MARCH 7, 1960
WASHINGTON, D. C—My plans, like those of countless other people last Thursday, were completely changed by the heavy snowstorm New York shared with most of the rest of the country. In the morning I reached the office of the American Association for the U. N., though a little late for an appointment with Mrs. Araujo of the Brazilian Institute for Citizenship, who came to tell me of the remarkable organization which she was building in order to get people more interested in political issues and to make them better citizens.
I had expected to meet Congressman Richard Bolling at the airport in the afternoon and take him to Hyde Park for the Roosevelt Home Club dinner. But quite early in the morning it was evident that he could not arrive, and the dinner was postponed. My car, which I had arranged to be driven in from Hyde Park, ran into the storm along the way and was late in reaching New York. I sent it back to Hyde Park, a trip which took my chauffeur a long eight hours. The rest of the day and evening I spent at home, and though I was sorry for all these disappointments that came to so many people I must say I rejoiced in the quiet time it brought to me.
On Friday the snow had stopped, and my chauffeur drove an old friend down for a noon appointment at my apartment. The trip proved a difficult one, but they reached me by 1:15 and our luncheon party was a gay and delightful one.
On the whole New York dealt very well with this snowstorm, so the administration was evidently prepared. Storms like these are almost sure to come in early March. I can remember that most of our bad storms for the past 50 years or more have come in this month. Therefore the main avenues were plowed out quickly and getting about the city was not an impossible achievement.
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I have an appeal from a small group of people who six years ago formed an organization called Spanish Refugee Aid, Inc. Their object is to help 120,000 Spanish Republican refugees who today, 20 years after the Civil War in Spain, are still living in Southern France. Pablo Casals, the cellist, and Lazaro Cardenas, former President of Mexico, have lent their names to this small working committee.
We in the U. S. are deprived of hearing Pablo Casals perform because we recognized the Franco Government, against which Casals and the Spanish Republicans had fought so valiantly. Some people still persist in believing that the Republicans in Spain were Communist-controlled because the Communists came to their aid—for which the Republicans were quite naturally grateful. But the refugees who have lived all these years in France are not Communists. They are Spanish patriots who wanted their country to be free. Now the committee in this country wants not only to go on with the aid in clothing and food which they have been able to distribute, but also to build for the old people a home near Montauban, a small old provincial town in South Central France. They need help very badly. I hope that some people will remember that this was a war for liberation, and will be sympathetic to these patriots.