DECEMBER 14, 1954
HYDE PARK—I came up here Saturday morning and had the pleasure of entertaining six Nottingham scholars and Miss McPheeters from the English Speaking Union for lunch. Then they spent the afternoon at the memorial library. My grandson arrived in time for dinner, bringing a guest. And on Sunday, my son, John, and his family came to lunch with me so it was quite a pleasant weekend.
I returned to New York early Sunday afternoon to attend a concert at the United Nations commemorating Human Rights Day (Dec. 10). There was a broadcast Friday afternoon honoring this day in order to remind us all of our responsibilities in this field. I was only able to participate by doing a kinescope beforehand since I had promised to go to the NAACP college council in New Haven to discuss civil rights and the effect of the U.N. upon them. This is one of the biggest college councils of NAACP in the country, having 300 members. The only larger one is at Oberlin College which has 350 members. It is encouraging to see these young people taking such a deep interest in civil rights and working out the problems of integration in both work and play during their college years.
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I was particularly happy to read on Saturday morning the report on the use of Salk vaccine. The newspaper account said that latest reports give the hope that this anti-polio vaccine will end the crippling form of the disease as soon as the susceptible age groups are properly vaccinated. It is possible, too, that this may be of help in the fight on influenza and the common cold. More work hours are lost as a result of common colds than by any other illness, I have been told.
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The U.N. General Assembly, by a vote of 47 to 5, condemned Communist China for jailing the American flyers. It was suggested that possibly Dr. Hammarskjold might go to China in an effort to put the request for freeing all those detained in the most forceful way possible. It would go far towards easing tensions if the Communist Chinese Government would recognize their responsibility of living up to the Geneva pact and free all their prisoners. I think they would engender a great deal of goodwill and it might help the world situation in many ways. The Soviets are still trying to prevent France's signing the pact which will permit the rearming of Germany but I think they must realize it is inevitable that they will have to accept the decision of the Western European nations.
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A well-deserved tribute was paid by the American Veterans of World War II and Korea to General of the Army George C. Marshall in Washington and I was glad to see that both President Eisenhower and ex-President Truman, joined in the tribute. This should give some of the "little men" who once attacked General Marshall food for thought.