APRIL 30, 1955
HYDE PARK—On Tuesday I went to Washington for the board meeting of Howard University. It was a rainy, miserable morning but we got off in good time and were only 40 minutes late in arriving. Fortunately, the meeting began late because President Mordecai Johnson of the university had to appear before a Congressional appropriations committee in Congress. At 12 o'clock I spoke to a convocation of the students.
After lunch I spent a pleasant afternoon seeing friends and enjoying Mrs. James Helm's hospitality. At 6:30 I went to the America-Israel Society dinner. This dinner was very successful and there must have been 600 guests or more at the Willard Hotel. The dinner-meeting was presided over by Theodore S. McKeldin, former governor of Maryland, who was again elected president of the society.
I found I had an unexpected Republican friend at the dinner. Just before we started to eat Senator William Langer of North Dakota, in the most kindly terms, proposed a toast to me, and no one could have been more surprised than I was!
Dean Pike spoke extremely well after the dinner, and I was very sorry to have to leave in order to catch my plane for I missed hearing Minority Leader Joseph W. Martin Jr., and Ambassador Abba Eban of Israel.
I had a delightfully leisurely morning in New York on Wednesday due to the fact that my plane to St. Louis was delayed. I got off in time, however, to attend the dinner at which I spoke that night. Then I took a train into Chicago with an hour to cross the city and eat breakfast and catch another train to Milwaukee. There I made a speech at lunch and another one at dinner and caught a night plane back to New York.
I arrived Friday morning and was glad not to have too strenuous a day. I had the pleasure, after spending a little while in the office Friday afternoon, of seeing Mr. Bernard M. Baruch who has been South so much this winter that it is a long time since I have had a talk with this old and valued friend. We have exchanged letters occasionally, particularly at the time of the publication of the Yalta papers, but letters are not the same as a real chance to talk.
I am beginning to look forward to a little warmer weather soon. I would like to be able to have meals in my little garden in New York City, and before long at Hyde Park I should think we should be able to have lunch outdoors or on the porch. May is the month I always like to be sunny in the middle of the day at least, so that I can eat out of doors and then light an open fire about teatime and enjoy the coziness and warmth which a log fire always gives to a living room in late afternoon and evening.
So much flying and traveling this week makes me feel anxious not to be quite so much on the wing and I am glad that next week I don't have to spend a single night away from town—though I do have one long day in upstate New York.
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