SEPTEMBER 13, 1952
HYDE PARK, Friday—I promised I would tell you something a little more in detail about my two-day trip to the Midwest. I would like to tell you of the interesting time I had going over the plant in Chicago that belongs to Mr. James Johnson, who publishes the three Negro Magazines—Ebony, Tan and Jet. I not only saw the whole setup but lunched with the heads of the different departments and had a very delightful time.
Mr. Johnson, a young man, started his magazine enterprise with $500, which he had borrowed, and he told me if it had not been for WPA and NYA he would have had a very hard time. It is one of those success stories of a young American which makes one proud of the opportunities given by this country to its people. He must have taken full advantage of course, of his educational opportunities and he must have had courage and plenty of business acumen. But as you look at the results today it gives you a sense of great pride.
I also visited the Volunteers for Stevenson headquarters. It is a busy place and it shows all the signs of a brand-new group. Most candidates in the past, backed by pre-convention organizations, would need only to swing into a new program, but in Stevenson's case it was different. He had no such organization, and those who say that he was all prepared beforehand should just walk into the headquarters and see the gigantic efforts to get started. Their first posters have come in and the first booklet will just get into the mail this week.
The part of an organization that is run by volunteers is always less cut and dried than the regular organization, but they usually make up in enthusiasm for their lack of knowledge and preparation. For Stevenson there is great enthusiasm, and I was pleased to see so many young people working there.
As the two presidential candidates tour the country I really wonder whether we can count on people as a whole listening to or reading in full their speeches. If they do, they cannot fail to be impressed, I think, by the fact that there are more real issues being discussed in Stevenson's speeches than in General Eisenhower's.
This is probably because Governor Stevenson is more personally familiar with the domestic questions in the country, having been governor of Illinois and being in active politics for some time and with a family background that would have led him to the study of day-by-day political situations.
They might feel, however, as I do, that occasionally the Governor is a little academic. Please remember, Mr. Governor, we are usually sitting down after a long day's work to listen to you in our living rooms. We want to feel that you are visiting us, that you have something which you want us to know about in order that we may help you. We don't want to be talked down to; we just want you to tell us very simply what your problems are and what you face in the great task you are asking us to help you meet by voting for you in November.