OCTOBER 22, 1956
BRADFORD, Vt.—The other morning I went to the ground-breaking ceremony of the new Lighthouse Queens Center and residential clubhouse for blind women.
I can remember the early beginnings of the work of the Lighthouse because my mother-in-law was a friend of the two Miss Holts who started the project, and my husband was a member of the Lighthouse men's committee in 1911. Today the Lighthouse serves more than 5,000 people in the Greater New York area.
The workers in the Lighthouse industries who did work for the armed services and received the Army and Navy E Award are very proud of having been able to serve their country so efficiently. The whole aim of the Lighthouse work is to help blind people to help themselves and thus to make them fully self-supporting wherever possible. I am happy to feel that this work has grown so steadily and is serving people who need this assistance so badly.
The New York division of the American Association for the U.N. held a membership luncheon at the Waldorf to help enlist new members. My particular interest lay in a very wonderful gift which Mrs. Albert Lasker gave in memory of John Golden. Mr. Golden loved young people and also had a deep interest in the U.N. Mrs. Lasker tried to combine these two interests in giving this gift. She is making it possible for a young man to do field work for a year in connection with the American Association Educational Division. We already have 250 college councils and we hope to gain many more in the coming year. This would have pleased John Golden, for he felt both that the future lay with the young people and that they should understand the U.N., so that their strength could go into furthering the knowledge of the U.N. in this country.
I hope many people will buy and read a little book called "Now Is the Time," by Lillian Smith, which can be bought in a 25-cent paperback edition. It does not take long to read, but it puts forth simply and clearly the philosophy of a Southern white woman who has outstanding courage and great patience. She understands the difficulties of the present situation in the South, but she defines the necessity for all white people throughout the world to face the problem of segregation and accept its end. She gives some very good answers to questions which are asked of us who believe that segregation and discrimination between all races must go, and I think this will be helpful to many.
Miss Smith writes with penetration in this book, as when she says, for example: "We in the South walled ourselves away from critics, we walled ourselves away from science, too, when it told us things we did not want to know. We did not ban books often; we simply refused to read them if they reminded us of what we were trying to forget." How often all of us do this same thing all over our country and in the world!