OCTOBER 16, 1956
CLEVELAND, Ohio—After our arrival at the airport in Columbus, Ohio, we proceeded through the streets of the city in a motorcade consisting of about 75 cars.
These demonstrations, I suppose, draw attention to the fact that there is a Democratic rally and that both Democrats and Republicans are very active. Mrs. Frank J. Lausche, the Governor's wife, rode in the car with us, as did the candidate for Governor, Mike DiSalle.
We stopped at Poindexter Village, a housing project which my husband opened just 16 years ago. In this area housing is so scarce that it is almost impossible for anyone to find a place to live and, as usual, the Negro population suffers most from this shortage.
The Negroes are pushed into the most undesirable places to live—old houses that are rat-infested and have no improvements. Yet they pay high rentals.
So this housing development, which was built for the Negro population, was a great boon. Now, it should become an integrated project for both whites and Negroes, for if we allow the pattern of segregation to grow in our cities, we will not comply with the Supreme Court order for desegregated schools.
In this regard, I have heard certain people say that children could be transported on buses to schools in other parts of the city and then the housing would not matter. But I find that mothers are not anxious to have their small children taken far away from home, and I doubt if this unnatural procedure would be successful very long.
It is important, therefore, that in cities having a considerable number of Negroes steps be taken to integrate the housing. In addition, of course, in cities like Columbus where housing is so scarce, steps to erect new housing units should be taken as soon as possible.
One of the failures of the Republican Administration has been its very small appropriation for public housing and yet public housing is the only kind that can meet the needs of the low-income groups.
When our motorcade reached the hotel, a press conference was held almost immediately. Then I had time to write a column and be alone for a while. Later, a variety of groups—Boy Scouts, a friend of Mrs. Bethune, foreign students from Ohio State University, and others—came to be introduced and photographed.
There was a small dinner in the hotel before we went to the rally in Veterans' Memorial Hall.
Columbus Democrats are waging an active campaign, with visits by nationally-known speakers, and they look forward to another visit by Adlai Stevenson in the near future.
This is normally a Republican stronghold, however, and Murray Lincoln, who introduced me at the evening rally, was conservative in his predictions for November 6, though he expressed the hope that the rise in Democratic enthusiasm might accomplish the near-miracle of a Democratic victory.
I have found that people like to be on the winning side, and if in the last days of the campaign there is a rise in Democratic enthusiasm, many of the so-called "undecided" voters will be in the Democratic column this year.