JANUARY 21, 1936
Several days ago a great airship crashed in Arkansas. On it was a man who was Works Progress Administrator in the State of Arkansas. The day he left on this trip, he talked with his Chief, Mr. Harry Hopkins of plans for the future in that State. The next thing his chief knew about him was that he was dead. Today at lunch, Mr. Hopkins told me of his funeral and somehow I think this man will never really die, for through his work he changed the lives of countless people.
His funeral was held in a building which he had built. Some ten thousand people came from all over the state, many of them so poor that they must have hitch-hiked most of the way, but they were there to pay a last tribute to the man who had worked for them. Under him eight hundred new rural school houses were built in Arkansas. The road running past the cemetery where he lies buried was just finished under his direction. A rural community is working out successfully which he planned for the share-croppers, and the government will get its investment back again. It all cost money, yes, but it will mean better people, happier people in the future for that State.
The man with the vision to plan and the ability to direct it has gone on, and whether the future remembers his name or not, makes little difference, for countless people will call him blessed, though they may never know the identity of the person who made it possible for them to be glad to live.
I was kept from going to West Virginia today because they said I could not be sure of making my way through the snow, so I gained a full day with no engagements! It was like picking up a purse full of gold—but of course, that isn't allowed today! I have had a most delightful time, catching up on long-hand letters and even reading a volume of poems which a friend of mine sent me.