AUGUST 10, 1960
NEW YORK—I am sure that everyone is holding his breath in watching every move in the United Nations where the Congo is concerned.
I don't know how other people feel, but I would give a great deal to know how Ralph Bunche is feeling at the present moment. I have great confidence in his wisdom and patience in handling people and his persistence when he believes things should be settled in a certain way.
We had a wonderful celebration Monday evening in Hyde Park of my uncle David Gray's 90th birthday. Because he loves young people, I invited Faye Emerson to come and have a belated birthday celebration with him, since she was in a summer production on her birthday, so they had two birthday cakes and much family to rejoice with them. My youngest son, John, and his wife, Anne, put off their holiday for 24 hours in order to be with us.
It seems to me that to reach the age of 90 and to have all the young people around you who enjoy being with you, and look forward to the opportunity of having a chance to see you, means you have had a thoroughly good and satisfactory existence.
David Gray will say to me now and then, "I'm disagreeable," but none of the rest of us ever find him disagreeable. He likes to be alone a certain amount and he feels that at 90 you have the right to say whatever you think, and this makes him a most entertaining and witty companion—at times a little wicked, but always kindly.
I only hope that if I live to be as old as he is that I shall enjoy life as much as he does and give as much joy to others, be as thoughtful and kind and concerned. Even if the body is a little uncomfortable, which is the one evidence of age, I hope that I will be able to bear it with a smile and to keep a kindly heart, as David has done.
I would like to draw attention to the fact that on August 21 more than 1,000 college students will arrive in Minneapolis to take part in the annual congress of the U.S. National Student Association.
They will meet on the campus of the University of Minnesota, and there will be sessions beginning August 22 through September 1. They will discuss major topics of national and international interest in education. Free and honest debate will take place and there will be heated interchanges.
The theme is "A World in Transition, Students in Action." The delegates will range in age from 18 to 23, coming from 46 states and representing colleges and universities, where they were chosen by the student governments. Most of them come from the U.S. National Student Associations' 380 campuses, but some come as observers from campuses which are not members of the association. Deans of American colleges and representatives of educational and student organizations and foreign student guests also will be present.
It is good to contrast this meeting with some of the things we hear from other parts of the world. There will be no rioting, and no disorders such as one hears of frequently in student meetings in other countries.
Often the students are ahead of their elders in the things they decide to stand for, and I imagine this will be the case this year. I hope people will watch this meeting with interest, because it is sure to be indicative of future thinking in the U.S.