MAY 20, 1936
WASHINGTON—Threatening rain this morning kept me from riding which was fortunate as we had a perfect downpour about nine-thirty!
Judge and Mrs. Kenneth O'Brien, and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Goddard Leach, who came down for the garden party yesterday saw no garden party, just a tea in the house, because of storms! I cannot say that Washington weather treated them very kindly. I saw them off this morning, and also Mr. and Mrs. David Gray who motored to New York, and at eleven o'clock I had a press conference. Immediately after that, I went to speak to the State Directors of the National Youth Administration who are meeting here for three days.
I am about to leave Washington by plane for New York for a day and a night.
Mothers Day being well over with all its publicity, I have been wondering if in addition to sending flowers and cards to our mothers, we might not as a nation, devote a little more time to the study of the real conditions confronting mothers in these United States. It is still true that approximately 15,000 mothers die from causes instant to child birth every year and over one half of these deaths could easily be prevented if given proper care. Dr. Douglas Calhoun of Troy, New York, has made a at study of this question and conducted a clinic. He found he could reduce the mortality to almost nil.
Just to make the picture a little more vivid, I quote the following statement which I saw the other day: "We have lost in all the wars waged in this country since the Declaration of Independence, 244,000 men, killed in battle, and in the past twenty-five years we have lost 375,000 mothers in child birth." Prenatal care in the early months is vitally important and we should do all we can to educate young mothers to go to a doctor if they can afford it, if not to a free clinic to be taught how care for themselves. This is necessary not only for mothers but the babies. With proper care before birth, a child will come into world stronger and healthier.