FEBRUARY 19, 1938
NEW YORK, Friday—Admiral Cary Grayson's death, the other day, brought sorrow to many people, for he was loved by all who knew him. In addition to the personal loss which his family and friends felt, many people thought of the unselfish service he gave to the Red Cross and to many other civic and charitable things outside of his own profession.
It is good to live in such a way that when you die others are compelled to do many things, because they know that only thus can you really live on in people's memories. This is a kind of immortality which useful men and women leave us as a heritage. Much will be accomplished, I believe, by Admiral Grayson's living influence on his family and friends.
The afternoon at Cornell yesterday was busy, as usual. All universities are interesting places, but it always seems to me that a university which includes state colleges has a closer tie-up to the realities of living and is therefore a more interesting place.
The men who are making studies which deal with the soil, with occupations from which people derive their livelihood, and with the habits and customs of human beings, as a rule, are discovering things of general interest. I have rarely found myself sitting next to anyone at Cornell who did not really have something interesting to contribute to the conversation.
I have never done anything off the campus during my short stays during Farm and Home Week, but this year a plea was made that I come down into the city of Ithaca and dedicate the WPA building which had been erected as a community center for the colored population in that section. The idea of such a place was originated by a few colored women who sensed the need of the children for it.
Some white people joined with them and the project was properly sponsored. Though the building is not, as yet, entirely finished, it promises to be a very attractive one with adequate space for all the various activities they plan for young and old. The gymnasium is a very good idea, for the colored boys and girls need to develop themselves physically. This will not only be recreation, but an effort at proper physical development.
In the evening, we went to the Master Farmer Banquet, given under the auspices of the farm magazine, "The American Agriculturist." At this dinner, the men throughout the State who have been chosen as master farmers, come with their wives to receive the medals awarded to them. Medals are also given to two young people from each of four different groups—Four-H Club members, Juvenille Grange members, Rural Boy Scouts and high school students in agriculture. The Governor of the State always presents all these medals and reads the citations setting forth the reasons why they have prompted the judges to present them either to the master farmers or to the young people.
After the dinner, Mrs. Morgenthau and I returned to New York City on the midnight train.