NOVEMBER 5, 1949
NEW YORK, Friday—The airplane accident in Washington the other day when 55 people were killed has made a very deep impression on many people. One of the first suggestions put forth to prevent such tragedies in the future was to bar noncommercial planes from using passenger airports.
According to reports last night, Eric Rios Bridoux, pilot of the military P-38 that caused the accident, wanted only to die. He had been told that he was the only survivor. It is a natural reaction for him not to want to live to carry about the feeling that he was responsible for so many deaths, but one hopes that he will be able to tell what happened. Somewhere there must have been a failure in receiving orders or in giving them or in carrying them out. Mr. Rios is a most experienced pilot, the head of the air service in Bolivia. Sad as it is for him, one does hope that he will at least be able to shed some light on where the failure occurred in the hope that it will help people to prevent such accidents in the future.
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Wednesday evening Mr. Clark Eichelberger of the United Nations Association and I went out to White Plains to talk at a meeting of The Woman's Club of White Plains, Inc. The hall was filled. Mr. Eichelberger talked about the problems now facing the United Nations General Assembly and I talked about Human Rights.
We were both disappointed on the platform because nobody got up courage enough to ask the first question, so there were no questions after the talks. Afterwards, however, a small reception was given and several questions were asked of me then.
This club has been devoting a good deal of time to the study of the United Nations and the various questions before it at the present time. One lady suggested that perhaps the members already knew all there was to know and therefore needed to ask no more questions!
I was interested in the women's clubhouse in which the meeting was held and where we dined beforehand. It was most charmingly decorated and some very attractive paintings were in the different rooms. Among the guests was a lady who had painted the picture hanging over the mantlepiece in the reception room, and I really thought the community was fortunate to have a member of talent in their midst.
Before going out to White Plains I was visited by four women from a Greek-American group who were much exercised about the low standard of living of the people in Greece and their present sufferings. They are concerned, too, about the children who were taken outside of Greece and have not as yet been returned. I explained that I did not deal with the Greek question, but that the United Nations through its proper channels was giving earnest consideration to the whole situation.
I tried to tell them where they might get further information and advice as to how to contribute to the alleviation of some of the suffering in Greece. I am afraid that they felt that by waving a magic wand I could give them complete answers to all the difficulties they felt should be wiped away for the people of Greece. Unfortunately, these situations have to be worked through, slowly and painfully, and largely the progress achieved is made by the people themselves within their own country.