APRIL 25, 1960
NEW YORK—On Thursday I attended a luncheon given by the Women's Division for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The women have done remarkable work to help this college build itself into a good research center and medical school, and it is fine to see the energy of women directed to such valuable purpose. At the luncheon, where they gave awards to women who had achieved success through service in various fields, I was particularly glad to congratulate some old friends, Dr. Margaret Mead among them. I was distressed to find, however, that she had to receive her award in a wheel chair because, a few days before I hurt my foot, she broke her ankle for the fourth or fifth time, and this means for her weeks of confinement and discomfort. She certainly is a brave soldier to keep on doing as much as she possibly can.
I have just received a letter telling me about the proposal for a joint bill sponsored by both the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate to establish and operate a "center for cultural and technical interchange between East and West in Hawaii." The director of the university, Murray Turnbull, writes me that the university has spent the last year preparing plans for this bold project, and that the Secretary of State has reported to Congress that "an analysis of the proposals and of the data on which they have been based leads to the general conclusion that such an International Center could constitute a valuable long-term contribution to the promotion of better relations and understanding among the United States and the nations of Asia and the Pacific."
This seems to me a very important project because the future of our country is tied to better understanding and better cooperation between us and the countries of Asia. Traditionally we have always had a real friendship with the people of China, and perhaps the day will come when this can be resumed. Certainly it will do no harm for us to study and to learn all we can about this area of the world.
I am very happy to see that we are doing all we can to make President Syngman Rhee of Korea realize that the oppressive measures which he has been using in his government are not a good example of democracy. I think it will take perhaps more than we are capable of doing to get this across to him; but we should certainly make the attempt, since the recent development in Korea is a blot on our effort to encourage democratic, liberal governments. This is another area in which we can be accused of upholding the influence of an arch conservative.