DECEMBER 30, 1957
HYDE PARK—I am distressed to find, from letters that have been published and forwarded to me from various parts of the country, that it is taken for granted that you are a Communist if you are in favor of carrying out the Supreme Court decision on integration.
This seems to be strange reasoning, since the two have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.
One is the belief of a United States citizen that when the Supreme Court says the time has come to do something, this becomes the law and one must obey it. If you do not agree with the Supreme Court, you have the right to try to change the decision, but this requires agreement by a majority or two-thirds of the people.
Because one believes this, it has nothing to do with one's belief about the Soviet Union or communism.
Some people did not read my articles very carefully, and therefore they have stated in these letters, without any of the explanations I gave, that I simply said we and not the Soviet Union had an iron curtain.
What I actually said was that, in retaliation against the Soviet Union's iron curtain, we had set up one of our own in this country and that, for reasons of its own, the Soviet Union now is making light of its restrictions while ours remain the same.
This gives the Soviet Union an opportunity for propagandizing their own people, saying that whereas they are allowing all Americans requesting visas to enter Russia, we still are keeping our restrictive regulations intact.
I added that I thought if we removed every regulation we have against entry of Soviet citizens into this country, not many Russians would be coming to this country for the reason that as soon as we permitted free entry, the Soviets would find reasons for not granting exit visas to their citizens.
It would be a good thing if we gave up our retaliatory tactics, however, and let other people see what our country really is like. If a person has never known freedom, there is no better way to really understand it than to experience it.
There is an old saying, often quoted by my father's father, which said, "No very stiff frost will come until the springs are filled."
I think our springs in the country must be nearly filled by now. We have had rain and rain and rain. The brook always overflows into my cellar at Hyde Park when it rises above a certain level, and it already has done so.
There are certain places in the roofs of the playhouse and my own cottage which we have tried to mend but which, under certain conditions leak and cause a near-flood in the back kitchen and in one of my living rooms. But during the last heavy rain only the back kitchen suffered.
This, however, is not a happy situation when cooking for a large number of persons, as my people at Hyde Park have been doing the last few days.
My grandchildren are so delighted to go horseback riding every day during the holidays, so the lack of snow or ice does not upset them at all. But the rain does! So, while we are not praying for snow, we are praying for clear weather!