FEBRUARY 17, 1956
CHICAGO—We had a good trip from New York to Rochester and were met and driven as quickly as possible to Geneseo. But, as always happens when one is in a hurry, the one place where the road crossed the railroad tracks a freight train was stopped, so this took 15 minutes off what was, in any case, a rather close connection.
On arrival in Geneseo, Mr. and Mrs. Reverdy Wadsworth greeted us calmly, however, and we were allowed to change. Then we had a short but most delicious supper before going to the State Teachers College where I spoke in the new auditorium there.
It was the first time the auditorium had been used and the community is justifiably proud of it. It seats 1,008 people and all seats were filled.
The audience was a very nice mixture of students intending to be teachers and townspeople. Most of the townspeople in that area are Republicans but that did not seem to affect the warmth of their welcome.
I was pleased to have Mrs. Wadsworth, my distant cousin, tell me that she was devoted to my uncle, Mr. David Gray, and that they hoped to see him in Sarasota this spring, which I am sure will give him a great deal of pleasure.
The Wadsworths got up early the next morning to see us off at 8:25. Again a freight train was encountered before we reached the plane, so we had to turn around and find another road. But we had plenty of time to make the plane and had a very good trip here.
I had talked by telephone with Adlai Stevenson the day before about the various statements made on civil rights. And, on my arrival in Chicago and getting settled in the Hotel Blackstone, we took a taxi over to the Stevenson for President headquarters.
We met Barry Bingham, Archibald Alexander, and Don Pryor, and I wrote a statement which I felt important to make in view of the curious misunderstandings that came up in regard to Mr. Stevenson's position during the past few days.
People have such short memories, and actions are not enough to ensure understanding. You have to remind people what the record is. I understand better than ever why the late Governor Alfred E. Smith, in campaign speeches, would always say, "Let's look at the record." The record is a very important thing to examine and it should speak more loudly than words because it was created not only by words but by deeds.
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I have let President Lincoln's birthday go by without mention because it seemed to me that everywhere we were being reminded of it. He is, however, one of the people I admire most in the history of our great country.
At this point when the South is again facing a difficult step it eventually must accept, it is good to remember Lincoln's kindness, his courage, his patience, his insistence on fundamentals which could not be compromised, but his willingness to try every method to bring people to reasonable decisions. Today he would be urging patience, clear thinking and a belief in the ultimate goodwill of our citizens.