OCTOBER 23, 1937
WASHINGTON, Friday—It is a grand thing to start the day off with a laugh and when I looked at the front page of one of the New York metropolitan papers this morning, the little box right in the middle furnished me with keen amusement! How careless of the gentlemen who arrange the zoo not to notice that the baboons were being scorched and that their home was uncomfortable! It must have encouraged the Political and Economic Planning Association that somebody at least was observing enough to help Professor Julian Huxley out, and to find a way to cure the obvious lack of planning on the part of the officials of the zoo!
I reached Washington yesterday afternoon and after a quiet interlude with Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., my usual scheduled appointments began. Betsey and I had a swim with the President at five-thirty and I felt a little guilty for I don't think I should have talked shop in moments of leisure and I did! I learned much however, and that is good for me.
We had a quiet family dinner and I went over at nine o'clock for a few minutes to the Earl Theatre to see Mayris Chaney dance, as she was leaving last night for her next engagement which is in New Orleans, Louisiana.
This morning at ten o'clock three people very much interested in the Southern Education Alliance, who are working out a program for the vocational guidance of rural youth in collaboration with other organizations, came to see me. This program I think is extremely interesting and I shall follow their meetings here in November with a great deal of interest. Urban communities have proved that vocational guidance is a help to young people, but practically nothing of the kind is done for youth of rural districts. It is not always a question of settling these young people in the places where they have grown up, but it is a question of seeing that their education fits them for the kind of work they are suited to do and trying to find somewhere opportunities that will lead to some constructive future for them.
The District of Columbia seems to have recognized its responsibilities in regard to free school lunches for its needy children and the members of the Citizens Emergency Committee now have on hand enough money to cover their expenses for the next two months.
I think this activity which will have to be a continuous one, in order to supply necessary funds throughout the school year, is probably very excellent for the civic consciousness of the older people in the District. I hope that many people will have an opportunity to see these lunches served for it brings home very forcibly the value of this particular piece of work. Every community should make a survey and find out whether its school children are in need of free lunches.