AUGUST 13, 1957
MIAMI—The more the civil rights bill in Congress is discussed the more things seem to come to light calling for a longer study of it.
This bill was supposed to aid the Negro in the South to achieve a right which is due every American citizen—the right to vote. But before a person is qualified to vote in every state of the Union he must meet certain requirements set up by the states. These requirements, over which the Federal government has no control, vary from state to state.
Actually, the first point of discussion is how fair are the states in their requirements for voter registration, then how the voting right of the citizen is to be safeguarded.
If, as I strongly suspect, we are not going to have any civil rights bill at all and the Republican party has decided to make this the issue for the next campaign, then we must be prepared to see that a civil rights bill gets through the next Congress and that it handles these two points adequately.
All of the other implications and possibilities being talked about are immaterial, for these are the two points that stand out as the main objective of civil rights legislation.
A teacher from Washington, D.C., wrote me the other day that we must begin at once to organize to fight again in the next session of Congress for a bill to help school construction and renovation and, if possible, to improve the working conditions and salaries of teachers. This shows the indomitable spirit which I admire.
I note that New York City may have some cases of Asiatic flu, and I understand there is an injection that can be used against it. In any case, it does not seem to be serious.
I remember when the first flu epidemic hit us in Washington during World War I. We were totally unprepared for it then, and the city of Washington was horribly overcrowded with war workers. So we had to set up temporary accommodations along the Mall for those stricken with the disease.
Many people died then because the flu was new and the treatment of it not well understood. Apparently the present Asiatic flu has been carefully studied and its symptoms are known. A person afflicted with this disease may have fever, coughing, headaches and muscular soreness, lasting no more than three or four days. It is nothing for us to become panicky about but must be watched and the proper treatment given to anyone suspected of having the disease.
It is good to read that Pennsylvania is considering the presentation of its meritorious medal to General of the Army George C. Marshall in recognition of his services to the nation as a general and as a statesman.
I have always felt that this country did not appreciate sufficiently General Marshall's contributions as Secretary of State. I am not one to encourage the selection of military men for civilian posts, but of all the military people with whom I have served, Secretary Marshall was the one who commanded the deepest respect and who treated those with whom he worked with the greatest consideration.