FEBRUARY 20, 1950
HYDE PARK, Sunday—For a second time we came into New York City Friday morning two hours late, but I reached the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre by three o'clock and Mrs. Rita Wallach Morgenthau showed me through their new building.
The school has great traditions, having been started by the two Miss Lewisohns in the Henry Street Settlement. Some very remarkable performances were given in the theatre there, and the tradition of first-rate training for the theatre and of serious work by the students has always been kept up by the school. There is a wonderful room in which to dance and practice now, and I believe they feel for the first time that they have not only good teachers but also a building that itself is adequate.
Mrs. Morgenthau told me with pride of some of the opportunities which had opened up for her graduates. But she feels that even those who may not make the grade and win a career on the stage will still gain a great deal from their courses there.
I came back in time to have an enjoyable hour at tea in my hotel sitting room with my friends, Mrs. Lewis Thompson and Dr. Miriam Van Waters. Lady Jean Ward, who is over here from England for a short time, and Alan Paton, author of "Cry, The Beloved Country," who is here from South Africa, also joined us, and I was very happy to have this opportunity of seeing the man who has written such a remarkable book. People often speak to me of the quality which distinguishes his prose, and everyone reading the book is deeply impressed by it.
Friday evening, Miss Thompson and I attended the annual dinner of the Women's National Book Association. An award was given to Miss May Massee, editor of the children's book department of Viking Press. It is evident that the choice was pleasing to all the guests, for they gave her a tremendous ovation. She has a most beautiful face and great serenity of expression. Her niece talked to me for a little while before dinner with such admiration of her accomplishments that I knew Miss Massee, whatever her sacrifice had been, must be reaping a full reward in the admiration of the younger generation.
Early Saturday we came back to the country for one more day, since next week we are not going to be able to be up here. M. Fernan DeHousse, the Belgian delegate to the Economic and Social Council and formerly a delegate on the Human Rights Commission, drove up on Saturday to spend the night, and Mr. Pavry and his sister from India drove up for lunch. We were joined on the early morning train by Mrs. Edgar Piper and her daughter, Janet, who are here from Portland, Oregon, so that we had an agreeable and busy day.
Today I must go back to New York City for the second in my series of television-radio programs. I hope I can succeed in getting the important people with me to discuss their points of view on the subject of medical care. This is a matter of great importance to the people of this country. It is one where both sides of the question should be heard and where people should be fully advised at all times of what they can get, under either the voluntary or compulsory insurance system, and what the costs will be to them.