FEBRUARY 6, 1959
NEW YORK—Everyone was deeply saddened the other day by the first tragedy with one of the new cross-country American Airlines planes designed for short runs.
It seems as though the installation of something new, which of course means progress in the long run, oftentimes brings some tragedy in the early stages.
Men have to be trained in the use of these new airplanes. Landing fields have to be changed. There are many kinds of new problems, and human beings have to adjust.
The weather, of course, was largely to blame in this case, but I cannot help but be sorry for the officials of the airline as well as the families of the victims. Those in authority can put so much thought, work and effort into making changes safely, and yet they never can foresee all the circumstances that may arise to bring about a tragedy such as this one.
I feel sadly, too, about the sudden and untimely death of Vincent Astor, who lived a long time not too far from us on the Hudson River.
Vincent Astor was a good many years younger than my husband, but they had an interest in the Navy and in research that could be done in the marine area. This brought the two men together on several cruises when really valuable information was gathered about certain areas not often visited by pleasure boats such as Mr. Astor's yacht.
Last Tuesday night I visited a very interesting project—an integrated housing development in Brooklyn, just across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan.
There are five buildings run by a board of directors of 15 members and a community committee that looks after many of the social and housekeeping matters which concern the community, such as beautifying the grounds and arranging for projects of different kinds.
I was told that there were many arguments on many subjects, but that there had never been the slightest difficulty because of the different races and religions represented in the community. There are Jewish people, Italians, and colored families in every house, and many more of different races and religions. Nevertheless, they live together without difficulty and in a warm social atmosphere.
This is a triumph, I think, and an object lesson that many other parts of the country would do well to copy.
It was encouraging to read this week that New York City has submitted to its employees a new ethics code. This was devised after a two-year study by a six-man special committee on standards and ethics, of which Councilman Morris J. Stein, a Brooklyn Democrat, was chairman.
Mayor Robert F. Wagner stated that this new code represented largely his views of "assuring and maintaining fitness for public service in New York City."