OCTOBER 26, 1949
NEW YORK, Tuesday—The ceremonies at the dedication of the cornerstone of the new United Nations building on Monday were very impressive and very simple. Radio stations broadcast the messages to the far corners of the earth and it was a curious feeling as you sat there and realized that people in such distant parts of the world were listening to the same words and visualizing the scene as well as their backgrounds and experiences would allow them to do.
The hopes throughout the world are the same for world peace and we pray the permanent home of the United Nations may see many changes during the next few years—changes tending toward better relationships among the nations meeting here. The President expressed the hope that eventually all the nations of the world would hold membership in the organization and I am quite sure that that is the hope of all the Secretariat and the nations now in the United Nations.
It was rather windy and gray as we first sat down and looked up at the tall, as yet unfinished, administration building towering over us. But the sun was soon out, giving one a feeling that the clouds breaking and the light spreading throughout the sky was symbolic of the actual way in which this home of the United Nations would see peace opening up for the world as a whole in the future.
General Carlos P. Romulo, 1949 President of the General Assembly, and Secretary-General Trygve Lie both spoke of my husband and his part in the foundation of the United Nations and of the wonderful way in which President Truman had backed up the work and given his support to the organization. They hope that more and more as time goes on, nations will work through the United Nations rather than undertaking to solve their own problems unilaterally.
The bands from several New York City government departments played extremely well throughout the whole morning. I admired, as I always have, the efficiency with which the Secret Service scattered throughout the crowds and had eyes everywhere and carried out their duty of protecting the President. He was greeted by great and enthusiastic crowds as his open car sped through New York City followed by a long line of closed cars. We knew the minute he reached the site because we could hear the cheers that went up from people at the entrance. The only disappointment of the day was that Mrs. Truman was not well and could not come with the President.
After the ceremonies were over we all went up to Gracie Mansion for a luncheon given by Mayor O'Dwyer in the President's honor. It was a gay and friendly affair. The musicians played as though they enjoyed it, and as a result the guests began to feel in the mood to join in with the musicians, till even political enemies were singing songs joyously together!
At four o'clock the President left to take a plane back to Washington. As I was driving home I could not help thinking that perhaps many of us who were fortunate enough to see these ceremonies had 'witnessed a dramatic moment in history, marking the beginning of the United Nations being actually firmly established in a permanent home, well on its way to being the mediator of all serious disputes for years to come.