AUGUST 12, 1948
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Yesterday was one of those days when the time slipped by and I really had very little idea of what I did all day.
I read the newspapers and answered the mail, and noticed that Walter Lippmann berated President Truman, and Sumner Welles felt that the State Department was allowing European policies to be made by the military officials rather than by those in the State Department with a background of knowledge of European history.
I can't say that any of the reading is particularly encouraging at the present time.
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I was struck by the second of a series of articles about the South, written by Ray Sprigle. I had seen his articles before publication, but rereading them in this way makes you realize how a white man really would feel who had to live as one of our Negro citizens has to live in the South today. These articles ought to add to the understanding and enlightenment of our white people. Whether they will or not depends on whether it is possible for any of us to put aside our prejudices and think objectively.
The subtle way in which this reporter's feelings changed and he began to dislike his own kind, as he identified himself more and more with the colored people, is very enlightening. That is a subtle way of telling us how every colored person feels who has had to endure segregation and discrimination.
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I took the grandchildren over to the farm in the morning yesterday and went out to the field where the men were culling chickens, choosing those that were ready to go into the hen house and start laying eggs.
The man who had come to supervise explained to me that this was an easier way than picking out the chickens in their various roosting houses and gathering them up by their legs and handing them out to be put into the coops. I always have felt that if a chicken had any nerves at all, this method must upset their whole nervous system.
At lunch I remarked that if I were a chicken I would not like that kind of handling. Immediately, the men of our family, young and old, hooted with joy as they visualized "grandmother" being held by the legs in that uncomfortable position until she had been placed in the chicken coop.
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Last evening we had supper with the children and afterward I went up to the town hall in the village and was inducted as a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 820.
After the meeting we had refreshments and I had a chance to talk with the wife of one of our officers who had been in Germany while he served in the AMG. It is a comfortable feeling to find oneself a member of an organization that actually has money in its treasury and is able to do something for the veterans in the hospitals. I have always remembered that during World War II the Veterans of Foreign Wars was most helpful in bringing men from the various hospitals around Washington to the White House for tea, and I am glad to become a member of the Auxiliary here and do whatever I can.