AUGUST 6, 1956
NEW YORK—The Talladega College Alumni Society held its fourth annual Eastern regional conference the past weekend on the Vassar College campus in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The theme of this conference was "Our Responsibility in Building a Free World." I spoke at the Saturday afternoon session.
In a morning meeting, society members had discussed racial integration and desegregation and had very much on their minds the necessity for a great nation like ours to understand the implication of the pressure their example would have on the rest of the world.
I think more and more of our young people are beginning to realize the pressure people all over the world are bringing on governments to achieve freedom. This is forcing us to face up to the difficulties that arise merely through different definitions of freedom.
It may well become a necessity to work out a definition of freedom acceptable to the whole world before we can begin to bring freedom into actuality throughout the world.
The second group of United Nations interns brought their lunch to my picnic grounds Saturday noon, and I spent an hour with the group before going to Vassar to join the alumni of Talladega College. I find these U.N. interns, who come from a great variety of countries and are of different ages, an interesting group, and am always glad to have them come up to visit my husband's memorial and spend a little while with me.
I had the privilege of a short visit from Adlai Stevenson last Thursday afternoon.
One must talk of matters of state and of politics with him, for at the present Stevenson's whole life must be given to these questions. But he is the kind of man that you wish you might some time find sitting under a tree in a relaxed mood with nothing to do! There would be plenty to talk about and there would be many things I think that one could explore with pleasure.
I always wonder, when I do not know people well or know only one side of their personalities, whether there would be things which could be mutually enjoyed. What would one read aloud? Would tastes in music or in pictures touch at any point? Would one like to travel and to sightsee in the same way? Would a view, or a child, or a bit of nature touch the same feelings in the other person and make companionship a pleasant adventure?
After all, getting to know people is an adventure, but often a new person will not interest you enough to make you want to go any further with the adventure. And then again, there will be someone with whom it would be fun to explore!
I feel regret because time is never long enough to really get started on a new adventure in friendship with someone as busy as this candidate for the Presidency.