JANUARY 31, 1950
HYDE PARK, Monday—In Ames, Iowa, Friday we had lunch in one of the boys' fraternity houses and dinner in the evening with the Mortar Board Society before my lecture on the United Nations. I was glad of the opportunity to talk with a few of the young people at these informal gatherings.
There was a young Estonian at my table at lunch who told me he liked the United States and has now been here three years, having come from a camp near Munich. One is always tempted to believe that the central part of our country is isolationist and indifferent to international affairs. I can only say that in these informal talks I find great interest and a great deal of information on questions of foreign policy.
I had a long press interview after lunch with some of the representatives of the college press as well as some of representatives of news services. Ames is a small college, having only some 8,500 students, but I imagine for that very reason it is possible to have a closer contact between the faculty and students than in the large state universities.
One of the young men, who is public relations officer for the spring festival here, talked to me about it with great enthusiasm after the press conference. I can imagine that this is one of the great events of the year and probably is an evening that brings together more of the farm population from the neighboring areas than does any other event during the year.
The evening meeting brought a large gathering together and gave me an opportunity to talk about all the activities of the United Nations.
Several of the papers of this part of the world have reported that I make a plea for the United Nations. However, I think that all I do is to tell the story of the organization and the activities of the U.N. as a whole. I try to impress people with the value of the services which this organization offers and the only thing I plead for is the acceptance by our citizens of personal responsibility in the field of international affairs.
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I am still a little annoyed over an article written by a charming fashion editor who was, I am sure, trying to be kind because she said I had charm. But no woman wants to be told that her clothes are not attractive.
It happens that I was wearing a dress I particularly like. The material was woven especially for me and is soft and pleasant to wear. The fashion editor said it was putty color. But, as a matter of fact, if she had looked a little more carefully she would have seen that the weave is a purple and green mixture with red lights in it here and there. And "the piece of yellow material" at the collar is really a bit of gold-colored silk that carries out the gold embroidery on the pockets and the gold ring around the buttons which decorate the front of the dress.
Her observation was correct—they go right down the front. And her observation was also correct that I had on red shoes, which she seemed to think were inappropriate for a lady of my age. There I think she may be right, but they are very comfortable and they do carry out the lights in the weave of the cloth and they do match my hat. Should a fashion editor be able to describe clothes accurately and should she be interested in quality?
I should not complain, however, for it is no crime to be accused of a lack of taste. But I think every woman, no matter how old she is, resents it just a little.