MAY 19, 1948
NEW YORK, Tuesday—On Sunday I flew to Charleston, West Virginia, to speak at the West Virginia State College, a land-grant college for colored students. Three of us received honorary degrees—Irvin Stewart, president of West Virginia University; Henry Lake Dickason, president of Bluefield State College; and myself. My address for the occasion was on human rights.
I was very grateful to Gov. and Mrs. Clarence W. Meadows for meeting me at the airport. And after the ceremonies at the college, I went to their home to meet a group of their friends and had a delicious supper before I caught a plane back to New York City.
On the way to West Virginia, I went through some anxious hours, for I was told that we might not be able to land at Charleston—in which case I would have been put down at Cincinnati and I did not quite see how I could get back from there to the college in time to make my speech. And on the return trip to New York, they kept telling me we would be delayed, and at one point there was some question about getting to New York at all! All's well that ends well, however, and I am very glad that I was able to go, for I enjoyed every minute of the day.
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I read with regret of the death of Dr. James E. West, who had so long been the head of the Boy Scouts of America. I am sure that the many people who worked with him will feel his loss, and in an organization of this kind, the loss of someone who has been associated with it for so many years touches a great many people.
When the Human Rights Commission meets on May 24th, we will miss Lord Dukeston, who died the other day. He had served with us at both of our previous sessions. He was one of Britain's able labor leaders who had risen from the ranks to leadership and service in the House of Lords. He had a great concern for human rights and recognized the importance of building this structure as a bulwark for peace.
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The other night, in my apartment, I had a party for the members of the Drafting Committee of the Human Rights Commission. It was a chance to get together on an informal basis and to meet some of the wives of the gentlemen with whom I work day by day.
I was particularly fortunate in getting my friend Mrs. David Gurewitsch to come and sing some old ballads and folk songs to the accompaniment of her lute, and also in having Henry Morgenthau, III, bring William McGrath and Miss Annette Buford to sing for us. Mr. McGrath has already had considerable success, having been chosen by Toscanini to sing with the orchestra at a requiem concert at Carnegie Hall a short time ago. He is still very young and I think he has a great future in store for him.
Miss Buford has a charming voice and we were all delighted, both when she sang alone and when she sang a duet from "Manon" with Mr. McGrath. We induced Henry Morgenthau, III, and James P. Hendrick to add their talents to the evening, too, so we had a really enchanting time.