NOVEMBER 7, 1949
HYDE PARK, Sunday—On Friday I spent a short time at The Women For Lehman luncheon, held under the auspices of the Independent Citizens Committee for Governor Lehman. There was great enthusiasm at the well-attended gathering, and whatever the outcome on Tuesday, Governor Lehman will know that he has many warm friends and followers in the state of New York. I am confident of victory, but I never believe in being overconfident and in feeling that vigilance and work need not be pushed right up to the last minute in a campaign.
Before the afternoon session at Lake Success, I spoke on human rights to a group of League of Women Voters members who came from Washington for a day's trip to the United Nations. The meeting was held in the Security Council chamber, and there was a large contingent of Blue Star mothers as well as high school youngsters. I met another of the young people who have won the award which gives them a chance to work for a period of time at the United Nations. These young people come from different parts of the world and I have now met one from Denmark and two from other countries outside the U.S.
Debate was begun in Committee Three on the report of the Economic and Social Council dealing with refugees and stateless persons. This covers the International Refugee Organization's report, which sets a probable date for the closing down of their activities and suggests possible ways of dealing with people remaining to be cared for at that time. There are different ideas, of course, on this subject, and Czechoslovakia and France have presented resolutions in addition to the one which came to us from the Economic and Social Council. The debate will be renewed on Tuesday when Committee Three meets again.
In the evening I attended a dinner which was the opening gun of the campaign to raise a large fund for improving the plant of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona, Florida. Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune, whose parents were slaves, tells a moving story of how she was given a chance for education, and then felt she must dedicate her life to giving that same chance to young people of her race. With only a dollar and a half in her pocket, she started a little school in a shack with five little Negro girls as her first pupils. She has given most of her life to keeping this school alive and helping it to grow. Today it has many buildings and 1100 students, but it must have more space and better equipment if it is to fulfill the needs of the younger generation of colored people.
Courageous as ever, Mrs. Bethune has embarked on the terrific task of raising the needed money, feeling, I think, that this school is akin to a child. You hope the child will carry on and improve on the type of service its parents were able to give. When you think of a school as you would of a child, you put your hopes for the future into the ability of that school to carry on in the spirit in which you have lived. It is for this, I believe, that Mrs. Bethune is hoping and working.