OCTOBER 25, 1951
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I was in Washington for a few hours yesterday and attended a board meeting at Howard University. I have missed a great many of these meetings because in the past when they had been scheduled I was serving on the General Assembly or the Human Rights Commission. So when I found one that came two days before I was scheduled to sail for the new U.N. session in Paris I was anxious not to miss it.
I managed also in my short time in Washington a brief goodbye visit with my old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Adolph C. Miller, and a quick call at the State Department.
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Tuesday evening I went to Greenwich House's 50th anniversary dinner. This dinner, of course, was given in honor of Mrs. Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch, who founded the Lower West Side settlement house in 1902 on Jones Street.
It was interesting to see the members of the board and staff and so many who have known Mrs. Simkhovitch and supported and developed the work of Greenwich House with her.
Because of Mrs. Simkhovitch's illness, her daughter accepted on her behalf the beautifully illuminated scroll that had been prepared for her. Her husband also came to hear the tributes paid his wife.
The last speaker reminded us of the fact that on this 50th anniversary it was necessary to raise $100,000, and that this dinner opened the campaign that would last during the next six weeks.
Greenwich House, of course, is one of the really valuable neighborhood houses that have become a part of the life of the people in various city districts. Mrs. Simkhovitch herself has said: "When Greenwich House opened in 1902 its main service was helping people to adjust to a new country. Today the House faces an even greater task in helping people to adjust to a new world."
The House has activities for all its neighbors, beginning with a child care center and ending with the over-60 Club. It operates a summer camp for young people not far from us in Dutchess County.
Those youngsters of the in-between years can work in the music school, in the pottery schools, in the children's art work shop or the theatre. And the Greenwich House Players do a good job of producing players who graduate into the professional world, even going to Broadway and Hollywood.
Of course, there are athletics of all kinds going on, and Gene Tunney, who was at the dinner, told us of the days when he got some of his fundamental boxing training in the old Jones Street house.
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We were told yesterday that because of the dock strike there is some question as to whether the U.S. delegation to the U.N. will be able to sail on Thursday. There is hope, however, that things will be sufficiently settled so the "America" can get off not later than Friday. I will be glad for the extra day, but as my family and friends come to say goodbye to me I fear they shall be weary if the strike lasts too long.
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There seems to be quite a collection of books just now dealing with the foibles of women, the difficulties of men, and their mutual understanding. One of these books, called, "You Can Start All Over" by Marjorie Roulston, is a guide for the widow and divorcee, and I must say in glancing through it as a widow and a grandmother I found some rather amusing and valuable hints. The very last chapter is on keeping up with your grandchildren—and that is a fascinating business!