DECEMBER 7, 1949
NEW YORK, Tuesday—On my first day in New York City without any United Nations obligations I have really had a very pleasant and unhurried time. But I don't really think that I like New York City very much when I haven't a regular job to do. I would far rather be in the country. However, I have agreed to make certain speeches this week, so I shall spend my time as advantageously as possible and finish my Christmas shopping which seems never to end!
I began my shopping so early I thought I would have nothing to do in these last few weeks. While I have most of my packages off that go to the West Coast and to Europe, I am still facing several items that cannot go until next week. The post office warns us daily that they may not be able to deliver anything mailed so late, but what can we do? It seems beyond our human power actually to tie up all the details too many weeks before Christmas.
I wonder how many of my friends are familiar with the American Artists Group and Designers and Illustrators Christmas Cards. This is the 15th anniversary of the issuing of these cards.
Eight hundred exhibitions of "Christmas in Contemporary Art" were held throughout the United States to mark this anniversary publication by the American Artists Group. They also are releasing a new type of album, first to enhance the home display of artistic Christmas Cards and then later to become a permanent addition to the family library. The number of famous artists who take part in creating these cards every year has grown enormously. Originally, the membership was 36, but now there are 506 painters and printmakers representing 36 states, the District of Columbia and Alaska.
These showings have been of great educational value. As these Christmas Cards have gone on their way they have brought the names and works of famous artists to a very wide circle of people. This is a continuing, yearly activity on the part of the artists and brings them a considerable amount of income. At the same time it helps many people to choose Christmas Cards that have real lasting value, both from the point of view of beauty and of education.
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I am not going to continue to discuss Dr. Philip Jessup with those people who have written to me expressing their alarm at the thought of Dr. Jessup's past links with various organizations and individuals which the writers seem to be afraid are leftist. When they know Dr. Jessup better I am sure they will not be afraid. Only time will convince certain kinds of people, and we will have to grow out of our present fears before we feel we can associate with all kinds of people and not be contaminated. We had this type of security at one time, but for a great many people it has departed. I hope it will return before long.
I am amused, too, at the excitement that has followed the linking of the late Harry L. Hopkins' name to shipments of atomic bomb materials to Russia. Harry Hopkins is dead. He cannot answer back. But Robert E. Sherwood, who had access to all of his papers, does not seem to be in agreement that Mr. Hopkins did anything to the detriment of his own country, which is, of course, the implication.
I would like to remind the present investigators that during the war we probably gave a good deal to the Soviet Union, both in material and in information, that was designed to help them in order that they might help us. I haven't the faintest idea what we sent them, but it is inconceivable that Mr. Hopkins ever did anything that was detrimental to his country's interests.