JANUARY 29, 1938
NEW YORK, Friday—When I arrived in New York City today, my brother told me of his successful flight from Washington to Pittsburgh in an airliner testing out the new air track landing device installed at the Pittsburgh field. All of us, I imagine, are interested in this because it will mean safety in landing in a fog and will make flying more certain. We will not have to change our course when we hear the field we are heading for is enveloped in a ground fog, which now causes so many delays.
With my brother on this flight, was Mr. King, who was on the plane the other day which lost its way and finally landed in Hartford, Connecticut. He evidently is one of those confirmed fliers who takes whatever happens as part of the day's work and feels as I do, that to give up doing something because of what may happen, is a little too limiting to one's existence.
I hoped to be able to go with my brother when they made this flight. I still hope that someday I shall be able to see how this new device works, for one cannot help being deeply interested in anything which has possibilities of development.
I am still thinking about yesterday's experiences. Besides dedicating the high school, I visited a National Youth Administration project in Jackson, Kentucky, where the boys were learning to make furniture out of their native woods. One boy showed me how he could turn the leg of a chair by hand.
The officials told me their problem is to give these boys the final expert training they need. I wonder if it would not be both profitable and helpful, if craftsmen throughout the country who do handwork, took boys who showed an aptitude and who had a limited training, as apprentices. They could give the boys nominal pay and board and lodging until they obtained the skill necessary to develop their own work in their own home localities.
For lunch, we went to an experimental farm station, about three miles outside of Jackson, run by the University of Kentucky. Everything we had for lunch was grown on the farm. Kentucky hams cured in Breathitt County compare favorably with those which I have been buying for many years from a friend in Petersburg, Virginia.
We learned what this station does to improve the agriculture of the county. Kentuckians like to trade, so the farm station invites the farmer from the mountains to bring in his corn and trade it ear for ear for the better seed corn which it has grown. It improves the breed of chickens by exchanging the ordinary rooster which the farmer brings in for a better breed which has been developed at the station.
On the train back to Lexington, I talked with a number of young high school teachers. I was impressed with their youth, their enthusiasm and the interest they take in their work.