SEPTEMBER 20, 1938
HYDE PARK, Monday—The easiest way I know to acquire information is to say in my column that I don't know something. Immediately, someone either writes me the information, or puts it into some paper where someone else clips it out and sends it to me. There was a time where I never dared say I didn't know a thing, I picked up all I could from the people who were talking to me and kept my mouth shut. In that way I gleaned sufficient information to give an appearance of understanding, but my knowledge was superficial.
Since I have gathered up enough courage to tell people I do not know things, I discover they are not only willing to stop and explain during a conversation, but they are also entirely willing to write me. The people who do know things seem quite anxious and happy to impart their knowledge. I never again can say I don't know the origin of Labor Day, for the Transcript-Telegram of Holyoke, Mass., on September 6th published a complete history of the early labor movement and the origin of this day. I was familiar with the fact that May 1st, the European Labor Day, usually had a revolutionary quality, but the gradual evolution of our own Labor Day was very hazy in my mind.
After I returned home yesterday morning, everything seemed to pile up on me. I did spend quite some time with my mother-in-law telling her all about our patient in Rochester, Minn., and I am glad to have continuous good news of him to report. I had a little while with my neighbors, Miss Dickerman, Miss Cook and Miss Goodwin. The latter just came back from England and it was interesting to receive her views on the European situation. Then my brother came with seven guests for a swim and lunch. Without his enthusiasm I would never have taken a swim on what was a very cold, gray day, but I was ashamed to let him think that only the gentlemen could stand cold water and, once in, I found it rather pleasant and invigorating.
They left late in the afternoon. Mrs. Morgenthau came up and I went back with her to see her husband and children and then spent a long evening going through the accumulation of mail. Among it, I found a note from Mr. Angelo Patri and a small magazine entitled; "Youth Today."
Many of the articles are condensations from other publications of articles of particular interest to high school age youngsters. I think that this magazine should fill a real need for young people. For instance, two questions most frequently asked me by youngsters are:" What kind of a job should I fit myself for?" and "I am told that there are no opportunities open. Is that true?" An article by Carroll P. Streeter, called, "Your Place In The Sun," answers these questions far better than I have ever been able to answer them.