FEBRUARY 1, 1957
NEW YORK—I spent a few hours Wednesday at Hyde Park at the usual ceremonies in the rose garden commemorating my husband's birthday. This would have been his 75th birthday anniversary.
A little polio poster child came up as usual. It was a sweet little girl and her mother was with her. She stood by the wreath which the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis sends every year and I wondered how much she could understand of all they tried to tell her.
She is about five, and I know they said to her: "Once there was a man who was President of the United States and he had polio, just as you had, and he tried to help you and the other little children with polio. And then he died and in his memory we are coming here today."
I feel sure the little girl was much more interested, however, in the snow as a place to play and would have liked to have gotten away from all the cameras and people and rolled in it, not having to think about any grownups!
The President, as usual, sent a wreath, which was brought there by Major General Garrison H. Davidson, superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The Hyde Park Home Club also brought its wreath and Mr. Gordon Kidd, our rector at Hyde Park, read a prayer as he always does at this little ceremony.
I was glad that it was cold but clear with a blue sky overhead—the kind of a day that even in winter one can enjoy in the country.
King Saud of Saudi Arabia has brought with him to this country one of his little boys who may have had polio. He will be examined to find out if he might be helped at Warm Springs, Ga. I certainly hope he can be helped.
I hope, too, that this visit of King Saud will be valuable not only in reaffirming the friendly relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia but in bringing about a realization that we in this country would like to see all of the countries of the Middle East, including Israel, at peace.
It should emphasize, too, that we consider Israel as having made tremendous strides in its 10 years as a nation—progress from which the whole Middle East perhaps could profit—and that we hope there will be no difficulties among our friends in that area in accepting this fact, for sooner or later it must be accepted.
I went to the preview performance of Madeleine Renaud and Jean-Louis Barrault in "Christophe Colomb" at the Winter Garden here Tuesday night.
It was an enchanting evening—a fantasy with a mixture of music narration, acting, ballet, almost everything. But it all added up to original and charming theatre.