MARCH 23, 1957
EN ROUTE TO MOROCCO—I have traveled a good deal throughout the United States in the past few months and was struck by the amount of violence recorded in the newspapers daily. All of it cannot be chalked up to juvenile delinquency, although much of it is.
For instance, I saw a newspaper story of a fatal attack on a Negro boy in Chicago. This boy, it was reported, had been waiting peacefully for a bus on a corner when about eight white boys sauntered by, returned, surrounded him and one of them struck him on the back of the head, apparently with a hammer. Not a word was spoken between the victim and his attackers.
It seems incredible that such an act could be perpetrated by sane young people of high school age. Yet this is not an isolated incident. There also was the recent murder of a motel owner by four young men.
There are, of course, kidnapings and other forms of violence committed by adults. But young people think of violence so easily, as exemplified by the youth who called Trans World Airlines warning that its next flight out of New York would carry a bomb.
Nobody knows how much the experiences of the past war and present fears of another one influence people to this kind of violence. But its prevalence certainly is dangerous enough to make us demand that something, whatever it might be, should be done, particularly concerning our young people.
Just to show that everything that happens today is not so cold and cruel, I would like to cite an achievement by the Salvation Army of New York City.
In February the Salvation Army opened Booth Memorial Hospital in Flushing, Queens County. It is a 200-bed, general, voluntary, non-sectarian institution. It was built by the Salvation Army to meet a need in that area felt most acutely by families of moderate incomes.
The hospital is especially proud of its interior decoration, for it feels that the use of color has given a sense of warmth and a homelike atmosphere that makes the hospital different from the average institution.
This is a real service for a group of people in that area of New York City and the entire city should be grateful.
My attention also has been drawn to the fact that in Chicago a dinner will be given in April at which Abe Saperstein will be named "Humanitarian of the Year."
Proceeds of the dinner will go to the City of Hope, an outstanding, free, non-sectarian medical center in Duarte, Calif., which specializes in the care, treatment and research in heart disease, cancer, leukemia and tuberculosis.
This happens to be Mr. Saperstein's favorite charity and he has given it much of the money which he, as founder of the Harlem Globe Trotters basketball team, has been able to accumulate over the years. This is quite an accomplishment, for a man to have done so much for so many people.