JANUARY 8, 1955
NEW ORLEANS—In the short time we were in Kansas City, Mo., the middle of this week, we had all kinds of weather. By the time we took the evening train we were fighting through what might have been the beginning of a blizzard!
The dinner on Wednesday evening for the American Association for the United Nations was preceded by a press conference and a radio transcription. During these periods I was asked the most impossible questions. No one could have answered them unless they had some specialized knowledge, which, unfortunately, is not mine.
During the interview Mr. and Mrs. Truman came in, and I was very happy to see how well our former President looked. He said he was working very hard on his book, which he hoped to make a storehouse of source material. He also said his knees still feel a little shaky but otherwise he is quite himself again. It was a great pleasure to have Mr. and Mrs. Truman at the dinner and at the evening meeting, and I was only anxious when I saw how it was snowing and I realized that they had a half-hour drive to their home.
The evening meeting was in a hall that held a little over 500 people and it was completely filled. It was such a success that we hope to have an AAUN co-chairman for the western part of Missouri and a chapter set up in Kansas City. How they fare organizationally I shall hope to hear in a few weeks.
Fortunately we were traveling from Kansas City to Memphis by train, which we boarded at 11 p.m and woke next morning to gray skies, which made us a little anxious about our flight to Little Rock. We had breakfast on the train and on arrival it had cleared sufficiently so that we flew comfortably into Little Rock ahead of time.
Our schedule in Little Rock was a busy one. Arkansas is in the situation of having two governors at the moment. One of them was kind enough to be at the airport with his wife and they accompanied us to the television studio and the hotel. At the TV station we watched the end of President Eisenhower's report to the Congress on the state of the nation, and then I did a 10-minute program.
At a luncheon a little later we talked to about 150 persons, heads of organizations or individuals who are interested enough in the AAUN to become state board members. After lunch there was a workshop session, which was attended chiefly by organizations, and I think there must have been 250 or 300 persons present.
I am very much encouraged by the amount of organization that our state chairman in Arkansas has been able to bring about. Meetings would not be so well attended if she had not been doing so much basic work. And she tells us that Mayor Pratt Remmel of Little Rock is being of great assistance to her. There is an added interest there, of course, because Senator J. William Fulbright was on the last delegation to the General Assembly.
It is stimulating to be out in the country where one gets a feeling of how the general public is thinking. One woman in the meeting Thursday afternoon said that she had been told that the AAUN was subversive, and what could she do about that. I told her that, of course, some people thought that the U.N. itself was subversive and the only thing you could do was ask people to study the groups a little more. In this way they would soon find out that neither the U.N. nor the AAUN were in any way subversive.