APRIL 4, 1950
NEW YORK, Monday—After the morning session of the Americans for Democratic Action convention last Saturday, I went over to the State Department and with Francis Russell, director of the Office of Public Affairs, attended my first meeting as chairman for United Nations Day. I think we covered a good deal in a brief space of two hours.
United Nations Day is October 24. It has not been named a holiday by our Congress, but the United Nations named it as the day on which the founding of the United Nations should be celebrated throughout the world. During the week preceding the 24th we plan to carry out programs of an educational nature to acquaint the people with all the various phases of U.N. work. We will make every effort to bring to them a realization of the fact that this is the place where nations can come together to work for their mutual interests in the hope of establishing greater understanding and confidence and, therefore, an atmosphere for peace in the world.
As in the past, the American United Nations Association is taking the lead in promoting United Nations Week.
This group will interest as many other organizations as possible in helping to carry on the programs and spread the information that needs to be widely disseminated in this country.
The whole educational effort culminates in the celebration of United Nations Day, which is semi-official at least since the Secretary of State appoints the chairman and the State Department sends out the letters to the Governors of our states asking them to make a proclamation designating this particular day as United Nations Day.
The machinery that has to be set in motion for financing the activities of both United Nations Week and United Nations Day was discussed. The publicity program and the vast organization necessary to obtain nation-wide observance on that day was gone over and, we hope, set in motion.
We agreed to have a meeting in New York City at the end of this month and another one at the end of May. This should mean that the plans in schools and colleges and with various other organizations may be started early enough to give everyone time to take part.
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At 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon I had a short talk with Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, George W. Perkins and his deputy, Llewellyn E. Thompson Jr., concerning my short trip abroad in early June.
Then I attended a party given at the Shoreham Hotel by my son, Franklin Jr., and his wife, Sue, for the New York delegation to the ADA convention, after which we all went to the dinner. It was a real wonderful gathering of people. Many members of the Administration and Senators and Representatives were there, I should judge almost a thousand people attended the dinner, at which I spoke.
It is hard for anyone who saw the first meeting of this group to realize how it has grown and there were delegates from 40 states present at this convention. There is a sense of urgency about the questions now before our people and that is reflected in the interest in better government.