AUGUST 15, 1951
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Have I ever mentioned George Orwell's little book, "Animal Farm"? The other day I read it in more leisurely fashion and enjoyed every word.
There is a quiet satire and humor in the animals' behavior and "Revolution and the Pigs" which is quite delightful. I think everyone would not only enjoy but profit by reading this little book.
Some Dutch-Americans, Mr. and Mrs. H.P. Van Walt have been visiting us. They had written me that they wanted to spend a day here in Hyde Park, to see the house and library. They were among the most charming guests I ever had the pleasure of welcoming. Everyone who showed them around told me of their appreciation and enjoyment.
A letter came today from Mrs. Van Walt and I think that what she says represents what many people feel who come here. As it is the kind of tribute that would make anyone happy, I am going to quote it.
He was in a very deep sense a father; and it was as
a father that we mourned him. He interpreted America
to us. It was through him that we first began to
yearn for citizenship.
with us was this That tens of thousands of Americans
and more, are better men and women today, finer
citizens, because of that twelve years when he
guided us; and that we shall go on trying to be
worthy of it."
Could one ask for a better way to be remembered? It seems to me that this is the way all of us would like people to feel about our influence after we have left this world.
Last Sunday I went over to the library to meet a group of students from the American Language Center for Foreign Students. They are spending six weeks at the center before scattering throughout the country for a year's work in different universities.
Among them were Japanese, one of two Germans and representatives from many other countries. They asked me to explain the values of democracy and to tell where there was still need for improvement. Rather a tall order to cover such a large subject in a few minutes.
Of course, it could not be adequately done. One hopes that these students will learn much more from what they see than from what they hear.
Today I have just met Mr. and Mrs. Taleyarkhan of India at the station. They are here as guests of the State Department. They have been in New York City, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia and they're now on the eve of starting a trip throughout the country.
Perhaps I am getting more opportunities to talk with guests from abroad but I am deeply impressed with the value of their visits.
It gives us an opportunity to know more about the people of other lands. It certainly gives them an opportunity to get a close-up view of the United States and its people.