JUNE 10, 1957
NEW YORK—I am afraid I am neither a great baseball nor a great football enthusiast. I have watched many games during my life, but I cannot say that to me it will make a very great difference whether we in New York lose out as the home base of two of our great teams. Nevertheless, this will be, I fear, a loss to the city of New York far greater than most people realize, because to many people in our country New York means these two teams.
Sad as it may seem, if the two teams move to San Francisco, the interest of vast numbers of people will focus on San Francisco and not on New York. What inducements can be given them to stay in our area I do not know, but perhaps we should give more attention to their desire to leave us than we have given so far.
This is the week of commencements, and everywhere young people are marking the end of one step in their preparation for life. Some of them probably hope that it is really the end of their education. For these youngsters it will be a rude awakening to find that it is only a beginning and that their future will largely depend on how well they have forged the tools which they are about to use in the rest of their education—something that will never come to an end until they die. All of us, however, as we watch the eager young faces come up to receive their diplomas, must go back in our minds to the thought of how important and happy we felt when we had achieved this first step, and we must wish these young people every success in the future.
Mr. Philip Wilkie* and I happen to have been serving together on a jury of awards, and I was very much interested in talking with him to find what a great enthusiasm he has for the island of Puerto Rico and the achievements of its people under the governorship of Munoz Marin. Mr. Wilkie thinks it is almost a miracle the way they are increasing their industrial setup. They are raising their standard of living and are doing many things to make life more worth living for the people of the island. It is good to be able to report this, because I gather we have not done as well in creating incentive among the people of the Virgin Islands. We might well change our methods there and use Puerto Rico as an example in finding better ways for the Virgin Islanders to lift themselves out of a situation which they find highly unsatisfactory.
Mr. Wilkie* felt that because Puerto Ricans who have come to the U.S. have not always found life easy here, we have, on the whole, painted a picture of our failures as regards these citizens rather than emphasizing the successes which we have helped them to achieve in their own island. His criticism has validity, I think, but the problems which we have not been able to meet satisfactorily here are real problems, and they need our attention. I think it is a good thing to bring them into the open and have them discussed in order to try to find real solutions.
*Possibly Mr. Phillip Willkie