FEBRUARY 1, 1955
NEW YORK—Last Wednesday morning I took a plane to Sarasota, Florida, thinking I would find myself in a warm climate. When I arrived, to my surprise, everyone told me that it had been a very cold winter and, it is true, the weather remained chilly while I was there. The sun did not shine a great deal.
On Friday I went over to Florida Southern College in Lakeland to make a speech.
Florida Southern, a Methodist college that has grown a great deal in the past years, has a unique group of buildings which were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Each building is joined to another by a covered walk, and even though this planning darkens some of the rooms it is certainly a very interesting group of buildings. The school has about 2,000 students, of which about 70 are foreign students. Many of the latter are from South America, though I was told that altogether 16 countries are represented. I saw some girls in Korean costume, and one boy looked to me as though he came from Indonesia.
The Red Cross chapter in Lakeland has inaugurated a most-interesting program for these foreign students—a rather unusual one for the Red Cross to carry on in any community. This chapter has made itself responsible to see that the young people visit all the industries in the Lakeland area. Among them there are phosphate plants and canneries that put out citrus concentrates and canned orange juice.
And in addition to visiting points of interest in Florida, the Red Cross makes it a point to see that every student becomes acquainted with American homes. The girls may spend a day with an American housewife, shopping with her, helping to prepare the food and taking part in any of the other family activities. The boys are with the men of the household, watching business methods and going with them to any of their other activities, civic or recreational.
The whole idea struck me as a very good program and I hope it can be carried on in many other cities. It might well be something which the American Association for the United Nations could promote and sponsor under the auspices of its various chapters.
I returned to New York on Saturday and found the weather decidedly colder here than it was in Florida!
I spent Sunday in Hyde Park with my youngest son, John, and his children. We went together to meet little Mary Kosloski, the poster child for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and to lay the Foundation wreath on my husband's grave to commemorate his birthday.
President Eisenhower sent his wreath, which was presented by Lieutenant General B.M. Bryan, Superintendent of West Point, and his cadet aides. Another wreath, given by the Roosevelt Home Club, was brought by six-year-old John Todd Nelson, who had had polio.
In the evening I attended the birthday memorial concert at Town Hall here in New York City and had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Basil O'Connor and some of the other people who have carried on the National Foundation work so remarkably well.
The concert was a very fine one at which the West Point Glee Club, Frank Valentino, Herbert Kramer, Mona Paulee, John Sebastian and Salvatore Baccaloni performed exceptionally well.