DECEMBER 13, 1956
NEW YORK—A concert at the United Nations, in observance of Human Rights Day, was given by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Carl Schuricht. The Beethoven selection was most beautifully played, and I found the evening delightful.
Commemorating these occasions at the U.N. in this way is certainly much appreciated, judging by the large numbers who attend.
I have the usual request to urge people to be cautious in driving over the Christmas and New Year's weekends. The holiday weekends will be long this year—four days—and, therefore, there will be more opportunity for accidents. There is a new slogan, "Stay alert! Stay alive! Make it coffee when you drive." The reason for this is that fatigue causes a great many accidents and people are urged to drink coffee instead of some other drinks that are not so apt to keep them awake.
Of course, the Pan-American Coffee Bureau, which send out these warnings every year is not entirely disinterested in asking drivers to drink coffee. Nevertheless, its suggestions seem to me worth heeding. This year the bureau lists five rules for the driver to follow:
1. Never drive when overtired, even when it is only going home from a party.
2. Keep a car window open; fresh air helps you stay awake.
3. To top off a festive evening, make it coffee; on long drives, stop for coffee at regular intervals.
4. As a pedestrian, keep alert, too, for your life may depend on it.
5. If you are tempted to try the dangerous experiment of mixing alcohol and gasoline, get someone else to drive you home.
The last rule, I think, is one of the wisest in the whole group and should never be overlooked.
Just at this time, when everybody's eyes are turned on the Near East and peace between Israel and its neighboring Arab states is very important, an understanding of Israel and its background is valuable to all of us.
A short book, called "The Story of Degania—A Village of Jordan," by Joseph Baratz pictures one phase of the early settlement of Israel which I think is worth everyone's understanding. I think, too, the pictures will appeal to all and give a good idea of life there as it developed.
Another book, called "The American Story," edited by Earl Schenck Miers has come across my desk and, though I have not yet read it, I have a feeling that many young people will find in it a good, condensed, quick look at the background of their country.