MARCH 6, 1958
NEW YORK—A temporary committee succeeded in calling together last week a small group to support the Southern Conference Educational Fund. Its president, Aubrey Williams, spoke and was supported by E.D. Nixon of Alabama.
It was a moving meeting, for these men are untiring in the struggle which goes on in our country for equality of citizenship, regardless of race, creed, or color. We here in the North are relatively free from the day-to-day fears which exist for the colored people of the South and their staunch and courageous white supporters.
Our colored people can draw some sense of support from the fact that people all over the world are fighting today for freedom. But that support is not enough. I hope that this one organization, in whose interests last week's meeting was held and which is one of the few organizations left in the South where colored and white people work together for the improvement of racial understanding, will get wise support.
I hope, too, that a permanent committee can be formed, not only to support this one group, but to help in any other way in alleviating racial tensions and bringing about a greater sense of brotherhood in the whole of our country.
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I left New York last Saturday for Wilmington, Ohio, to speak at Wilmington College in the afternoon. President and Mrs. Marble, who head the college, are a delightful Quaker couple and I enjoyed being with them very much.
President Marble had served at the United Nations for six months, representing the Friends Service Committees throughout the world, and like all Quakers he and his wife have a sincere interest in peace and believe we must try to foster international understanding.
I took an evening plane to Chicago, and since the day had begun rather early, I was glad to reach my room in the familiar Hotel Sheraton-Blackstone and settle down for the night.
On Sunday evening I spoke at a forum—an engagement I had been obliged to cancel earlier in the winter when a bad storm kept me from flying out to Chicago. The audience was large and interested, and I think the storm was general enough in Chicago to make them forgive me for my inability to reach them earlier in the year.
During the day on Sunday I had the pleasure of driving out to Libertyville, Ill., where I lunched with Adlai Stevenson. Before lunch he took us for a short walk along the banks of the river which skirts his place. I enjoyed this very much, for I rarely get any exercise or real country air on these trips.
When we returned to the house I had a look at the new lambs with Adlai Stevenson III, who seemed to enjoy all the animals. We returned to lunch with a heightened appetite and an appreciation of the difference between a country landscape, where the snow lies white and clean, and the city, where it is so dirty that you long to see it melt away.
We left for Austin, Tex., on Monday. Miss Maureen Corr, my secretary, had joined me, so we spent our time on the plane catching up on dictation of letters which should have received my attention long ago. To my complete surprise, the press greeted me in large numbers in Texas. The usual political questions were asked which I am always unable to answer.