MARCH 1, 1955
NEW YORK—Bright and early on Saturday morning I went to Washington to attend the annual conference sponsored by the American Association for the United Nations to which approximately 100 organizations send delegates. A convention of this kind gives one an opportunity for much talk and getting together with people from all over the United States. My particular responsibility had to do with the board of governors, which met before the real conference was in full swing.
Immediately upon my arrival a small committee on organization met with me to consider changes that needed to be made in representation and organization because of the growth of the nationwide expansion of the AAUN. In a year and a half we have achieved a spectacular increase in state chairmen and chapters.
Nevertheless, we realize very well that we are far from being really well organized or from touching even one-tenth of the people in the United States with the information that every citizen should have about the United Nations. Therefore, while we are pleased with our growth, and conscious that growing pains such as we have are a good sign, we feel we cannot afford to be complacent and to think that we are doing enough.
I lunched with the National Council of Colored Women at the Hotel Willard to celebrate the beginning of its 20th year. The meeting was also held the last day of Brotherhood Week, so it was fitting that Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune, who organized the council and was present as the honored guest should receive tributes for her work not only for the Negro race but for Americans everywhere. Her spirit of charity and kindness has smoothed many a difficult situation and has eased many tensions, and she has certainly helped race relations in the United States.
I had to leave fairly early because of my board of governors' meeting, which had already been going on for at least a quarter of an hour before I got back to the Shoreham Hotel. Late in the afternoon Sen. Herbert H. Lehman of New York, who is one of our oldest members in point of service, arrived. Senator Lehman has consistently given us support over many years and we were delighted to pay tribute to him and to get him to speak to the board of governors.
Shortly after five o'clock my son James came for me and we motored across the Connecticut Avenue bridge to the charming apartment of Mrs. William P. Helm, where we enjoyed a brief respite.
After dinner we went to the board of governors' evening meeting which lasted from eight until 10:15.
At eight o'clock Sunday morning two organization committees breakfasted with me in my sitting room and we talked about various suggestions that had been brought up to improve the organization. Later in the morning we attended a new session of the board of governors which went on from 9:30 until one o'clock in the afternoon. This was an interesting meeting at which as many as possible told of their particular difficulties and achievements and also made suggestions on organization activities.
My son James again called for me and we went to lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Francis B. Sayre. The Sayres have a charming house in a delightfully wooded area. There are two porches, one below the other, and they make you hope for spring weather. By walking a few feet from the house, we were told, one may reach a lovely brook which flows unimpeded by any building at all almost into the Potomac River.