a little spoiled, I find, by my summer of activity, and sitting around a table listening to people talk is in some ways more wearisome than running in and out with my two little black Scotties, picking flowers, or doing a thousand and one household chores.
I did a few errands in the noon hour and we sat again for two hours and a half in the afternoon. There are several new faces on the delegation, so the newspaper photographers had to take pictures first of the whole group and then of the new members. It is a great pleasure for me to have Mrs. Ruth Bryan Rhode on the delegation and I think we are going to be working together a great deal.
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Two things that came in the mail today interested me very much.
One was the announcement by the International Refugee Organization that the General Hersey landed here on September 19, bringing 1,318 displaced persons, who will be provided new homes and jobs in 33 states. The group sailed from Bremerhaven, and most of them come from the DP camps in American, British and French zones in Germany. Others had been located in Austria, Italy and Berlin. The nationalities of the passengers are interesting, too. They are Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Yugoslavs, Russians, Hungarians, Czechoslovakians, Romanians, Estonians, Germans, Austrians, Bulgarians and one Swiss! How the last named happened to be aboard I really do not know. There are also 20 people who are classed as stateless people—unhappy human beings without a country. They hope to become established here and begin a new life.
Voluntary agencies aid the Displaced Persons Commission in meeting the immigrants at the point of debarkation and in getting them to their new homes and settled in their new jobs. I want to wish these new future citizens good luck and success now that they have reached our shores.
The second interesting thing in my mail is a letter entitled, "Henry Oldtimers, Inc." It is a request to make it known to all and sundry that there will be a meeting of these oldtimers on "Wednesday evening, October 5, 1949, 8:00 p.m., at Pete's House, 305 Henry Street."
This is a group, now numbering 600, who came together in 1939, as a mere handful of men, graduates of Henry Street Settlement, anxious to renew their boyhood ties and to help the Settlement and the neighborhood which had meant so much to their youthful development. They want to reach more "oldtimers," and so they are asking their friends to spread the word as widely as possible.