APRIL 29, 1953
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I reached Peoria, Ill., late Saturday afternoon after a rather rough trip both into Chicago and on leaving Chicago. The Illinois Congress of Parent-Teachers had a very well-attended meeting, and the dinner in the Armory that night filled the floor with dinner guests and then the gallery with people who came in for the program afterwards. I was told that something like 3,000 people were there.
Every time groups such as this one, made up of the real people of the country, come to hear about the United Nations and its work I am enormously encouraged. It is, above all else, the parents and teachers who mould the thinking of this generation and the next. If they believe in the U.N., that will give it good solid backing.
To me the Parent-Teachers organizations are among the most important in our country, and I am always grateful for the opportunity to be with them.
I was lazy on Sunday morning but I was ready when called for to be taken to a lunch arranged to promote Israel Bonds. It was a very successful lunch, too, and soon after I took the plane back to New York but, because of delays, we did not reach here until after 11 o'clock.
These plane trips sometimes bring one very interesting opportunities for conversation. On my way west I sat next to a young man who was returning to Wichita, Kan., from a convention of automotive engineers that had been held in New York City, and he was a delightful companion. His work was with the Boeing airplane plant, and I was interested to find that while he had been here he had visited the U.N. Building at night, not being able to go there in the daytime.
He was in the Air Force during the war and because of that and his present work he is very conscious of the military threat to our safety. He was disturbed, nevertheless, about the lack of information in the country as a whole on the subject of the U.N. He was conscious of the organized threat against the world organization and he felt people should know more about it and not be susceptible to the propaganda from one source or another that is being poured upon us from day to day.
One of my friends attended a Facts Forum meeting over the past weekend. These meetings were originally held in Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's church, but now he—or his vestry—has decided that such meetings are political. So, Facts Forum, which is paid for and financed by Mr. H.L. Hunt, moved to a room in a hotel for this meeting. They had to pay $10 for the room and every person present was asked for 50 cents as a contribution to this expense.
One wonders when one sees what Mr. Hunt spends on Facts Forum why he could not spend that extra $10. In Texas he has a radio station and any amount of publicity available for which he must pay. But perhaps these small New York meetings are not real publicity from his point of view.
The account of the meeting was funny. UNESCO had a young gentleman present who is an Englishman and who finds it a little difficult to cope with the type of lady whose statements are entirely untrue. Incidentally, the meeting was presided over by a member of the DAR, and she evidently was opposed to the U.N. though she didn't dare to say so!