OCTOBER 13, 1951
NEW YORK, Friday—Today I received a most interesting book about the Armenian veterans of World War II. We in this country have such diversified backgrounds that there probably could be similar books about veterans of almost every racial group in the world.
A number of these memorial war books already have been brought out, and I am happy to see each new book appear. It adds something not only to the history of the war but to the history of our country. All of us have become Americans, no matter from how far back, but we should hold fast to our interest in the countries of our origin or our ancestors' origin. This is one way to help us bridge the difficulties of world understanding that face us today.
Yesterday was a good, stormy, "wind and rain" day and I rather enjoyed it as I walked the streets on a number of errands.
I always pride myself on shopping all the year round for Christmas and being unhurried when Christmas Eve arrives. This year, however, I know I shall be away until about a day or two before Christmas and so must leave everything ready here before I go away. I simply don't feel able to remember all the things that still must be done!
Perhaps the Senate will not get around to confirming any of us for the General Assembly of the United Nations before October 25, in which case we will all have time to do our Christmas shopping!
At one of the hearings at which the differences of opinion between Mr. Stassen and Mr. Jessup were being aired, Senator Smith of New Jersey read a letter that he was sending to all of us who may be delegates to the General Assembly. I had no objection to the letter and answered it within two days, but I wondered whether such a letter was intended to cover the position we take on questions as of today or whether Senator Smith thought we could state what we would think and feel on these various subjects next week, next month, next year or 10 years from now.
There are few things that one can declare time and circumstances cannot change. For instance, it is always a virtue to be honest, no matter what the circumstances. There has long been a question as to whether there are times when men must defy the law in order to act according to conscience or whether the law must be accepted because it is the will of the majority that placed it on our statute books.
Certain great principles one can be categorical about for all time. Where opinions enter in, however, or changing conditions must be considered, it is highly unwise for people to fail to understand that circumstances and conditions must change points of view and bring about changes of attitude and action where such changes are necessary.
People are certainly very kind in the way they remember my birthday. Having reached the age of 67, I can only thank all those who sent me good wishes and say that I hope every year that I live the good Lord will add a little to my wisdom and help me to contribute something to the understanding and the enjoyment of those with whom I come in contact.