JUNE 12, 1957
NEW YORK—It seems a pity that there should be a rift between people who should stand together in getting the civil rights bill through the House of Representatives without crippling amendments.
Representative Adam Clayton Powell (D., N.Y.) may have thought that by his letter he was helping the cause, but judging from the reaction it received, the letter seems to have created violent antagonism.
I know nothing about the pros and cons of this difficulty, but I feel that anyone who is genuinely interested in getting these House and Senate bills passed should avoid any possible antagonism of those who support them.
The proposed amendments must be defeated or the bills will have no value at all. The bills are not very strong, but if the amendments are accepted, the legislation will be completely useless.
All women must be proud of the fact that it was a woman scientist, Rose R. Ichelson, director of research at St. Luke's and Children's Medical Center in Philadelphia, who is reported to have succeeded in isolating and cultivating the germ responsible for multiple sclerosis.
Her findings have to be proved and experiments will have to be made, of course, but she has given hope to a great many people who have felt they were incurable once they were stricken with this disease.
Of course, the cure must still be found, but once the cause of the disease has been isolated, one feels much more certain that the remedy soon will be discovered.
I went up to Boston last Saturday afternoon to attend a Sunday board meeting and commencement exercises at Brandeis University.
Former President Harry Truman made the commencement address, and for those of us interested in constitutional government and the powers of the Presidency it was particularly interesting.
Mr. Truman made it clear that the President's position is different from that of any other head of state and that there were great powers of leadership inherent in the position as it has been developed.
The nicest touch of the whole day came at the luncheon when President Sachar of Brandeis presented Mr. Truman with two bibs and a most adorable dachshund, with an academic cap on its head, for the former President's new grandchild. I hope that the dog in a few years will be one of Clifton Truman Daniel's favorite toys!
Mr. Truman told me that he talked to the young man earlier in the day and that he and his mother were very well. I knew, too, he was looking forward to seeing them again before flying home. It is good to see someone as happy as he is over an addition to the family.
In the evening I spoke to the National Women's Committee of Brandeis University and then caught a 11:50 p.m. plane back to New York.
I always enjoy being at Brandeis, and it was particularly interesting this year to see the first graduates return for their fifth reunion.