MAY 3, 1956
NEW YORK—Just as I was going out to dinner Monday night my telephone rang and I was given the sad news of Senator Alben W. Barkley's death. At 78, he was serving in the Senate and living a very active life—in fact, was stricken while making a speech at Washington and Lee University.
He had a warm, colorful personality and he will be much missed by all his friends and associates. The country has lost a valuable public servant.
For him, it was undoubtedly a good way to go—still at work, still active, still part of the important things going on in the world.
Sunday afternoon I went out to Bayside, Long Island, to see a small group of Cub Scouts given their charter and their flag. This little pack is named after John Golden, who helped to start it because of his great sympathy for retarded children who never before had an opportunity to join in scouting.
It is a pilot project but it seems to be working out very well. It was a touching ceremony and one, I hope, that might be repeated for the many handicapped youngsters in other communities.
I attended a Mental Health Forum at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for two hours Monday morning at which Dr. Margaret Mead presided. While I was there international tensions were discussed and Senator Mike Mansfield and Representative Walter Judd both made excellent speeches.
In essence, they emphasized the fact that we must learn to live with tensions and to welcome them for they mean that we are aware of the need for action in various fields of endeavor and we must prepare to make that action useful to ourselves and to the world.
We cannot expect that the difficulties of a changing world will disappear for a long time, they said, so we must live with them and not permit them to destroy us.
In the late afternoon I heard Mrs. Oswald B. Lord give an interesting speech on her trip to Indonesia this past winter. And I attended a cocktail party with some members of Americans for Democratic Action who gathered to hear a little more about the work of the organization and its present aims.
Finally, in the evening I was taken by a friend to see "My Fair Lady." Shaw's "Pygmalion" has been made into a delightful musical comedy, starring Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews.
Moss Hart staged the production and I wonder how he managed to make it so nostalgic to those of us who think back with joy to Gertrude Lawrence in "The King and I" and to "South Pacific."
Somehow I kept being reminded of both productions and wishing that John Golden could be here to see this perfectly delightful and enchanting musical, which I am sure he would have enjoyed as much as I did.
I want to thank the producers and the whole cast for a wonderful evening.