MAY 20, 1958
LAS VEGAS—I left New York in the rain on Wednesday afternoon for Baltimore, made a speech there and arrived at my son's house in Bethesda, outside Washington, around midnight. I had not meant to keep my son up that late, but my hosts had taken such precautions to get me over quickly that we waited at different spots for police escorts on the way and this made us a trifle later than I had expected.
James, Irene and I had a very pleasant breakfast next morning and then I took a plane to Asheville, North Carolina. From there I was driven the 40 miles to Culhowee, where I was to speak at the college. This western North Carolina college is situated in the most beautiful country. Its campus is unusually interesting; the buildings are all on different levels, for they had to be built on the sides of hills.
On the way there we drove through the Cherokee Indian reservation, to find that here, too, they are having difficulties in developing into full citizenship instead of being wards of the state. They have been fortunate, however, in having a very good school and high school run by the government. Some of their graduates are in the college and are well prepared, I was told, so that they have no difficulties in meeting requirements.
This college has a graduate school, and many teachers are prepared here. It also runs two summer sessions, so that some of the students are working all year round to finish college more quickly. In the daytime I began to wonder why I had not brought some summer clothes, but the evening in the mountains was cool and I was glad of my coat driving back to Asheville. There I slept for about five hours in the hotel, had breakfast at 6:30 next morning and then took a 7:45 plane for Cincinnati.
Changing there, I was in Chicago by one p.m. I was met by Mr. Eichelberger and his brother and we had a pleasant lunch in the airport restaurant. United's plane for Las Vegas did not leave until 4:00 p.m., so I sat in the little private waiting room and dozed for over an hour. Then Miss Baillargeon arrived with mail from New York and I was busy again until we were well on our way to Las Vegas.
In Asheville I was given a book of poems by Thomas Wolfe's sister, Mrs. Wheaton. Many people this year have seen the Broadway play based on Wolfe's book, "Look Homeward, Angel." It is a pleasure I am still looking forward to, but I am glad to be introduced to these poems—one of which, "This Is Man," will appeal to many of us. I think this volume is going to be one of the books I will keep near at hand and read from very often, for poetry is something you want to read over and over again until it stays in your memory.
I want to pay tribute here to Joseph E. Davies, who died a few days ago. He was an old friend of my husband's and one whom my husband found very worthy of his trust. Mr. Davies, as Ambassador to Russia, did a great deal to improve our understanding. When he was there it cannot have been a very easy life. Yet he saw through all the difficulties, appreciated that which was good in the people, and understood the struggle that they must go through. He has left his children a heritage of public service and of loyal friendship, as well as a record of business and professional achievements.