OCTOBER 12, 1955
NEW YORK—It was a beautiful drive down the parkway from Hyde Park right after lunch on Sunday afternoon. The colors grow more beautiful each weekend but they have not yet reached their full enchantment. However, as I will be going to Minneapolis the end of this coming week I probably shall see the glorious beauty of our autumn foliage there.
Back in New York and a full day on Monday, first at the office of the American Association for the United Nations and then an activity which I have found gives me both pleasure and recreation. This was the doll contest sponsored each year by Seventeen magazine. After the judging, these dolls go through the CARE organization to children all over the world. I serve as one of the judges and I wonder at the ingenuity and skill of some of the young people who make and dress the dolls.
The afternoon was crowded with meetings and I had some family and friends for dinner Monday night. My son, James, arrived here from the Coast on Saturday and he was in with two friends for dinner, though he went off to a play afterwards. My other son, John, and his wife were dining here in any case with some other friends, so this addition was very fortunate and merely meant we dined a little bit earlier. And we regretted that some of our guests had to desert us for the theatre.
Having James come in from Los Angeles reminds me of a letter I received not long ago from a Los Angeles painter named Max Cossak. Mr. Cossak tells me that he thinks the United Nations has neglected the use of art to bring peoples together and that he is founding a gallery in Los Angeles to be called the United Art Center Gallery.
At the gallery he will try to have exhibitions from all the 60 member nations of the U.N. and he feels in this way we can increase the understanding of people for each other and that we should not neglect any avenue which will enable us to do this.
I shall certainly try to visit this art gallery when next I am in Los Angeles, for I think this is an interesting idea. While our museums have been encouraging exchange exhibitions for a long time, there is no doubt that more can be done. Every citizen can in their special line of interest use the abilities they have to spread international interest in a variety of ways.
On last Friday morning I spoke at the opening of the Library Club of America, which is to be started in three New York City public schools. This new enterprise is developed in conjunction with the Book Manufacturers Institute and it is being tried in the fifth grades of three lower East Side schools. Medals will be given to students who read a certain number of books and, as a class, they can win a banner for their room.
This means there will be competition on an intellectual level just as there is physical competition in the sports area, and I hope the idea will take hold and, encourage the reading of good books.