MARCH 17, 1960
NEW YORK—I neglected to mention the other day that Frank Sinatra, who was playing at a Florida hotel, came over with a number of musicians and gave a delightful performance at the Girls Town ball, and Mr. Dean Murphy acted as master of ceremonies, which assured us of amusing and delightful introductions of the speakers.
I wonder whether we realize how much these people give to good causes without receiving any remuneration except the thanks of their audiences.
Mr. Joseph C. Reid, of the Child Welfare League of America, spoke on the needed care for children of today, and Mrs. Horace Dodge II, looking very beautiful, made a short and sincere speech, which I am sure appealed to everyone present.
To tell you a little more about my airplane jinx, we had hardly taken off from Miami and headed for Sarasota (and this on time) when in the back of the airplane there was what sounded like a small explosion. Everyone turned his head in surprise. The co-pilot came back and then the announcement was made that there was a crack in the back door but no serious damage, so we would proceed to our destination, Fort Myers.
Once safely on the ground in Fort Myers, the stewardess and the co-pilot went back and, after a short time, we heard the door slam and knew now that it was securely closed. Somehow when we took off from Miami this little item of making sure the door was fastened had been overlooked. Luckily no one was very near when the door opened up with its sudden, explosive noise.
I am sure that many people in the country want to join me in expressing to Mrs. Richard Neuberger of Oregon our deepest sympathy.
The death of Senator Richard Neuberger was a shock to many, many people. He was such a young man and had a great future before him. He had made such a gallant fight and felt that his cancer had been conquered, and to have him succumb to something entirely different so suddenly must have been a terrible shock to his wife.
His loss will be a great one to the forward-looking members of the Senate and to the country, but I am grateful that his wife is going to run for his office. No one could carry on his ideals better than she can. They worked together as a team. She has served in the state legislature and she will do well, I know, if the people of Oregon give her their vote.
There was much excitement over my last day in Florida, when I spoke at the Gibbs Junior College in St. Petersburg.
Probably the same crazy person who telephoned the hotel in Sarasota, when I spoke there, called up and informed the police that there was a bomb planted in the college auditorium. This meant that, after the meeting had gone on for a quarter of an hour, everyone had to be evacuated and asked to stand a block away while the building was searched. In a little over a half hour we were all back in our seats, and to my great surprise everyone did come back to his seat.
It was a packed auditorium—at least 500 people and perhaps more. They evidently felt, as I did, that if anyone really meant business he would not telephone about it. So they all came back with the greatest assurance and good humor, and I was proud again of my fellow Americans with their good humor and common sense.
Because of the death of my friend, Adele Rosenwald Levy, we came back on the night plane to New York, and it was a sad group that gathered with the family in a service of love for this lovely woman. There will be a memorial service on Friday afternoon when her many friends will be able to join together again in her memory.