JANUARY 25, 1956
HOUSTON—On Sunday I started off again, this time on a trip for the American Association for the United Nations. Our first stop is here in Houston.
My five days back home since my trip to the West Coast were busy ones, but work and pleasure were pleasantly mixed. I want to tell you of the few hours I spent in Newark, N.J., on Saturday.
Some representatives of United Nations delegations had been asked through our Mayors Hospitality Committee to visit Newark to see work done there by the local AAUN chapter, and at the same time to visit a new housing project where integration has been carried out with great success. In the latter undertaking colored people, Puerto Ricans, and white people were living side by side and working out their problems.
Representatives from Israel, Liberia, and India started out with me a little after 11 a.m. First we were shown the square in Newark which has been renamed United Nations Square. The new public library stands on one side of it and the mayor's representative told me that they plan to make this square a cultural center. There also were some fine new buildings going up opposite the library. The square itself is being beautified and in summer flowers and benches will be added.
We met in the library and were welcomed by the city officials. I was glad that our visitors saw what a delightful place an American public library can be, with open fire on the hearth, comfortable chairs, and bookshelves filled with books that cover every subject to tempt one's curiosity.
Here, also, they have exhibits about the United Nations and they are cooperating with our local chapter in giving out information.
From the library we went to Newark's largest department store, Bamberger's. There on the third floor facing the elevators we found the United Nations Information Center. Literature is both given out and sold, and globes are on sale. United Nations sets of flags and posters that tell of the work of the U.N. also attract attention.
Then we proceeded to the Reverend R. Hayes Homes. This housing project is fortunate in having a settlement house incorporated into the development. There Fuld House offers the tenants and their neighbors a day nursery, group recreation for children and adults, a day camp, community organizations, and a family counseling service. This is a great addition to the largest public housing project in New Jersey.
The development is an integrated project—colored, white, and Puerto Ricans living very well together. They have a community organization that edits a community paper, and at Fuld House they have an inspiring director, a Dr. Fried. Each of the houses in the project elects its own president, and they come together to discuss their problems to improve their community for children and adults.
We were treated to a very delightful lunch and, judging from the short speeches made by our foreign delegates, all of them enjoyed their experience. I certainly found it a very pleasant and inspiring day.