OCTOBER 14, 1954
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I read with great interest the other morning Mrs. Hobby's statement of the President's middle-of-the-road philosophy on social security and social welfare but I have decided that Mr. Wilson stated it more succinctly, perhaps, when he said that this administration preferred hunting dogs to kennel-fed dogs. That said in a very few words what Mrs. Hobby also said, using a good many words.
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I must use my column again today to thank the ever-increasing number of friends who sent me cards, telegrams, and gifts. My staff cannot begin to send all of you a personal letter but I thank you very deeply for your remembering, for your kindness and for the warmth of your feeling.
Tuesday night the American Association for the United Nations arranged a dinner for which my old friend, the Hon. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., consented to be chairman. The dinner was to celebrate my 70th birthday and at the same time to raise some money to carry on more satisfactorily the work of the organization which I think is of paramount importance in our country today. I am very grateful for people's generosity and belief in the cause which the AAUN stands for. I am more than happy that my birthday may make it possible for us to carry on more adequately the information and educational program of the Association. This program is designed to bring understanding of, and support to, all the different phases of work of the U.N.
The book that was given me at the dinner contained letters from many fine people and will long be a cherished possession. Eventually all such honors as this find their place in the Library at Hyde Park, but I think I shall keep this with me for a long time. First, it will cheer me if I ever become discouraged, and second, it will remind me of the trust and faith other people have in my ability to do good work. It will make me try harder than ever to put the best that is in me into the various causes that I have at heart. The Wiltwyck School boys also presented me with a book which I shall cherish.
I feel deeply grateful to all the people who came to the dinner, to all those who contributed to the fund, and above all to those who spoke. Ed Murrow found time in his busy life to preside and many others, equally busy, found time to come and give me a sense of their warmth and affection. All I can say is "Thank you" and I will try to be worthy of the trust you have in me.
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Tuesday was Columbus Day and I must not forget that most important gentleman! We would probably not be here at all if he had not had the spirit of adventure and sailed the seas with confidence in his own beliefs as to the nature of the world. So we all should think gratefully of the gentleman who had the courage to discover a country which we have developed and can live in happily today.