OCTOBER 11, 1944
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I came down on the train yesterday morning and, as usual, practically every seat soon filled up.
At Beacon, a charming-looking woman sat down beside me. I smiled at her and went on reading my paper. When I finished, she spoke to me, and in the course of conversation I discovered that she and her husband were going down to New York City to celebrate the first year of their marriage. They had not married very young, but in spite of her gray hair she looked young and very happy, and I feel sure that it was a real celebration. The encounter started my day off very nicely, for a glimpse of real happiness in this troubled world is always a pleasant thing!
I went first to the lunch of the Women's Division of the National Citizens' Committee for Political Action. I was sorry that I had to leave before I had finished hearing Dr. Frank Kingdon, who is always an interesting speaker, and Quentin Reynolds, who is one of my favorite speakers. I did have the pleasure, however, of hearing two charming ladies as presiding officers, Mrs. Edward Warburg and Dorothy Parker. Frank Sinatra then spoke briefly, and was followed by Orson Welles, who spoke with his usual force and vigor.
Finally, Helen Keller spoke. To look at her and have her thoughts interpreted is always an inspiration, and I recalled a doctor who told me of her visit to some of our blind soldiers. "Just to know of her presence," he said, "seemed to encourage the boys." I told Miss Keller of this, and she informed me that she was planning to make a tour of various hospitals.
I saw a number of my friends at lunch, among them Mrs. Rufus Choate, Mrs. William Dick Sporborg and Mrs. Edgerton Parsons. I wish I had had the time to speak with more people, but engagements awaited me at home. First, a lady with four brothers in the service wished advice as to how she could best use her time and talents. Then Mrs. Elizabeth von Hesse and her daughter, Maxeda, came to tea. Since I have had no time of late to take lessons in improving my voice, it was at least a pleasure to see the lady who helped me in the past.
Last night I went to Carnegie Hall for an independent voters meeting, to speak again on registration and voting. This is the opening day for registration in New York City, where, as in many other cities, one has to register in person. If one is a first voter and cannot produce a school certificate, one has to take a literacy test. It is therefore important to register early, and I am glad so much emphasis is being put on it this year.