FEBRUARY 26, 1955
NEW YORK—In yesterday's column, I said I would tell you about the rest of my activity in Lancaster, Pa., early this week. On Monday I attended a Brotherhood Week banquet, and I must say the hotel dining room was filled. I was told it was one of the biggest events ever held in that city. Gov. Theodore McKeldin, Jr. was the main speaker, but some of the rest of us said a few words.
Governor McKeldin made a forthright and very strong speech on brotherhood, going further than one might expect a governor of a state that is on the border between the North and South. He does not believe in segregation and he says so without mincing words.
The evening meeting at which I was the principal speaker was very well attended, but I was told that a good many seats had to be given away free. Since there were four charities participating in receiving any funds that were raised that evening and, since I was there as a volunteer to speak on the United Nations and brotherhood, I was sorry to hear that the community had not fully cooperated with the committee in raising as much as possible for the charities. One of those to benefit was the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in which I always have an interest.
A reception, to which I did not go, was given after the meeting. It was a private party and some misunderstanding had arisen as to the place where it was to be held. I felt, that on an occasion when we were celebrating brotherhood, my presence would mean less in a group where everyone might not feel completely welcome. My absence probably was not even noticed, since I was told this was a large reception and very well attended.
Early on Tuesday morning we took the train back to New York and I have been gathering up the threads of normal existence ever since.
On Washington's Birthday I opened a bazaar in St. Augustine's Church on Henry Street and was glad to have a glimpse of Helen Hall and her husband as I went in. I am sure the bazaar was a success because it was filled with children, and I have one photograph taken with a small Italian boy which I think has great charm. He was a lovely little boy and he was trying to share a peppermint stick with me.
Thursday I travelled again, to Williamsport, Pa., to speak at an evening meeting.
I returned Friday morning to New York and was astonished to see in the paper that an organization to which for a long time I have subscribed the large sum of $10 a year—The American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born—is listed as giving help only to the members of the Communist party. If this is true, I am sure it will be a great surprise and shock to many people besides myself.
I shall be interested to see what the final judgment on this organization will be.