DECEMBER 21, 1957
HYDE PARK—Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Lash and I had the pleasure of attending the first Social Welfare Award dinner of the New York School of Social Work of Columbia University at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The award was presented to John D. Rockefeller III for the whole Rockefeller family by Robert H. Mulreany, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the school.
The grand ballroom of the hotel was charmingly decorated, and it was a delightful dinner. There were only two improvements I could make:
First, a head table at which there are only gentlemen does not have much glamour. The gentlemen at this table looked rather black and crow-like as they gazed down upon us from their seats of importance.
I happen to have great respect and admiration for the speakers of the evening, Henry T. Heald, president of the Ford Foundation, and Dr. Leonard W. Mayo, of the New York School of Social Work, but as a second suggestion I would have had shorter speeches, which probably would have more impressed the audience with their messages.
Both of the speakers said important things, but this was the second time that day I had spent several hours in the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria. At 1 p.m. I had been there with the American Jewish Congress and, because I had to speak, I sat in those seats of the mighty on the dais. And I was most grateful for the fact that the messages brought to that gathering were brief, though their meaning carried to the hearts of those present.
I came to the conclusion that, on the whole, if you can condense what you have to say without leaving out anything of importance, you and what you have to say probably will be better remembered by your audience.
Following the dinner I joined Tex McCrary on his 11 p.m. radio broadcast. It is always a pleasure to see Tex and Jinx, even though I had only a glimpse of Jinx as I was leaving.
A lady who has just returned from Europe sends me an idea which seems to have some merit. This is what she says:
"At the exit to each customs office, in both airports and train terminals, could there be a box so that each traveler about to depart from a foreign country could deposit in it, for the benefit of the U.N., all the small left-over coins from that country that he invariably has left?
"Roughly, I thought a poster over such a box could read something like: To travel is to believe in one world. Help keep that one world safe by contributing to the United Nations all your left-over coins."
I don't know how much this would mean in the way of coins or cash to the United Nations. But it is another way of reminding innumerable people of the value of the U.N. to us all, and it seems to me that every avenue of publicity for that purpose should be used. So perhaps this might turn out to be an educational idea if not a great success financially.