APRIL 20, 1939
SEATTLE, Wash., Wednesday—Yesterday started out to be a happy day. Home from the hospital, as I told you, the baby protested violently in the late afternoon at his change of scene. His protests, however, only proved how strong and healthy he is. When he settled down, he slept the sleep of the just and the very weary, and from that time on was apparently acclimated.
But, in the world, happiness and tragedy so often step on each other's heels. While we were at supper and young Curtis was talking to us about his plans for his ninth birthday, the telephone rang at John's elbow. He took it up to hear the shocking news of my young nephew's death in an airplane accident in Mexico.
He and "Pete" Rumsey had stayed at the White House on their way down. I imagine all of us have been anxious, not only over this trip, but on many occasions, for Danny was still young enough not to have learned the difference between recklessness and courage. He loved adventure, and last summer went to Spain because he felt that was the spot where adventure centered. He returned safely and I began to feel that Providence might watch over him, as so often is the case with young people.
It is tragic to see a young life, a brilliant mind, with promise of development and great usefulness, cut off so soon. Yet, we must believe that there is a reason for all things in the universe and turn to help those, if we may, who are left behind and will carry through life the scar of a great sorrow.
Children are remarkably understanding sometimes. When I kissed Curtis good night, I thought I might leave during the night and told him so. His answer was: "Of course, grandmere. My birthday isn't so important. Perhaps you'll come next year."
When I found my brother was going to Mexico City, I decided to leave this morning, only to find that I could obtain no space. I am, therefore, leaving tonight and hope that the luck which I have had on my last two trips will hold once again and that I will arrive in time to be of some use.
I have had to cancel some lecture contracts and I am very sorry to cause so many people this inconvenience. I hope to be able to fill them at some other time. There are some things in life over which one has no control.
Some time ago, I was asked to remind you that this was a special week, April 17th to 23rd having been designated as "Be Kind To Animals Week." In 1866, Henry Bergh founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His work, which was primarily a work of education in the care and treatment of animals, to prevent young people and older people from inflicting needless pain or cruelty through ignorance, has been carried on and has accomplished a great deal. The Society will continue to do good work if people who love animals join it and support it.