APRIL 2, 1953
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I returned to New York from New Orleans late Tuesday evening after 24 hours in that delightful city, and I'll tell you about my day.
On my arrival in New Orleans Dr. A.E. Dent, president of Dillard University, met me and we went directly to the university where I held a press conference. This was recorded for television and it was a rather novel experience for me.
At four o'clock a gathering with over 1,800 people met in front of one of the buildings and I spoke on the United Nations. The setting was really charming.
The Dillard University campus is lovely, with broad lawns and simple white buildings that are all very harmonious. A row of trees runs down the center of the campus, which is patterned after Thomas Jefferson's plan at the University of Virginia. The U.N. flags were displayed back of the speaker's stand and the only ceremony was the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner by some high school bands and some singing by the choir of the university.
I spent the night with Mr. and Mrs. David Stern and after a family dinner they had some 50 or 60 friends come in and I was able to answer some of their questions about India.
At nine o'clock on Tuesday morning I started out with Dr. Dent, and we first visited a Negro school for 2,300 children, which has classes from kindergarten on up through the seventh grade. Then I went to the university where I spent an hour and a half with the students, one hour being given to answering questions. They had very good questions, too, and a keen interest in the opportunities that might be open in the future for young people in various parts of the world.
At 12 o'clock I went to the TV studio for an interview. This studio is in one of the oldest and most-painted courts of the French Quarter. The arched doorway and inner stairway that you have seen in hundreds of New Orleans pictures are here, and a charming fountain with flowers of various kinds in the middle adds to the charm of the court.
I was glad to have the time to drive down the main street as this was my only opportunity of renewing my memories of sightseeing trips in New Orleans in the past. The French Quarter, with its balconies and inner courts, is still fascinating.
Mr. and Mrs. Stern have the most beautiful gardens surrounding their house. Only last week they had just been entertaining the Garden Club of America, so everything looked to me at its height—tall, standard roses in full bloom and almost every other variety of flower.
The climate was delightful—not too cold and not too warm but just pleasant and mild. No one would have to leave that part of the world in search of mild winter weather, and spring is beautiful there.
Dillard is one of the universities participating in the United Negro College Fund and I think it is doing a very good job choosing its faculty, which is interracial. The same is true of the student body, and the school is constantly striving to raise the standards of scholarship. I am sure this university offers as good an opportunity for sound education as one can find in the area.
I enjoyed my parting lunch with some members of the faculty at Dr. Dent's house, and I made a three-thirty plane home.