SEPTEMBER 7, 1951
HYDE PARK, Thursday—We left here by car Tuesday morning at 6 o'clock, en route to the airport and Toronto, Canada, dropping my oldest grandson at the Poughkeepsie station on the way. All went well and we thought we had ample time until we struck the Long Island road leading from the Whitestone Bridge to LaGuardia Field. There we ran into such traffic that we moved only a few feet at a time and I had visions of missing my plane. We made it easily, however, and though I reach Toronto a little bit late it was not enough to upset the day's schedule.
The pilot gave us a very good view of Niagara Falls by circling above for a minute, and now I have seen the falls from the air, from underneath, on foot and in a car. From the air they are really beautiful and one sees the rainbow shades coming up from the water in the spray.
Toronto is on Lake Ontario and has many charming homes. Mrs. Kate Aiken, who is the director of women's activities for the Canadian National Exhibition, and Mrs. R.C. Berkinshaw, wife of the president of the exhibition, met me at the airport and took me to Mrs. Aiken's home. There Mrs. Ray Lawson, wife of the lieutenant-governor, and members of the press awaited me. I was given a very welcome cup of coffee, for by this time my 5:45 breakfast seemed a long, long way behind me. Even the cup of coffee I had on the plane was almost forgotten.
After the press had had their say we went on to the exhibition. It is really a remarkable show. It is, in effect, the show windows of Canada, and people come in the millions to see and enjoy the exceptional features that fill the days during the two-weeks period that the exhibition lasts. I was told on every side that those responsible for the exhibition volunteered their time and worked harder than they did at their own business, but they loved it.
I could well see that one could spend days without really taking in all that there was to see.
We stood at the head of the stairs of the Women's Building and shook hands with a large number of women who were attending the luncheon at which I spoke. Since this was International Day there were representatives from many foreign consulates present.
After the lunch we were escorted by a guard of honor, with the Scotch pipes playing the lead, over to the band shell. There we heard the United States Air Force band play and one of its members, who had a very good voice, sing. The Mayor of Toronto and Mr. R.C. Berkinshaw, president of the exhibition, greeted us, as did a number of other Canadian notables. I spoke again and at the end of the ceremony we were whisked away to see a few of the exhibits.
The little "give away" bungalow was charming and I carried away my number, though I do not expect to win it. I saw the American Women's Booth and many other interesting things as I walked about. I was particularly glad to go into one hall where I met a number of school children, who were all from the same school but had come from many countries all over the world. A little United Nations exists in that school.
They borrowed from the London exhibition the portrait of Whistler's Mother, so we dashed in to have a look at that. Then we called at the Ontario Building and went for a cup of tea at a party given by the governors of the exhibition.
A final quiet hour was spent with Mrs. Aiken and her daughter and son-in-law and their delightful children. Soon I was back on the plane, somewhat weary, but much impressed with the Canadian National Exhibition and all the delightful people with whom I spent the day.