FEBRUARY 7, 1956
SARASOTA, Fla.—The Roosevelt Day Dinner given by the Americans for Democratic Action in honor of Senator Herbert H. Lehman on Friday evening, February 3, in New York, was a very well attended affair and it was a warm and enthusiastic gathering. Those present were there because they wanted to do honor to a public servant whose character, integrity, courage and kindness have endeared him to many during his years of service.
It is rare for a man to have such a long public career as Senator Lehman has had, to survive opposition and come through with so much respect and devotion.
Like most dinners, the accumulation of speeches piled up so that the schedule could not be kept. In this case however, one could only blame the fact that the Senator had had varied interests all his life. At the end of his speech I hurried to get a taxi and dash home to change and make a plane at Idlewild for Miami at 12:30 a.m.
We had a smooth flight but were about 40 minutes late, and by the time we collected my bag and reached the hotel it was six o'clock in the morning. I did have three hours in bed and then I got ready for the day's engagements, which began at 10 a.m.
My friend, Mrs. Gordon, came in to see me and I had one other visitor before I was called for to attend a luncheon at 12 o'clock. Mr. James McDonald was also a guest and I was sorry I had to leave before hearing him speak, but I had to make a plane for Sarasota.
I arrived here in plenty of time to dress for a quiet evening with my uncle Mr. David Gray, and his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Jay Smith, who are spending the winter with him. It is wonderful for him to have companionship and a charming woman to keep his home filled with flowers.
We had grapefruit picked from Mr. Gray's own trees this morning and there is an orange tree hanging over a chair on the terrace which seems to have ripe fruit ready at hand. Mr. Gray, wisely, some years ago bought the point across the canal from his home, so he is in no danger of having any neighbors overlooking his terrace. A sun bath can be had right here without driving even as far as the beach.
I found a Christmas card here from the Philippine Islands and the lady sending it tells me that the Mindanao Institute of Technology which is patterned after Berea College in Kentucky, has been in full operation since June of 1955. They could only take 900 students, although 2,000 applied. Even so, they need more buildings and more books.
She makes the interesting statement that "the Moros are now thirsting for more enlightenment. We need books and laboratory equipment. We are praying for more help from you."
The United States has, of course, done a great deal in the Philippines, but education seems an excellent field in which to continue constructive help whenever we are able.