MARCH 2, 1955
NEW YORK—On Monday morning in Washington I particularly enjoyed a very brief visit to my son James's office in the Capitol and then the few minutes we were able to spend with Speaker Sam Rayburn in his office. The Speaker does not seem to change at all. He is the same genial, able, kindly gentleman that he was years ago.
Also on Monday we had a very successful luncheon meeting at the annual conference of organizations sponsored by the American Association for the United Nations. Over 300 people attended.
I had to return to New York on Monday afternoon but our president, Dr. Charles Mayo, had arrived from the Pacific Coast, so Mr. Clark Eichelberger was not left alone to carry the burden of this organizational conference. So, I am sure that Monday night's meeting, looking forward to the next 10 years of the AAUN, was a most interesting one.
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I traveled back on a plane with a lady who had been South to see a new grandchild and who had persuaded her sister to take her first airplane trip with her. As we arrived in New York the sister said with a sigh of relief: "Well, I am glad to be here safely."
I could not help smiling because, on the whole, a good many people all the time are arriving safely at their destinations! And when one considers the number of planes that are in the air at practically all times, the record for safety in flying is a phenomenal one.
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A book I mentioned in this column some time ago is now on sale. It is, you may recall, "Two Minutes Till Midnight" by Elmer Davis, and I know you will want to read it as eagerly as you read his previous book, "But We Were Born Free."
Elmer Davis has a way of saying things that makes them real and telling. His dry humor and his willingness to look at disagreeable facts make it essential that we not only read but ponder what he has written. He hopes, as all of us do, that we can avoid war, but he tells us in no uncertain terms what a war will be like and that we must win or the world will be a slave world.
Except for our armed forces, Americans have had no firsthand experience to make it easy for them to understand what modern war really means. But the more we understand the more we will feel that every action on the part of our government that might risk war is something to weigh very seriously.
If we fight, we must win. But, even so, the losses not only to our enemies but to us and to civilization in general will be so great that it seems to me essential that we attempt in every way possible to strengthen the agencies that fight for peace and that we constantly weigh our own programs with efforts to bring about peace.