APRIL 7, 1951
NEW YORK, Friday—We started off before 7 o'clock yesterday morning to come to New York City and I must say it is far easier to get up at this time of year it is lighter than it is on a winter day. Even the dogs didn't resent being put out at 6:30. They certainly would have protested when there was snow and ice on the ground and it was still like the middle of the night.
Reaching the city comparatively early, I was able to catch up on various little things and prepare for the afternoon's radio recordings, for a talk with some Rockford (Ill.) College students and my appearance at International House.
David Rockefeller, who is president of International House, gathered together a notable group of guests, many of whom I was surprised to find had never visited the place before and knew nothing of its program.
International House in New York City accommodates about 500 students, both men and women. Its activities, however extend to foreign students who do not live in the House and are even followed closely by students after they have gone home or gone to other countries to pursue their studies.
We sat with a number of students during dinner and afterward the program was designed to give the guests an idea of the great number of countries represented, and what contribution the students from these countries could make in talents. We had dances and music of many kinds and I felt that both Mr. Rockefeller and I were mere incidents in a program that showed far more clearly than any words would describe. The fellowship and understanding that grow among these young people who live and study and play together was excellently manifested.
If you are looking for an enjoyable book, I'd like to recommend "The Little World of Don Camillo" by Giovanni Guareschi. I am sure you will be entertained, amused, touched and enlightened. When you put the book down, you will feel that you have been living among people whom you like, and you are going to understand the voluble and sometimes fiery Italians a little better. I think you will decide that Don Camillo is a very human person and you will wish that you could talk with Jesus on the same terms of familiar friendliness that he established with the Jesus on his altar.
Madame Leon Blum has sent me a little pamphlet which she wrote for the first anniversary of her husband's death. I wish it could be published in this country and read by many people, for we need the type of courageous, quiet leadership that Leon Blum gave to so many people during his life.
I want to give you a few sentences, which I will try to translate here: "He had made up his mind to be an optimist...He never was afraid to appear in the wrong...The desire to appear to be right never made him rush to a conclusion."
Finally, this sentence: "The best among us sacrifice our lives, want to make life an act of devotion; the bad sell their lives; the neutrals drag out their lives; others burn up their lives; just a handful refuse to live. The very rare are those who accept their lives. He (Leon Blum) accepted life."