APRIL 7, 1945
NEW YORK, Friday—All day yesterday I seemed to be moving from one individual's interest to another! In the course of the day I saw a young man whose greatest interest is the development of education in Africa among the Negro people. Then I touched upon Australia and Italy, and it seemed almost strange when I found myself talking with someone whose chief interest is right here at home in our own country!
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A little after 6, Miss Helen Hall of the Henry Street Settlement called for Miss Thompson and me, and it seemed very familiar getting out and going into the house that will always bring Miss Lillian Wald's presence vividly before me. Miss Wald is one of the people whose spirit has lived on. It lives in that busy house used by so many people, and yet at the core of all the activities there is a sense of purpose and calm—a peace which comes, I think, from people all of whom are doing a job because they care about it.
We had an informal supper at little tables, and I was much interested listening to a young naval officer who had lived in France before the war. He had been lent to the Army and had spent some time in France of late. Eyewitnesses can always make you see a country, particularly where you have known it in the past.
It was encouraging to hear him say that, in spite of the destruction, the people set right to it, the minute the country was in their hands again, to rebuild and salvage all they could from the ruins. I saw them doing this once before, and it seems to me incredibly courageous to be doing it again.
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I was thrilled by the way in which the people living on the Lower East Side of New York City are studying the international situation. Mrs. Esther Taber Fox, who is conducting forums which are very well attended, has filled her room with the most interesting maps where you can actually see what is happening all over the world, and where explanations for the Bretton Woods agreements and Dumbarton Oaks proposals are set out before you.
I wish this program inaugurated at the Henry Street Settlement could be carried on in every community, rural and urban, throughout the nation. We would have individual citizens then carrying their full share of responsibility for their representatives at the San Francisco conference and afterwards.
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A few days ago there came to me an appeal for simultaneous prayer for the cessation of hostilities and peace in the world. I think a plea has already been issued that the Sunday before the San Francisco meeting shall be devoted by churches of all faiths to prayer for the success of this meeting. There is nothing, however, to prevent us, each and every Sunday as we go to the churches of the nation, and each day as we go about our business, from joining with all the other people who make up this nation in prayers for wisdom and goodwill to create peace in the world.