JANUARY 30, 1939
WASHINGTON, Sunday—On Friday night four of us went to see "Bachelor Born," which, after a long run in New York City, is touring the country. One of the young girls in the cast, Jane Sterling, came originally from Poughkeepsie, New York, so I was anxious to see her act. The story is about an English boarding school and the traditional type of English housemaster. I found it amusing and good entertainment. Of course, anyone who has ever read: "Goodbye Mr. Chips," has an ideal of this type of English master and unconsciously compares all characterizations of the type with that book, which, to me, was one of the most charming ever written.
Tonight all of us are going to see: "Outward Bound." I have no fear about the evening, for I know that the play, as well as the cast, is among the finest in the theatre today. We are deeply appreciative of the generosity of the cast. They have come down from New York City to give this performance at their own expense for the benefit of the Infantile Paralysis Fund. I hope they will play to a full house, which is rare in Washington, for this is not a theatre conscious city and the National Theatre is a big place to fill.
Saturday was a gorgeous day and the morning was fairly free so I took my car, picked up Mrs. Morgenthau about noon, and we went off in the country for lunch. I was back in the White House by 3:00 o'clock to start my afternoon appointments which lasted until after six.
I wonder if other people who write columns often find as I do that, because of the limitations of space, they sometimes give a wrong impression? For instance, in writing about a letter which had come to me telling of a plan for dental care to be started for people in the lower income brackets, I did not explain that this care should be begun when a child is small and that, if consistently carried on, a low yearly fee would cover the work. Naturally, if anyone neglected the care of his teeth, this low yearly payment would probably not be adequate until the patient's initial overhauling had been done.
However, these exact details do not seem to me to be so very important. The real point is that the dentists and doctors are begining to think of ways in which the necessary care from youth on can be given to people who have never been able to afford it in the past. This is important because it will mean a great change in the physical health of the nation. I would like to see us put more thought on producing a next generation which, because of its physical good health, would be more adequate to meet the mental and spiritual strains of the present day world.
From Kentucky comes a plan to establish a Kentucky Boys' Town Association to plan for legislative action to give better care to delinquent boys of the state. Necessary as this is, in looking into the future, it seems to me more important to do away with the conditions which bring about delinquency.