SEPTEMBER 25, 1951
NEW YORK, Monday—I have had a rather unexpectedly busy weekend.
On Saturday morning I met the members of the Mary T. Norton Democratic Club at the Library at Hyde Park and it was a pleasure to hear them speak of Mary Norton, after whom they had named their organization. Though she is no longer in active politics she is not forgotten.
In the afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting the Brazilian Minister of Finance, Horacio Loser, and the other members of his party. He came to the United States to attend some financial meetings and to attend to certain matters with our government that he hopes will improve the economic outlook for both our countries. He had met my husband and wanted to come to Hyde Park in tribute to his memory. After tea the party motored back to New York City. I hope we did not keep them too long, for I knew they would enjoy the drive back in daylight.
In the evening I went for a short time to the annual dinner of the old Military Police training group that had its headquarters in Hyde Park during the war and while my husband was President. After church on Sunday morning I also met them at the grave and I am touched by their loyalty and the kindly memories they have of their Hyde Park days.
My weekend concluded with a meeting at the Vassar Alumnae Building Sunday afternoon where the Junior Red Cross of Westchester County was holding a training center. I heard some of their reports and saw some interesting exhibits.
I have been reading a book that I think everybody will enjoy who has an interest in the background of our government. It is called, "This American People" by Gerald W. Johnson.
I was intrigued by the opening paragraph: "Democracy is a dangerous form of government. The United States of America is a democracy." From then on there are many things written that you will ponder over and argue about if you are opposed to the statements and be ready to applaud if you agree with them. Mr. Johnson has a challenging way of writing and it is never dry nor dull.
In one of our Sunday newspaper magazine features, I was struck by the fact that the author, Robert S. Bradford, former Governor of Massachusetts with six years of experience as a district attorney whose district had a population of almost a million people, states:
"Without long continued civic slothfulness, there can be no successful alliance between crime and politics. Where there are alliances, it simply means that the citizens are not on the job."
That seems to me a very sound conclusion, but I wonder how many people who almost breathlessly watched the televising of Senator Kefauver's committee hearings last spring really took this particular lesson to heart and felt that they themselves had a responsibility for what they were seeing on the television screen. Being responsible for one's government is a continuing difficult job, and that is what Mr. Johnson means when he says that democracy is a dangerous business. You cannot shunt your responsibility off on anybody else.