JANUARY 27, 1938
LEXINGTON, Ky., Wednesday—Mrs. Morgenthau joined me in Washington last night. We are off on a very interesting two day trip. We found snow all about us when we left the train at 7:30 this morning. Though it was cold out of doors, a warm Southern welcome awaited us at the station as well as at the University of Kentucky. One could not feel strange for very long in the cordial and hospitable household of hosts like Dr. and Mrs. McVey.
After breakfast we started on a visit to various new buildings erected by the university with the aid of PWA funds. They have made an extremely good record here on economical building. Dr. McVey attributes this to the fact that the engineering college has done all the architectural work, planned the buildings and supervised their construction. Wages are lower and the modern style of building requires a minimum of decoration. The law building seemed very adequate, and the student union, when completed, should be a most delightful gathering place.
We returned to the house to pick up Mrs. McVey and received an urgent telephone call from Jackson, in Breathitt County. They begged us to come up there tomorrow and we decided to make the trip. It is important to go now because their small schools in the mountains close this week and do not open again until July.
I confess that this seems to me a rather odd arrangement, but I suppose during the winter months it is impossible for the children to reach school and in the spring they are probably needed on the farms. It shows how little we know of the everyday life in another state as near as Kentucky is to New York and Washington.
The object of this visit is to see some of the activities which go on here during Farm and Home Week, and so we visited a hall where a group of men were gathered to consider some farm problem. Bees seem to be a very important part of agriculture in Kentucky for there is a building allotted to meetings held by bee-keepers. Then I visited one of the women's sections and we went to lunch with the girls of the university in one of their dormitory halls.
From there we went to broadcast during which John Jacob Niles sang ballads to the listening-in posts up in the mountains. The university has sponsored these in an effort to tie up the more remote districts with the world at large. They enjoy John Jacob Niles' singing, but their chief interest is in the news programs and the weather reports.