MARCH 7, 1958
NEW YORK—After seven years of drought, Texas—in the central part, at least—is having as much rain as it can well absorb and everybody is gloomy over the heavy rainfall and has completely forgotten the disadvantages of a drought!
The same can be said of Oklahoma, which went through the same years of drought and in certain areas is now having near-floods and beginning to think that too much rain can create as difficult a situation as too little.
In a number of places, however, they are talking in terms of dams so as to be able to irrigate in the future. That is a most encouraging sign, for to go on without preserving the water and using it in the most efficient way seems to be a thoughtless and unpardonable sin in these days.
The new airport at Dallas, Tex., which recently was opened, is something worth seeing. I don't wonder that everyone is proud of it.
The distances are so great that they have built moving walks from the planes into the lobby and these are quite convenient and amusing.
Airline passengers are carefully told, however, that they can take no pets on them. This means that unless you can carry your pets in your arms, you will have to walk the distance along the ordinary passageway.
I have a friend, Miss Fannie Hurst, the writer, who has those tiny dogs you carry in a muff, so I suppose she would be unaffected by this restriction which would stop any of us who have a dog of any size.
We had to wait in the airport terminal lobby in Dallas for a short time for our plane to be ready to take us to Oklahoma City, and during that time a number of people came up to talk. This is a very nice habit, for if you feel lonely, you never feel lonely long.
I went on to the University of Oklahoma at Norman where my appearance was sponsored by the Young Democrats. They brought in, for their first celebration in honor of my husband, former President Harry S. Truman and Paul Butler, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. So this March 4 was really a momentous one.
At a faculty meeting I was not surprised to find that we were shaking hands not only with faculty but Democrats from outlying communities. Even the Mayor of Tulsa had come to greet us. President Truman spoke first and ended up by introducing me, but there were other speeches by Senators Robert Kerr and Mike Monroney and the Governor of Oklahoma.
This was really a very enterprising undertaking on the part of the Young Democrats in the University of Oklahoma. I was glad, too, to note they have girls as members in quite large numbers. One of them told me the organization already has more than 300 members.
At Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Tex., where I spoke Monday night, the auditorium was crowded. It was a completely integrated audiance, which pleased me a great deal. They told me at this college that integration had begun in high schools and was gradually moving downward. I find that in Oklahoma they also are doing a very good job on integration. At least this is what I am told.
In Norman Okla., I met in the university a young man who serves as representative of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and is on the National Board of the NAACP, so I imagine that Oklahoma has not moved to destroy the existence of this organization as so many other Southern states have done. I am glad to find that at least in a partly Southern state there can be so much appreciation of our world situation and understanding of the Negro.