JUNE 12, 1956
HYDE PARK, N.Y—It was a shock on Friday afternoon to hear, while at Putney School, that President Eisenhower had been taken to the hospital at 1:40 that afternoon. And as I came down for breakfast on Saturday morning in Brattleboro, Vt., where we were staying, I was told that he had been operated on at 2:59 in the morning.
This must have been a shock to his family, and everyone in the country will have great sympathy for the President that he should have this illness on top of his heart attack. There apparently is no connection between the two, but there will be added anxiety for everyone concerned.
When you are President of the United States, your influence reaches throughout the world and so, even a slight indisposition will affect people everywhere. This is indicative of the power that has come to us and the interdependence between the countries of the world. Everyone will be hoping the President has a speedy recovery.
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Friday and Saturday were beautiful sunny days and quite warm, and all of us enjoyed a picnic lunch on the way up to Putney, Vt. The road goes through a mountainous countryside—not very high mountains, but friendly, small ones—heavily wooded, with many streams rushing down beside the road, and every now and then a beautiful lake.
Late as our spring is here, it was even later in Vermont, and lilacs were still blooming and tulips were still out. On the way back we saw some beautiful iris, blue and yellow, clumped together and making a wonderful show.
Someday I hope that we will have clumps of iris of many colors around the cottage here. Last year we had in one part of our garden a profusion of iris, but they all turned a strange brown color, which neither my daughter-in-law nor I liked at all, so they remained unpicked. This year I am afraid we have not got enough, but we have a variety of colors.
My rhubarb has done very well this year, but many of my rose bushes were killed last winter, and none of them have, as yet, come into bloom. By this time of year there usually are a good many out.
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I was glad to see that the House of Representatives in Washington seems to have had a change of heart on foreign aid. Nikolai Bulganin, the Soviet premier, in his latest note asked us to reduce our armed forces in Germany, but I imagine that was one subject that was to have been discussed by the President and Konrad Adeneur, the German Chancellor, on his visit here.
I am doubtful whether the President now will be able to do this, and I wonder who will take over the responsibility of making the policy decision on the reduction of armed forces in Germany. If we could get some bargain on the unification of Germany in return for withdrawing armed forces, there might be a real gain made from the German point of view.