JULY 9, 1958
HYDE PARK—It is good to know that the Administration is willing to begin talks between our government and the Russians on technical means of preventing a surprise attack.
This was originally a proposal of President Eisenhower, and though it comes now from the Soviet Union through Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev it does not change its origin, and the value of exploring such means is evident to everybody.
Safeguards against surprise attack would remove fears and make it possible for us to move forward in other areas of disarmament, for we should not let up for one minute in covering the smallest opportunity that will permit us to inch forward toward our goal of ultimate disarmament.
The New York Times has just made a survey on the economic drive being conducted by the Soviet Union, particularly in Asia and Africa.
It points up what many people, both in and out of the State Department, have been stressing, namely, that the Soviets apparently realize that war is not the way to bring about a Communist world, so that without abandoning their objectives the Soviets have not only built up military strength but have developed drives in the economic and cultural fields.
It is well that we should begin to understand in greater detail the exact way in which the Soviet program of domination is being carried out.
I was sad to learn late last week of the death of Jacob Levy. His son, the Rev. William Turner Levy, has been a friend of mine for a long time and is writing a book on one aspect of my husband's life.
His father was for 45 years a member, and for more than 30 years an officer, of M.P. Smith and Sons, contracting stevedores firm in New York which is no longer operating. During both world wars this firm held important war contracts.
Mr. Levy was a great admirer of my husband. He also enjoyed the company of young people, so he always kept his home in Riverdale open to students of City College of New York, where his son teaches.
I always found him to be a warm and welcoming host and feel sure that all who enjoyed his hospitality will remember his gentle influence and interest in others. All will want to extend their sympathy to Mrs. Jacob Levy, his wife, and to his son, William.
I was saddened to read that 370 persons were killed on our highways this past holiday weekend. It seemed strange to me, too, for in going to and from Hyde Park, we encountered comparatively little traffic—certainly not the kind to cause accidents.
We did, however, see two instance of driving that might well have resulted in accidents. In both cases, small, fast cars tried to pass other cars very fast when they certainly could see cars coming toward them in the other lane. They made it, but only by inches and because the oncoming cars were small and could crowd to the edge of the road, where there was no deep ditch.
I am beginning to feel that this craving for speed and an almost irresistible desire not to be behind anyone on the road are the biggest reasons for dangerous driving. If we could get people to drive at a reasonable pace, many lives might be saved.
But I suppose these factors mostly affect young drivers, who lack judgment but not skill, so all one can do is to ask the young people to try to acquire judgment as soon as possible.