APRIL 25, 1952
NEW YORK Thursday—The death of Sir Stafford Cripps took from Great Britain another fine man.
In the days when he was obliged to ask the people of Great Britain to live with great austerity, Sir Stafford subjected himself to the strictest kind of simple living. I went to the apartment where he and Lady Cripps lived and remember well how uncomfortable this minister of a great nation made himself in order that he should not in any way ask of others what he himself was not doing.
The world is poorer in the loss of a great and good man anywhere. There is none too many of them these days, and I am sure that everybody on this side of the ocean who ever came in contact with Sir Stafford and Lady Cripps will send their deepest sympathy to her in this great loss.
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In the last few days New York State has chosen a "favorite son" for the Democratic Presidential campaign. The Democratic leaders made the decision to try and win for Averell Harriman the nomination in the Democratic National Convention.
I have known this "favorite son" since he was a small boy. He was a friend of my brother, and my husband and I took the youngsters camping when they were in their teens. Ever since he has been in public life, both my husband and I watched with interest his development. My husband felt that he was a real liberal and a fine man whom he trusted. I have seen him grow with each new position that he has held and with greater responsibility has come a deepening and a strengthening of his character and personality.
There are many candidates in the Democratic party. The field seems to be wide open, awaiting a decision at the convention.
I take no active part in politics, but I shall watch with interest all of the active candidates and hope with all my heart that the Democratic party will unite behind the man who has courage and strength to live up to the highest ideals of our democracy and to demand high standards of those about him. I hope that the nominee who emerges as the candidate of our convention will have the capacity and the imagination not only to understand the needs of our own great country, but to see those needs in relationship to our position in the world.
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Yesterday I had luncheon with Miss Helen Ferris, who really runs the Junior Literary Guild. She told me of a new fifth group of books for which the guild is planning.
They have named this group the "Easy Reading" group, and it is for the youngsters who are just outgrowing the simple picture books and learning to read more easily by themselves. Seven and eight-year-olds are bored when a book is too easy and discouraged when a book is too hard.
I am delighted with this new venture, for I think it will start youngsters reading to themselves at an early age and encourage them to do so much more quickly. I like to read to youngsters, but I realize it is much more important for them to get the habit of reading to themselves. The Junior Literary Guild has started what I hope will prove a most satisfactory venture.