MARCH 25, 1939
LOS ANGELES, Friday—Our trip from Los Angeles to San Diego yesterday was very lovely. The sun came out to shine on the sea, along which our road ran for some distance. We passed through fertile country. At this season everything looks very green and the flowers in San Diego are beautiful beyond description.
I went out for an hour with the NYA director and visited two most unique and interesting projects, both of which are located in the park, which was originally part of the old exposition grounds. The Spanish village has been restored there. A delightful artist is training young people to develop new paints from clays which have been found in the neighborhood and to do exquisite reproductions of trees and shrubs and flowers found in Southern California. These are used in museums and national parks. At present they are working for the San Diego museum. The other project is in connection with the zoo and is the only one of its kind in the country. They study the diet of animals which are adjusting themselves to a new climate and any new diseases or parasites which appear. The young people are doing excellent work under the direction of the scientists.
We stopped also at a WPA practice house for girls, which seems to give excellent training. I was back at the hotel in time for a short visit with the Mayor and Mrs. Benbough, our hosts. The San Diego Teachers Association was more than kind and three of the teachers even rose this morning to take us out to the 8:00 train, which seems to me the height of hospitality.
I was interested in the forum period after my lecture last night, when I was asked again the question: "Why is such a concerted effort being made to eliminate married women workers from industry and the professions." I feel, of course, that this effort is as yet not very vigorous in this country, but we should fight it for it is based on misunderstanding. The proportion of married women working is very small in comparison to the toal unemployment problem. Unless you eliminate all women working, which would mean that a number of women who are now earning their own livings and supporting dependents would become burdens on the communities, you would make no appreciable dent in unemployment. This fear of unemployment is forcing us into an unconsidered and un-American attitude toward working women.
I wonder if you have received any stamps issued by the National Wildlife Federation of Washington, D.C.? This happens to be the week which they call National Wildlife Restoration Week, during which they try to draw our attention to the importance of knowing more about the conservation of our wildlife resources. These stamps are sold for the support of the Federation and I can imagine few youngsters who would not receive great joy from them.
We are now back in Los Angeles for a few hours. In a few minutes I shall be off to visit a resident project and I shall tell you about it tomorrow.