APRIL 17, 1951
GENEVA, Monday—Some time ago I think I told you about Miss Tomiks Takagi, a Japanese woman who was in this country trying to find markets for the work done by handicapped people in Japan. She brought samples with her and was soon in touch with representatives of various department stores. Among them was Dorothy Shaver of Lord and Taylor, and Miss Takagi later told me she was perfectly delighted with the interest and the help extended to her everywhere. I am delighted because this is one of the ways of promoting an understanding of how democracy works and teaches the value of cooperation as against cutthroat competition.
I have just received a textbook called, "Geography and World Affairs," which I have looked through with interest. It is a new geography that is devoted chiefly with humanity. It even dares to say that "above all nations is humanity." I have an idea that if many school systems adopt textbooks that take the point of view of this geography book, the United Nations will soon find a growing understanding of internationalism that will help it greatly along its path to better understanding.
A letter I received the other day gave me much satisfaction. It began "because most people are interested only in what affects human beings" and then went on to tell about the fight being put up by the California Memorial Park Association to save the historic sugar pines in Tuolumne County. This is, of course, part of the fight that has been going on for a long time to save the Sequoia trees. John B. Elliott, president of the association, has financed the entire campaign. But now the group feels that people outside the State of California should be interested in preserving this unique primeval forest for future generations.
The lumber companies have had little interest in preserving the pines of these areas, but it seems vastly necessary that the cutting scheduled to begin this spring should be stopped as soon as possible. The Department of Agriculture which includes the Bureau of Forestry, should be encouraged to fight the lumber companies that would destroy something which years from now may bring areas of beauty and interest into the lives of our children's children.
This does affect human beings and it is a concern to all of us. The beauty spots of this country belong to all the citizens. Year by year transportation becomes easier and more and more people are able to see their own country and enjoy the national and state parks from coast to coast. I have always thought that the Sequoia groves and the pine trees should be preserved. No one can walk among those giant trees and fail to recognize the magnificence of nature. It is one of the few things that gives one even a faint conception of eternity. I look upon them with awe and could think of no cathedral that would give one greater inspiration for prayer.