JANUARY 28, 1939
WASHINGTON, Friday—Yesterday afternoon we had a delightful concert. I particularly like the harp, and Mr. Salvatore Marie de Stefano played delightfully. One composition called "The Music Box," which is his own, brought great applause. The reason was, I think, that most of us owned a music box in our childhood and, when we had heard him play a familiar tune and gradually let it die out, every one of us thought of a similar instrument which we had once owned and enjoyed.
Henriette Bagger Plum, who has a sweet soprane voice, sang for us. Everyone seemed to enjoy the whole program.
In the evening I went to preside at a dinner given by the Alliance for the Guidance of Rural Youth, of which Dr. Orie Latham Hatcher is the president. Senator Capper and Dr. John Studebaker both made interesting speeches, but in the course of the discussion which followed, Dr. Homer Rainey, who is director of the American Youth Commission, made one statement which took my breath away.
He said there were more than 400 organizations serving youth in one way or another, exclusive of the Government organizations. Most of them have national programs and are to be found in communities over 50,000 population, where they try to impose their programs on the youth of the community. He suggested that it would be more useful if the leaders of the community studied the needs of youth as they existed there, and then tried to find out what programs they could formulate to meet these needs.
Underlying all these meetings where people are trying to find an answer to some of the problems of youth, it seems that the one fundamental question remains unanswered. The question is the tie-up between the problems of youth and the general problems of the world and the nation. As long as these remain unsolved, it is impossible to solve the problems of youth. What good does any preparation do if you cannot find a job and there is no promise that a job will be waiting when the education is through? It looks to me as though we can not relax in the study of the general problems which face us all, for there is the nut which must be cracked.
Yesterday, a most interesting book, which has been compiled for use in connection with the New York World's Fair, was shown to me. Whether you are able to see that fair or not, the book is one that you should not miss, for every one of the 48 states is represented by a map showing its products. With the map there is a story which will give you subject matter of interest in connection with the state. The states follow each other in the book in the order in which they came into the Union, and that too will helpful for children who usually memorize the books they enjoy. This book is called "Pageant Of The States" by Dr. Ernest Sutherland Bates and Dr. Herman S. Schiff.