JULY 6, 1938
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—In this part of the world, the Fourth of July seems to have made up its mind to be cool. I remember that last year we had a picnic and I planned to have all cold food, and was severely taken to task because it was a cool day and everyone would have liked something hot to eat. Certainly the weather the last few days has had almost a touch of autumn in the morning air. I felt so encouraged that I decided to try riding in the lower woods, only to find that the flies and the mosquitoes swarmed about us. Rather than make the horses suffer, I turned around and cantered up the hill again and took to the open fields.
As you cross the main roads, you notice the number of cars which are out over a holiday, but in spite of that I see that fewer people have been killed in the first five months of this year than last year. This must mean that people are learning certain things about driving. The new rule in this State which is now in effect—that unless you are passing a car you must stay in the right lane of the road—will have a tendency to lessen accidents, I am sure.
In talking to Mr. Grover Whalen the other day, I remarked that I felt it was going to be a very great advantage to have the San Francisco Fair, which stresses the beginnings of our civilization and culture in this country, open the same year as the New York Fair, which will show what the world is like today and will suggest what we may look for tomorrow. I hope that many people who ordinarily go to Europe will see their own country because of the interest these fairs will have. It may be very beneficial to all modes of transportation if they cooperate to work out round-trips at reasonable rates which will attract people who might ordinarily not be able to afford as comprehensive a trip about the country.
Of course, Mr. Whalen had to say that he must urge people who could not afford to see both fairs, to be sure to see the New York one. I imagine the head of the San Francisco Fair would do the same, but for purposes of general education and pleasure I hope many people will manage to save enough money to see both fairs.
If one needed any proof that the teachers in the adult education program of the Works Progress Administration are interested in what they accomplish, the last report given out by Mr. Harry Hopkins makes this clear. In the face of economies which have cut the teacher's salaries and reduced the teaching staff, the total enrollment in the adult education classes reached 1,586, 211, which is a few hundred over the number enrolled last year. To me, this program has always been extraordinarily important, because adult illiteracy tends to mean a lower standard of living and less parental control in the home. This is especially true where the parents are foreign born, for the children grow away from them if the parents are unable to talk and read and write in the language of the new country to which they have come.