DECEMBER 6, 1950
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Sunday night I attended a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in honor of the members of the Beth-El Hospital in Brooklyn. I saw the Hon. Bernard M. Baruch give certificates of merit to members of the board who had worked unostentatiously but faithfully through the years to perform noble service in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn.
Just after I got there a young man with a badge came up to me and told me that the local precinct police station had received an anonymous call saying that a man was going to shoot me when I spoke at the dinner. I was somewhat amused. It is hardly likely that someone who really wanted to shoot another would carefully telephone the police station first. Nevertheless, the police did their duty and stationed themselves all around the grand ballroom while the speaking was going on. Later, they even insisted on following Mr. Baruch's car, in which I rode to my hotel, to make sure he left me safely inside the door.
Of course, no one turned up with a gun, and we have been wondering if it was just a crank or someone playing a practical joke who caused all the excitement!
Yesterday morning in the plenary session at Flushing Meadowsw the resolution was passed that asks the Human Rights Commission to do five years' work in five weeks at their coming session.
In the afternoon I went out to Lake Success where I answered questions for a short time for a group of history students from Fordham University. Their questions were excellent, and I only hope they found some really interesting meetings to attend during the afternoon.
We are still working in Committee #3 on the statute for the high commission that will take office and continue to be responsible for refugees after the International Refugee Organization ceases to exist.
Our meeting kept us at Lake Success until after 7 o'clock and I had hoped to get back early. I can never quite decide to give up seeing a play now and then but I found myself getting home just in time to swallow a bit of food with some friends and dash for the theatre.
We saw Paul Kelly and Uta Hagen in "The Country Girl." This new play written by Clifford Odets and Steven Hill, is, I think a really interesting one. I enjoyed the whole evening very much, though I can't say that having to dash from work to entertainment is the way to find the greatest relaxation.
All of us are both heavy-hearted and uneasy these days. In this regard I have just read two very interesting newspaper columns—one by the Alsops in Monday morning's Herald Tribune and one by Thomas L. Stokes in the World-Telegram Monday evening.
What we need most now, I think, is to be told what we can do. That is the essential thing that leadership must do for all of us as citizens. In the meantime, before we are asked to do anything outside of our usual occupations, I think it is well to remember that this is no time to neglect one's daily duties. The better we do our work at home—the more ready we are to accept whatever we are asked to do—the more the impression will grow abroad of a strong and calm people.
The peoples of the world need to feel that we are both strong and calm. We need to keep our friends and to gain new friends in this crisis of history. The United Nations depends largely on us, and our future as a world at peace may largely depend on the U.N.