OCTOBER 5, 1953
ST. LOUIS, Sunday—We left Minneapolis on Friday afternoon after a busy morning. We met early with the representatives of four states—North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The latter, of course, is the pivotal state from which much information and activity has gone out, but it was encouraging to have people come from so far away and to see new state chairmen and chapter heads. The luncheon which followed the morning session was attended by 700 people, and again my heart was warmed by the feeling of real interest in the United Nations.
Early Saturday morning we reached St. Louis. Here they were more energetic than they had been in any other place. Their meetings began at 9 a.m. and continued through most of the afternoon. These were attended by officers of the St. Louis and Missouri chapters of the American Association for the United Nations, representatives from some neighboring states, and representatives from many organizations interested in cooperating in work for the United Nations. Everyone seems to agree with us that the important thing is to spread truthful information about the U.N.
We ended the meetings by listing the steps which the United Nations Association of St. Louis and Missouri would proceed to take immediately to broaden their activities. They feel, as do many other places, that an office with a paid executive would be a great help, and some of the discussion centered therefore on money raising. I hope they will be able to raise the needed funds, because the right kind of secretary would be able to help them raise a bigger budget.
An effective publicity and information device has been set up here. This is the United Nations Information Center that has been established in the Scruggs department store, one of St. Louis' major retail stores. The information center is in the book department. Two tables have been placed against a mantel with a set of homelike book shelves, and browsing among the United Nations literature is encouraged. There are colorful posters, photos and miniature flag sets, and the public relations director will refer any questions that are asked to the proper source for information. Every assistance is given to club groups and individuals who are interested in the United Nations. Many publications about the U.N. which come from the AAUN are free and many more are sold at cost. More and more states and cities are setting up such information centers, and I think this is one of the valuable ways to spread information about the United Nations.
Apparently in St. Louis there have not as yet been quite such concerted attacks on the U.N. as in some other areas. One gentleman here asked me what the attacks were and where they came from, which was evidence that at least for the time being this area was fairly free from vicious propaganda. One reason may be that the newspapers here, particularly the Post-Dispatch, support the United Nations, which is a refreshing situation and one for which to be grateful.