JANUARY 28, 1959
NEW YORK—A most important piece of news the other day was the announcement that Pope John XXIII has called a full council of churches with the idea of creating more unity among the Christian peoples of the world. This will certainly be a meeting of great importance and very different from the one that has gathered at the present time in Moscow.
The heads of the Communist parties from all over the world are meeting at the Kremlin in the 21st Congress of the Soviet Communist Party. And it must seem strange for some of them who were there for the previous congress in 1956, for many of the people who were most in evidence at the time have disappeared from the stage altogether. The representatives from outside the Soviet border will have to accustom themselves to new faces and perhaps to new ideas.
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I see that the Cubans feel we do not understand them. Perhaps if they were to settle down, try to establish a stable government and bring about the reforms needed and stop worrying about how many people they can shoot each day, it might be easier to understand them and there might be more sympathy in the United States about their efforts.
It is certainly a bad habit for dictators to milk a country financially and run away when the inevitable revolution occurs. Of course, one has sympathy for the suffering people, but killing individuals for political reasons is becoming more and more unpopular. It does not seem to accomplish the ends that would help the people who remain alive.
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I was delighted to be present in Evanston, Ill., over the past weekend at the wedding of my grandson, Elliott Roosevelt Jr., to Miss Jo Anne McFadden.
It was a very charming ceremony, and I never knew any young bride to have so many friends who were anxious to give parties for all the out-of-town guests. Such hospitality seemed to me overwhelming, but it was certainly very delightful.
These young people started their romance at a summer resort where their families have both spent happy holidays for a long time. But my son, Elliott, insisted on reminding everyone that the romance had flowered in Colorado, which is his own state.
The young couple have come to New York for a few days and then will go to Hyde Park and other places in New England before Elliott Jr. has to report for military duties at Fort Benning, Ga.
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I don't think I have yet mentioned my gratification that the Belgian government has accepted a project that will mean the retention of the American pavilion and theatre, which were built at the Brussels World's Fair of last year.
This will prove to Americans, I hope, that Europe did appreciate our exhibition. After all, the exhibition was not to convince Americans of the value of our way of life but to give a chance to other people to understand it better.