OCTOBER 7, 1950
NEW YORK, Friday—I went down this noon with John Golden, chairman of the New York City United Nations Day, and his co-chairman, Mrs. Vincent Impellitteri, and saw the first run-off of cancellations for the United Nations Day stamp. Albert Goldman, New York City postmaster, was most cooperative in having these stamps printed and I think it is a wonderful idea of Mr. Golden.
After this brief ceremony Mr. Goldman took me to see the different posters that members of his staff had made to celebrate the current week, which is "Write a Letter Week." We viewed pictures of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and my husband, each featuring a letter that these three gentlemen had written. My husband's letter was the one he addressed to the man who will be President of the United States in 1956. In it he asked the future President to give an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy to Colin Kelly's son. I was glad to see this on exhibition as I think we need to be reminded now and then of our heroes.
I had an amusing time in a taxicab yesterday afternoon. I had no sooner got in and given my address than the driver turned around and, in an inquiring tone, said: "You're Mrs. Roosevelt?" I admitted that was my name and he then said: "Now I can really tell my mother that you don't go round with a bodyguard."
After a few minutes' reflection he turned to me again and said: "Will you sign a card for me?" I agreed and he handed me the card with a pencil. When I returned it he said: "Now I'll have something to prove to her that I am right."
Then in explanation he remarked: "Even after all the years my mother has lived in this country she just can't believe that anyone who is prominent doesn't go about with an army."
I told him I had encountered that same impression in certain other people and that I thought it was one of the things we should be thankful for in our democracy. Under certain other types of government one cannot feel quite as free, or else one does not have as much confidence in one's fellow citizens.
Occasionally one is reminded of the fact that there are in our midst certain gentlemen who do not remember that the office of the Presidency of the United States should command our respect even when we are irritated by something that the President himself may have said.
At the United Mine Workers in Cincinnati two years ago John L. Lewis said quite a number of things about the President which, perhaps, respect for the office should have deterred him from saying. Now a letter has been published in which the President uses rather picturesque language, announcing that he does not intend offering Mr. Lewis any position.
I really think it would be quite humorous if Mr. Lewis and Mr. Stalin were thrown together in Moscow. But I should think that instead of being irritated at the President's decision not to give Mr. Lewis that particular ambassadorship, Mr. Lewis would be grateful. Perhaps, however, Mr. Lewis thinks he could make an impression on Mr. Stalin.
There seems to be at the present a desire on the part of a number of people to try their hands at influencing the Premier of the Soviet Union. Harold Stassen has asked for this privilege and evidently thinks his request is startling and newsworthy. But his letter is not very different from one which a totally unknown gentleman sent me not long ago, telling me it was a copy of one he had just sent to Mr. Stalin. I have not heard that Mr. Stalin is talking seriously to any of our private citizens.