SEPTEMBER 29, 1953
NEW YORK, Monday—Last Friday we went to Richmond after a very delightful visit in Washington. Among other things, while in the capital, I had a very pleasant luncheon with the Indian Ambassador at his home. I remembered the house when Mrs. Pandit was the Ambassadress, for it gives one a great sense of isolation since you look over Rock Creek Park with all its trees and you might be 100 miles from a big city. I had the pleasure of meeting the Ambassador's eldest daughter and her little six-day-old son. I can never resist the charm of a baby; their mere helplessness is so appealing. But this youngster opened his eyes and looked around as if he really knew what he was looking at.
In the late afternoon I went for the first time to the clubhouse of the American Veterans Committee. They have made it possible for a group of foreign young people, drawn largely from the various embassies, to meet in the clubhouse. These young people were on hand to meet me with the most lovely old-fashioned bouquet of white carnations. This clubhouse knows no segregation, since veterans of World War II are both white and colored.
After the reception, the Washington Chapter of AVC held its annual Human Rights Day dinner in the dining room at the airport. One side is all windows so you can watch the planes arriving from many parts of the world. Four awards were made, one to an AVC veteran, one to a Washington Judge, one to a Washington clergyman, and one to me. All of the awards were given for work in the field of human relations and for courage to stand back of the belief that all men are brothers and all human beings are worthy of respect. The big dining room was filled and I thought it was a very successful occasion for this young group of veterans to put on.
Friday morning I was at the airport to catch the plane for Richmond and my heart sank when I was told that there was fog in Richmond which was delaying planes coming up and that there might be a delay going down. We were late, about a half hour late, and the Richmond committee had to make a slight change in plans. They invited a group of American Association for the United Nations leaders to meet at the same time as the press instead of having two separate meetings. In this way we made up time, and met with our next group of organization leaders at 11 o'clock in a large room nearby. I was told that there were some 400 members present at this meeting, plus all those who met first with the press.
Mr. Eichelberger and I explained the purpose of our trip. I told of the hopes I had for building more strength for the United Nations throughout the country. And Mr. Eichelberger told something of the philosophy and of the background of the American Association for the United Nations. Then the audience took over the meeting and asked questions of us, beginning with a clergyman who wanted to know how to awaken interest among church people, since he found great apathy. And finally ending with a young teen-age girl from one of the high schools who wanted to know how teen-agers could be useful and where they could get information on teenage activities.