OCTOBER 10, 1949
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Friday night I went to a meeting held in a Brooklyn church by the Brooklyn Council of Negro Women, which is affiliated with the rapidly-growing National Council of Negro Women. The Brooklyn group, established only a year ago, already has a considerable membership.
Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune, whose presidency of the national organization is drawing to a close this year, came on from Washington and brought the group the kind of inspiration she alone seems able to give. I think her own great achievement has given her a faith in the possibilities that lie before the people of her race, and she really sees no difficulties because she has overcome so many. Mrs. Bethune told us she is now 74 years old; and I could not help hoping that, if I reached that age some years from now, I would have as much faith in human beings and in their powers of achievement.
A woman from the Israel delegation spoke on human rights in Israel, and a woman from Liberia spoke of that country's hopes for the future with the development of education. There was also some lovely music, and I thought the meeting on the whole a very successful one.
Although I got home fairly late, we were up bright and early Saturday morning and on our way to Hyde Park. On the drive from the station we passed Springwood Village to see how far along the new houses had progressed, and it looked as though the schedule was going to be maintained and people would be living in some of the houses before long.
You forget when you are in town what a beautiful season of the year this is. Yesterday was a typical Indian summer day, warm, sunny and lazy. My little dogs were delighted to see us and could hardly wait till I took them for a walk in the woods. The colors are gorgeous; but I think the leaves are falling much more rapidly than usual, perhaps because of the drought and the recent rain.
In the late afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Ed Murrow arrived and we took them down to dine with Sarah Blanding at Alumnae House before going over to the chapel at Vassar, where Mr. Murrow gave a most interesting and thought-provoking speech under the auspices of the Dutchess County Council on World Affairs. In the question period afterwards, some asked whether, on CBS, he would have said all the things he said to us there. He gave a good answer, I thought, when he said: "When you are broadcasting every day and speaking for a sponsor, you have an obligation to report the news. But you can not force upon people your opinion in the way you can when you come once in a long while to look an audience in the face and really give them your own ideas."
Mr. Murrow told us someone had once said that a speaker should always try to say one new thing to his audience, so they would have one original thought to carry away with them. He himself gave us plenty of original thoughts and new points of view, drawn from his many travels in all parts of the world and his close watch at first hand of historic situations. It was a wonderful opportunity for the members of the association and, particularly, the Vassar students, who came in large numbers even though it was a Saturday night.