NOVEMBER 20, 1956
NEW YORK—My poor hosts in Atlanta, Ga., had to get up at 4:15 a.m. Friday to see me off on a 6 a.m. plane for Washington. I felt very guilty about this as Mrs. Massell brought me my breakfast at 4:30 a.m.
I think it is really straining hospitality to the last degree, but I have never known such kind and cordial people. They sat up to see the other speaker off on his 3 a.m. plane, and then Mrs. Massell insisted on getting up to see me off!
I arrived in Washington in ample time for my 9:30 a.m. meeting with the National Council of Negro Women. The council's theme dealt with arousing women to work together, regardless of race or creed, to achieve equality in civil rights and to make of our country a true democracy.
It was a three-day meeting and Dr. Mordecai Johnson and I were the speakers at the plenary session Friday morning before the women broke up into separate discussion groups.
As I looked at them, I could not help thinking of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. She did so much to build this group into one of real importance. I am sure everyone there was thinking of her and wishing that she still could be with us, though her influence is never far away whenever groups of women meet in an effort to bring about better feeling among the races.
I have a few letters taking me to task for preferring Adlai Stevenson to President Eisenhower and, in general, for campaigning in the past election.
These letters fall into various categories. Either they are from Republicans who can see no wrong in any Republican or they take me to task for having said it was an odd situation to find the United States voting with the Soviet Union and the dictator of Egypt against Britain, France, and Israel.
Some of the latter seem to think this was an accusation against President Eisenhower and that I insinuated that he was a Communist. Nothing was further from my thoughts!
No one could accuse President Eisenhower of being a Communist, and if anyone read that into my words, he must have had it in his own mind, for it certainly was not in mine.
Citizens certainly must have found this new situation as odd as I did. But, of course, it will change and very shortly we will be voting with our old allies and the Communists will be denouncing us and we will be denouncing them. In fact, this already has begun.
I do not think I criticized the health of our President. I pray he will live through these years of trial and tribulation, but my own husband, who was assured that with proper care he would live through his term, did not live through it. In fact, he lived only a very short time.
No matter how fine certain people may think Vice President Richard M. Nixon is, I suppose it is permissible to say that I far prefer President Eisenhower.
I learned long ago to care little about criticism which I do not consider valid, and I have not a single letter on this subject that I consider in any way important.