JULY 16, 1938
HYDE PARK, Friday—It is extraordinary to think that one can make a flight around the world in 3 days and 19 hours. The people at Floyd Bennett Field evidently greeted Howard Hughes and his crew with great enthusiasm and I can well imagine the wild scene when the fliers were driven through New York. When one reads the account of the landing, one realizes that the families waiting for these men must have felt they were shoved aside, for a mass of people engulfed the fliers as soon as the plane came to a stop. I suppose every new achievement in aviation seems to bring a greater thrill, because we feel that with each step forward new possibilities are opened.
At lunch yesterday, some friends came whose chief interest in life is the Spanish situation and its implications for the rest of the world. There was a time, I imagine, when whatever a nation did concerned it alone, but that time is past and now everybody feels repercussions from whatever happens to any other nation.
The children listened to all the talk at table with a certain amount of interest, but they retired quite willingly for their rest period. When that was over, they hung around with that expectant expression which means, "There is something which we want you to do and we wish you grown-ups would cease talking about things which are not really important." I knew that they were longing to go in swimming, so I invited my guests to join us. They, however, decided to leave and the rest of us played around the pool until supper time.
WPA seems to have become one of the most important factors in the clothing industry. I am very glad that surplus stocks are being bought for distribution to relief families. Mr. Hopkins, I see, says that it will help the industry, but I know that it will also help a great many people.
Relief allowances in most cases barely cover rent and food. In some places, necessary medical attention can be obtained, but only in emergencies. Such things as teeth and eyes, which do not need immediate attention but are very important to good health, go by the board both for adults and children. Clothes are important not only for the sake of modesty and protection in our variable climate, but also if one is looking for a job, and most of these people are. Work is not found so easily when a shirt is frayed, a coat is thread- bare and shoes are worn through.
I haven't seen anything yet about shoes being a part of this rehabilitation program, but I am sure that industry needs assistance too. Shoes certainly are one of the things that nearly all people on relief rolls find hard to buy.