FEBRUARY 22, 1956
NEW YORK—The morning I spent in St. Louis was not entirely wasted because there was a meeting of an advisory committee of educators who were discussing the citizens' consultation program of the National Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
This program is an experiment and so the procedures are flexible to meet local circumstances. Issues and problems will be presented to groups of citizens in different parts of the country. Provided with basic material, they will discuss their feelings on a subject and send in their findings. These will be evaluated, along with those of other local citizens council groups.
The findings may never become the points of view of the National Commission, the Department of State or of UNESCO, but the discussions will have served the purpose of interesting many people in the topics selected.
The meeting I attended discussed the role of an American as international traveler and host. The other topics suggested for discussion are "The American Citizens Take in the Problems of Less Developed Areas of the World," "The National Interest in Foreign Languages," and "Our Moral and Spiritual Resources for International Cooperation."
These subjects seem to me of real value in informing the people of our country, and that is what UNESCO is anxious to do.
Canada had a conference last May to inform its people about what Canada was doing to aid underdeveloped countries and the value of this work to Canada. I found the report on this conference interesting and enlightening.
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I was glad to get into New York early enough Saturday to see "The Matchmaker," a comedy by Thornton Wilder. It was a lighthearted, amusing evening and I found my friend, Ruth Gordon, most entertaining and clever in her portrayal of the lady who was going to snare the elderly and desirable widower.
Loring Smith was excellent as the widower, and Eileen Herlie delightfully did her part as Mrs. Malloy. In fact, I thought the whole cast was good, and arriving here in time to attend was real compensation for the long wait for my plane in St. Louis.
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It was nice to have good weather Sunday. I had a wonderful day with a few friends in for lunch and a chance to catch up on all the work which had accumulated while I was gone.
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There is a good booklet, put out in 1956 for the young people who cooperate with the United Nations Children's Fund and want to know more about the children of other lands. It is called "Understanding Our Neighbors and Customs in Folklore." On the back page there is a list of books that can be bought to supplement the information in this booklet.
The U.S. Committee for the UNICEF at the United Nations in New York has done a really valuable piece of work, I think, in putting together folktales, games and songs from many lands for use by our children.