MAY 8, 1956
HYDE PARK, N.Y—I went up to Hyde Park last Friday morning, taking with me Dr. and Mrs. Aldys Gray of Los Angeles. They had written me that they wished to see the Memorial, and as I was driving up, I decided it might be pleasant for visitors from so far away to enjoy the Parkway, which always is a beautiful two hours drive at this season.
We are way behind, however, in our Spring this year. The only trees which are really leafed out are the weeping willows, and a few magnolias and wild cherries.
Because of various delays, I managed to show the Grays only the old house at the Memorial before lunch. But they went back there in the afternoon and spent two hours. When I called for them to give them a cup of tea before taking their train for New York, I found them reluctant to leave, saying that they could spend a much longer time looking at the things in the Library.
I dined with some Ulster County Democrats Friday night and spoke at a meeting in Port Ewen, across the river from Hyde Park. We were quite surprised to find that there were so many Democrats in this rock-ribbed Republican county who would come out to a meeting and discuss the real differences between the Republicans and the Democrats.
It is fun to do this, because one can show that, as a rule, the Democrats start all the new things and then the Republicans take them over. Republicans rarely wipe out any of the Democratic changes, though they say they can achieve the same results in a better way.
But this is not always proved by the facts. History will show that the impetus for many reforms comes from the Democrats and that the Republicans do not always succeed even in the manner in which they say they can improve on what the Democrats have accomplished.
In the question period, someone asked me what candidate I hoped would win the Democratic primary. This gave me an opportunity to state my faith in Adlai Stevenson. A Kefauver spokesman at once arose in argument, since we had on exhibition literature for both candidates. This seemed as it should be and I think the audience was given the reasons why some people are for one candidate and some for the other.
At the dinner in Bronx County the other night, which a good many of the nearby local county chairmen attended, Governor Averell Harriman's candidacy was supported, but since he is not an active candidate, his office did not send any literature to be displayed at the meeting in Ulster County.
I was amused by Mr. Buckley's remarks at this dinner, but I think Mr. Finletter convincingly has answered the attack Mr. Buckley made on Mr. Stevenson.
It is the fashion, at the moment, to say that no one should be moderate. It is true that no one should be moderate in standing up for his convictions and in trying to do what he deems is right. But it is always wise to be moderate in judgment of human beings. A statesman learns this while still young, although the politician who does not aspire to be a statesman sometimes may choose to ignore it.