NOVEMBER 7, 1956
HYDE PARK—I forgot to tell you that on October 29 I went by plane to Wichita, Kansas, where I had an engagement to speak at the Wichita University Student Forum. This forum started some 20-odd years ago and has grown to be important in university life.
The group brings guest speakers to about five meetings every winter, planning a varied program but one of real interest.
The president of the forum this year is a young Mr. Hilton who had polio when he was eight years old. Today he has a cheerful and delightful personality and does not let his handicap interfere with his enjoyment of life. He is very popular and is leading a full and useful existence. Every young man or woman who does this is a help to others who have to cope with similar difficulties. The latter get strength and courage from those who do live successfully in spite of the handicap they have to face.
We had a very pleasant dinner at Wichita with members of the faculty and a number of students. In the evening there followed a meeting that was attended by about 3,500 people, which included many of the townspeople as well as the students and faculty.
Wichita University is a city university but I am told it is growing faster than almost any university in the country. Students not only come from throughout the whole state but from other states as well. On top of that there are 20 countries represented in the student body.
The school has an extremely good music department. One of the young men who drove with Mr. Hilton to take me over to Coffeyville the following day was taking his master's degree in music and hoped eventually to teach. He said he wanted young people to get pleasure out of music even if they could not become great artists.
On both the evening of the 29th in Wichita and the 30th in Coffeyville I was asked to speak on the subject: "Is America Facing World Leadership?" There seemed to be great interest in this topic.
On the morning of the 30th in Wichita I saw Mrs. Hiram Lewis, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting with my son, Elliott, and his wife in Colorado. I also met a Mrs. Wesley Lawrence, who as a housewife has been trying to do something to promote better understanding among the peoples of the world. In this regard she has created several large dolls which are almost as large as a small baby. After much research she has dressed them to represent different nationalities in the world.
Of the two dolls she brought to show to me one represented one of our red Indian tribes and the other was a Negro girl. They were both quite charming. Mrs. Lawrence told me she showed her dolls and gave talks on brotherhood, and had met with success. But since she has a job as well as a house and children to take care of, she has found it difficult to do as much as she would like. She now is hoping that other housewives would utilize her idea and try to do something similar to promote brotherhood in their own areas as well as throughout the world.