AUGUST 22, 1938
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I spent an hour and a half yesterday morning listening to various youth delegates at the World Youth Congress speak on their economic problems as they related to peace and youth. The access to material stands out in all their thinking, but as one would expect, what these young people say is not so very important, for they cannot be expected to know as much as the experts could tell them.
The important thing to me was the type of delegate, the the earnestness and thoughtfulness of the speakers and the audience, and the restraint and good manners shown by those who represented countries which were under criticism. Many an older group would not have behaved as well.
The more I see of this group of young people from many nations, the more important I realize it is that older people in every nation who can see the desirability of certain changes in our civilization should work with them. In this way their thought and action will not be one-sided and the impetuousness of youth should gain some benefit from the experience of age.
Life with the President at home is certainly more interesting, but at the same time it is certainly busier, if for no other reason than because there are nearly always interesting people at meals and therefore the meals take much longer. Just as we have about finished eating, some interesting subject comes up for discussion and we spend another half hour over our coffee. Yesterday noon it was the size of cities and whether the moving of small industries into rural areas would ultimately benefit the big city, or whether it would tend to destroy it.
The entire family had supper on my porch last night and we cooked our steaks on the charcoal grill. Secretary Wallace and Mrs. Aubrey Williams, who came to speak at the World Youth Congress, spent the night with us.
In the evening the President and the Secretary went home to discuss weighty matters, while the rest of us went down to the World Youth Congress to watch the entertainments given by the various delegations. The Canadians gave an amusing little pageant depicting Canadian life as it really is, versus Canadian life as it is popularly supposed to be. Some very grown up "Quints" were dumped into the lap of a rather surprised father Dionne in the closing scene.
Our American Negroes contributed some of their spirituals, our New York State American Indians gave some songs and dances and the foreign groups put on very interesting and charming dances and songs. At 10:30 the entire group adjourned to the lake for Chinese fireworks, but we felt that the day had been long and we had better come home.