OCTOBER 24, 1950
NEW YORK, Monday—All over the country the United States Association for the United Nations has been carrying on a more active United Nations Week campaign than in any previous year. This activity will culminate in the observance of United Nations Day, Tuesday, October 24. I have been chairman of the National Citizens Committee for United Nations Day and I want to express my gratitude for the work done by the members of that committee and the members of the staff. They have not only raised more money this year, but have managed to create a far greater awareness of United Nations work among state and city officials and the people generally. There will be a stirring of interest in the U.N. that will focus on October 24 which I hope will bear fruit in greater interest during the entire year.
I particularly want to speak of the amount of work done here in New York City by John Golden, who is City Chairman of United Nations Day. An extremely busy man, he accepted this post only because of his belief that the U.N. must be strong in order to help us achieve a peaceful world. Mr. Golden has written an excellent leaflet called, "Why I Am for the United Nations," which I would like to see distributed all over the United States. He has stimulated among the New York City schoolchildren an essay contest on the subject of "U.N. & U = Peace." He has thought up innumerable ways of making us conscious of our responsibility. He has written a play about our earliest hero in the fight for freedom of religion, John Brown of Flushing, Long Island. He has written a prayer which I hope will be said not only here but in the hearts of many people for days to come. Tomorrow I shall put it in my column in full.
I want to pay a brief tribute to former Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, who died last week. It must be a terrible thing for his wife, who had so many years of happy companionship, to be left alone. Yet, she must also look back on so much that will give her happy memories as companions to the end of her days.
As you read the eulogies in the papers, you realize what a long and active and fruitful life Mr. Stimson lived, and above everything else, how willing he was to accept responsibility in the interest of the public. When my husband called upon him to serve in his cabinet it must have been a great temptation for Mr. Stimson to say: "I have earned my rest. I will not take up the burdens of public life in a great emergency again." Yet Mr. Stimson patriotically accepted, and I know how much my husband valued the service which he rendered during the years of the war. Every American must take pride in a life so well lived and feel that it is an undying contribution to the history of our land.
As I returned from a night spent in Westbrook, Conn. with my friend Esther Lape, I looked out of the window of the train and thought, "what a beautiful world we live in!" No killing frost has yet hurt the chrysanthemums or any of the hardier plants of that part of the country and the color in the trees is still beautiful if not quite so brilliant.
I also read the rules laid down by Blanche McKeown in her short article in This Week magazine as a recipe against boredom. I don't think all of us could follow her rules, but her quotation from Samuel Johnson is a very excellent one, viz: "If a man does not make new acquaintances, as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendships in constant repair."
One can make new friendships with things as well as people and I think friendships with nature are the best developments as one grows older. But all friendships, whether they are with things or with people, have to be kept in constant repair. That is perhaps the most important sentence in the quotation from Samuel Johnson.