SEPTEMBER 15, 1956
NEW YORK—Louisville, Ky., must be very proud of its superintendent of schools, Omer Carmichael, for the praise he received by the President for the way in which he has carried out integration in the public schools in Louisville.
A great deal in the school integration problem would depend, of course, on the superintendent of schools, but much also depends on the newspapers, the businessmen and the adults in a community. If they are anxious to see the Supreme Court order carried out and carried out without violence, somehow they will manage to avoid riots and the kind of demonstrations which have taken place in certain other places.
It is sad, for instance, to read in the newspapers that the two Negro children were prevented from enrolling in a school for white children in Clay, Ky.
Their mother was described as being a gentle, timid woman who twice drove her children to the entrance of the school and, when she found herself confronted by a crowd of unsmiling men, she drove on and gave up trying to enroll them. Had she been given police protection, she could have enrolled her children in the Clay school.
I wonder if it would not be possible to take Federal action when local protection completely fails, as it did in this case. Here, in one single state we have a big city, Louisville, doing an outstandingly good job and a small place like Clay making one cringe with shame.
I left Hyde Park Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock, but first I managed to find some flowers in my garden to cut and bring to my apartment in New York. I also brought my little dog down with me. I am not so sure he likes the idea of being in New York after his freedom in the country, but he soon will settle down again.
We came down a new way from Hyde Park which turned out to be much quicker, taking Route 9 and then 9A and coming over the Major Deegan Highway on the East Side instead of coming down the Parkway. One gets some very lovely views of the river on Route 9 and, strangely enough, we were not held up, as I thought we would be, by traffic lights and crowded village streets.
We reached New York in good time and I was able to start clearing my desk before going out to my first appointment.
I have just returned from calling on Mrs. Wagstaff, who lives across the street from me and is Tex McCrary's mother. She has taken up painting and had an exhibit of her work in her house and garden.
I can imagine this gift is a great joy to her and, in her painting, she has utilized everything around her—her neighbor's trees when they were in blossom this spring, her hammock with her maid's little niece swinging in it.
She has done many still-life pictures of vegetables and fruit, and she evidently loves color, for all of her paintings reflect the brilliant colors of the world of nature.