APRIL 17, 1956
NEW YORK—The trip to Pittsfield, Mass., Sunday afternoon was far shorter than I anticipated. Mrs. Charles Fayerweather and I had a very pleasant dinner at the hotel with organizers of the meeting and quite a large group of young Democrats from Williams and Bennington Colleges.
It was interesting to find a number of the regular Democratic organization present, as well as a large group of Stevenson supporters, some of whom are independents and some Democrats who have supported Stevenson since 1952.
They told me that in 1952 Pittsfield had given him as big a vote as they had given Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy. This was encouraging news.
Evidently the feeling for Stevenson is as strong as it was then, judging from what the organizers of the meeting told me.
They allowed me to leave as soon as I had finished speaking so that I reached home far earlier than I had expected. And I left Hyde Park Monday morning at 7:30 for New York.
I could not help being interested in the artist's conception of a project for the development of Lincoln Square which appeared in the Monday morning papers.
This project would bring together, in one central area of the city, the Metropolitan Opera, the Philharmonic, the Juilliard School of Music and other related and educational facilities. It seemed to me an ambitious plan but a rather delightful one, and perhaps someday the city will develop along these lines.
Israel celebrated its Independence Day and its 69-year-old Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, in his speech to the citizens of this young nation, recalled to me how Winston Churchill during World War II spoke to the citizens of the British Isles.
I know well the spirit which Mr. Ben-Gurion expressed exists not only in the Prime Minister but in the people of Israel. But I wish he had given some recognition to the fact that the Secretary General of the United Nations is at present in the Near East and is doing all he can to bring about peaceful solutions.
I have hopes that this mission may be a successful one. Perhaps the expression of determination, such as Mr. Ben-Gurion voiced on Independence Day, may reinforce the Secretary General's plea for recognition of this nation.
Israel certainly will not be wiped out easily and this fact should give pause to its neighbors.
All of you must have read with sorrow the story of the tornado in Alabama which practically swept away a small mining village and left 400 persons homeless. Two hundred were hurt and 17 are dead.
We have not yet learned how to control nature, and when nature goes on the rampage, she can deal heavy blows to human life. My sympathy goes to those who are suffering, but I am glad that relief from their own National Guard and from the Red Cross and Salvation Army was promptly available.