SEPTEMBER 29, 1938
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—In company with many other people throughout the world, I breathe again this afternoon in the hope that this meeting in Munich may bring about peace instead of war. It may be harder to work out problems in a peaceful way but it certainly seems worth the effort, for things which are imposed by force rarely are satisfactory. Everyone in this house is constantly alert for news of the international situation and of the situation among our own people in the wake of the hurricane.
One letter I received this morning gave the most remarkable picture of the havoc wrought along the Connecticut shore and stressed the inability of many people to cope with their situation. Some of them are old and all that they had is gone. Some of them have no resources and no knowledge of where to turn to obtain them. They, therefore, live on under whatever conditions the storm left them and do nothing because of their utter hopelessness.
After reading this description, I felt that it was not only a case of sending in WPA workers and Red Cross relief with material things, but that in many of these communities some individual will have to be found who is both resourceful and efficient and who can take charge of re-planning people's lives. That sounds easy, but Heaven knows it is hard enough for any of us to do and, under some of these conditions, it must be almost impossible to find the necessary courage to begin a new life.
A quintet of colored girls from Saints Industrial and Literary School in Lexington, Miss., came in last night to sing for us. They have raised money for their school by singing before churches and groups of both Negro and white people. The principal of this school, Mrs. Arenia Cornelia Mallory, gave us a little picture of how they have grown from practically nothing to the school of today. They began with 15 students in 1918 and the present enrollment is four-hundred-and-ninety-four. They have several buildings and take their children through high school. They are taught skills and at the same time shown how to live. Their spirituals and their other songs were sung in a very original manner and we all enjoyed them and were deeply touched by their performance.
Several notices of club meetings which have come to me lately, stress the need for the discussion of health problems. This week the American Hospital Association is holding its four day annual convention in Dallas, Texas, in the city where the cooperative three-cents-a-day plan for hospital care originally started. Under various forms, this plan has spread all over the country and it seems to meeting be a great need and to be a factor in solving our health problems.
I have just attended a luncheon at the men's National Press Club where I was the only woman present, and I found it a most interesting and delightful occasion.