AUGUST 2, 1950
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I was in New York City for a few hours yesterday and had the pleasure of giving a medal to Mr. A.S. Berliner for his outstanding work in the field of narcotics control.
At luncheon I saw a friend of mine from Chicago, and this morning she departs on a flight to Europe. It is the first time she has ever been to Europe. She is going over to visit the people in different countries who gave her son such kind hospitality when he was stationed there during the war. She has also been invited to stay with a number of people to whom she has sent packages ever since 1945. Food and clothing and other necessary articles have gone in a steady stream to these families, and now the friendships that have been made by letter are going to be further developed through personal acquaintance. I think this is probably one of the most valuable ways of developing cordial relationships among various countries.
I was also visited yesterday by Countess Alexandra Tolstoy who during the past few years, has helped so many Russian refugees coming to this country. Many of these people can now be very valuable to us because, while they are anti-Communist—some of them even have become American citizens—still they have an understanding of the mentality back of the Soviet government, and perhaps know better than most of us why they do so many inexplicable things.
For instance, it must be quite apparent to them that the United States has no intention of attacking and yet they keep insisting, through every publicity means at their disposal, that we are a nation of imperialists, just waiting to take over all the governments of the world. Just the opposite, of course, is true. The Soviet government is waiting for a world revolution to enable them to take over the world. They have never yet grasped the philosophy which permits different people to live in the same world free, and uninfluenced by each other.
On my return to Poughkeepsie Monday evening I went to Vassar College to speak on the work of the Human Rights Commission in its last session. I hope I gave a clear picture of what we have been able to accomplish. The audience was the group attending the Vassar Summer Institute. They have a large group this year, about 150 adults and 150 children, plus a considerable number of student teachers and the staff. This summer course is progressing every year and becoming more and more important.
Before the lecture we had an opportunity to listen to some of the community singing. I like the idea that even the little children are taught to sing together with their elders so that it really becomes one of the activities that old and young can enjoy together.
I have just received a delightful booklet written about my husband and polio for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Since this dreaded disease is becoming more prevalent in different parts of the country, I hope everyone will get a copy of the booklet and read it.